Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A philosophical Essay: What is hell?

Different cultures and religions have different definitions of hell. The commonly and probably most widespread image of hell is the classic image of a hot and burning hell, an image that came out of Europe and Christianity during the 1400th century*.

However, in other cultures, such as the viking culture in the cold north where I am from, hell was not seen as a hot place, but rather an ice cold frozen place.

In conclusion, when you look at it more closely, you can see that hell is often interpreted as the opposite of what is seen as desirable. If the cold is seen as something negative, hell would be imaged as a cold place and the contrary for cultures that are more exposed to heat. Very interesting and something to reflect upon.

I, as of today, have a new definition of hell that I would like to share with you all: Hell is the 6 hour Shinkansen train ride from Fukuoka to Tokyo, stuck in the smoking car.


* Source: This is not really a fact or anything, I just made it up on the spot.

8 comments:

john turningpin said...

Holy shit, six hours in the smoking cabin?! I had a friend visit from the States one time, a smoker, who couldn't last six seconds in there. Neither could I.

p/s

Bwahahahaha! I used to own that Mephisto vs. FF mini-series.

Anonymous said...

Actually Hell was made up by the Christian Church in the 300's AD to help scare the pagans, particularly the Huns into converting.

Jason said...

YES. I had this EXACT same experience two weeks ago.

Six hours, Fukuoka to Tokyo, with old men blowing smoke in your face the whole time, daring you to say something. Pure horror.

Also, Anonymous is incorrect, pagans had there own hells as well. Wikipedia Tartarus, Hel, Naraka, etc.

Jason said...

*their

ThePenguin said...

Wouldn't it be cheaper / quicker to fly from Fukuoka?

My personal Shinkansen travel tip: unless you're in a tearing hurry, the Kodamas are a nice way to go. Usually fairly empty (=row of seats to yourself) and pretty relaxed, especially as the girl with the beer trolley keeps going past. Might be a bit of a slog from Fukuoka though.

jlpt-2kyu said...

I totally agree, for me there is nothing worse than being around smokers. I avoid most restaurants here for that reason.

By the way all JR EAST Shinkansen went non-smoking about a year ago. I guess WEST will follow suit eventually. Or maybe they are just more backward down there...

Mr. Salaryman said...

Flying is generally the fastest way, but for someone like me with a mild phobia of flying, I rather take the train unless speed is of essence (the descent to Fukuoka airport I dislike in particular with pretty sharp turns...).

JT - Ah, the old classic FF. Great stories, but I did stop following it after Byrne left it...

Foggia said...

1400th century would make for quite a distant future if you count BC/AD

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