So let me see if I'm understanding this correctly: Satan punishes all the evil people by torturing them for eternity in hell, right?

So, wouldn't that make Satan one of the good guys?

I mean, if he was evil, wouldn't he reward them? But since he punishes them for going against the rules of God, isn't he still working for God then?

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And that children, is one of the reasons I spent most of my life figuring out religion for myself. Sure, I could follow the tenants of one of the mainstream religions, but they aren't able to answer the questions I have about inconsistencies.

I don't judge anyone for following any religion, though. Because, when it comes to religion, there really isn't a right and a wrong. (religion, I mean). If a person truly believes in the religion they follow, then how can it be wrong? The fact that I don't agree with it doesn't make it wrong. It means I don't agree.

And that's why we run into so many problems as a world. The prevailing attitude amongst people is, "If I believe this, it has to be true because why would I believe something that is wrong? So if what I believe is right, and what everyone else believe isn't the same as what I believe, they must all be wrong."

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There is nothing new about people thinking this way. What is changing though, is people attitudes about how they think. It times past people were more accepting of others views. (for the most part. There have always been those who have gone to drastic lengths to express their disagreement with others). Let me give you an example. Take the state of christianity in America. 100 years ago, for the most part, christians would look upon those of another faith and say, "Well, they're going to hell.". Some would try to convert others, but for the most part, American christians let others believe how they wanted in silence.

Today more and more christians in America are not doing that. Today we hear more about how christians are unaccepting of others who don't believe like they do.

Or do we?

I don't think it's a case of people becoming less accepting. I think it's a case of them having more places to let others know about their displeasure. Things like social media and 24/7 news has given people a larger soapbox to stand on. It's not that people are complaining more; it's that now we can hear them.

While social media sites like Facebook and Twitter give people a space to be heard, the real culprit is that mass media form we call news. There was a time not so long ago when you got your new primarily from the radio, or the newspaper. You had the nightly network news which would run down the main stories for the day, but that was only 1/2 hour. Your local news also only had 1/2 hour and they had to cram everything into that time. So you got the news.

Morning news shows, both local and network, did have more news, but they were on 15 to 20 minute loops as they were designed to get people up to date before work. While they included fluff, they focused on news.

But in the 1980's, something happened. The proliferation of cable and satellite tv brought out the need for more programming. And that brought on the advent of 24 hour news stations.

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24 hour news needed to fill up a lot of time. And since they were news networks, people wanted news, not fluff. And that caused a change in the way news was reported. Sometimes a reporter would have a five minute segment to fill, but stating the facts took only 30 seconds. So it became common for the reporter to offer up opinion and conjecture. And more and more, stories were reported live from the scene which allowed for interaction between the reporters and the anchors back in the studio.

But, even that couldn't fill up all the time they needed to fill. So the networks started creating shows where 'pundits' would gather to discuss the hot topics of the day. In the beginning, they tried to stay with the facts, but soon discovered a thing called ratings. If no one watched your pundits talking, no one would buy advertising time in the show, which meant they made no money.

So they started throwing opinions in their discussions. Opinions led to hyperbole. And hyperbole led to outright lies. And it wasn't just the general public who saw this. Politicians saw it as well. And if it was on the 'news', it had to be true, right?

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And that's, in my opinion, the main problem with people not getting along these days. Everyone is confusing conjecture, hyperbole and opinion as fact.

Now, raise your hand if you thought the news network I was talking about is FOX. Well, they are guilty. But I wasn't referring to any network in particular. They all do it. MSNBC, CNN, HLN, C-SPAN*, Al Jazeera. All of them. People don't see it in the network they prefer because they agree with all the hyperbole, conjecture and opinions proffered up.

Until our news networks start reporting facts and only facts, and leaving the 'spin' and editorialization out of their reporting, our peoples and worse, our governments, are going to continue to be less willing to work with each other.**

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But who really cares what I think, right? You aren't here to read an editorial that reads like it was written by a crotchety old man. You're here to read about an odd thing.

Well, the odd thing I have is short, so I had to add some fluff. (fluff, rant, whatever)

This post started off with me saying something about religion. And todays oddity has to do with that. In fact, it has to do with the being that's ruling in hell, punishing all the evil people.

And who is that?

I dunno. I do know who it isn't; Satan.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say Satan is in hell. In fact, according to the Bible, Satan spends his time on Earth, tempting people into going against the will of God. The whole image of Satan ruling in hell is wrong. He won't even go there until he's defeated by God.

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So, why do people think Satan rules in hell? Because of the book 'Paradise Lost' by John Milton. In it Satan is quoted as saying "Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.".

That's another reason I don't follow what others consider to be a mainstream religion; most people who claim to be adherents get most of it wrong.

* OK, C-SPAN doesn't really do it since all they do is provide live feeds from the senate chambers.

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** The opinions expressed by otter in this post are his and he is even willing to admit he could be wrong. (he's not, but he'll admit that he could be). If you don't agree with my opinion, good for you. The same thing that gives me the right to have my opinion gives you the right to agree or disagree with it.