Hell is generally conceived as a place of eternal torment in punishment for evil acts and sin. This hell may be conceived of as literal or metaphorical — an actual place of fire and brimstone, or a state of misery. Read what some have said about hell:

Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.

— Albert Einstein

What intelligent man would not rather be in hell with Parker and Emerson than go to heaven with men capable in this enlightened age of entertaining and uttering such bigotry?

— Allen Gary Jennings, 1889 (in response to a Christian minister saying that Ralph Waldo Emerson and Theodore Parker were in hell)

An Inuit hunter asked the local missionary priest: ‘If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?’ ‘No,’ said the priest, ‘not if you did not know.’ ‘Then why,’ asked the Inuit earnestly, ‘did you tell me?’

— Annie Dillard

I think, from all I can learn, that heaven has the better climate, but hell has the better company.

— Benjamin Franklin Wade, attributed 1885

To work hard, to live hard, to die hard, and then go to hell after all would be too damn hard.

— Carl Sandburg

The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.

— Christopher Hitchens

The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of great moral crises maintain their neutrality.

— Dante Aleghieri

Hell is in the here and now. So is heaven. Quit worrying about hell or dreaming about heaven, as they are both present inside this very moment. Every time we fall in love, we ascend to heaven. Every time we hate, envy, or fight someone, we tumble straight into the fires of hell.

— Elif Shafak

My life closed twice before its close;
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me,
So huge, so hopeless to conceive,
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.

— Emily Dickinson

Parting is all we know of heaven and all we need of hell.

— Emily Dickinson

In heaven, all the interesting people are missing.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell.

— George Bernard Shaw

I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell.

— Harry S Truman

I don’t believe in an afterlife, so I don’t have to spend my whole life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse.

— Isaac Asimov

Hell is other people.

— Jean-Paul Sartre

The torture of a bad conscience is the hell of a living soul.

— John Calvin

The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven.

— John Milton

I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without any expectation of rewards or punishment after I’m dead.

— Kurt Vonnegut

There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women.

— Madeleine Albright

Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

— Marcus Aurelius

My idea of Hell is to be young again.

— Marge Piercy

Travel has no longer any charm for me. I have seen all the foreign countries I want to except heaven & hell & I have only a vague curiosity about one of those.

— Mark Twain

Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.

— Mark Twain

War is hell!

— Napoleon Bonaparte

To different minds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Much of our theology is fundamentally rooted in fear. It’s about escaping suffering, either in this life or in the next. Fear of hell. Fear of dying. Fear of scarcity. Fear of not making a difference in the world.

— Shane Claiborne & Michael Martin

I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God.

— Thomas Alva Edison

Hell is truth seen too late.

— Thomas Hobbes

To consider persons and events and situations only in the light of their effect upon myself is to live on the doorstep of hell.

— Thomas Merton

The paradise of the rich is made out of the hell of the poor.

— Victor Hugo

When thought is closed in caves, then love will show its roots in deepest hell.

— William Blake

If you’re going through hell, keep going.

— Winston Churchill
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