Sketches on Atheism

Why don’t you just burn in Heaven!


It’s just one of those oddities that causes your brain to do little summersaults. Heaven is hotter than Hell. It sounds comical, certainly counterintuitive, but the math just doesn’t lie. Heaven, according to Isaiah 30:26, is where “the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold as the light of seven days.” Taken as read, Heaven receives from the moon as much radiation as the earth does from the sun, and in addition 49 times more, meaning fifty times in all. Using the Stefan-Boltzmann fourth power law for radiation [(H/E)4 = 50 where E is the absolute temperature of the earth 300°K (273+27)] gives the temperature of H (Heaven) as 525°C. Hell, according to Revelations 21:8 is where the “fearful and unbelieving shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.” Now here’s the fun part. A lake of molten brimstone (sulfur) means that its temperature must be at or below its boiling point, 444.6°C. Above that point and it’d be a vapor, not a lake. Heaven (525°C) is therefore hotter than Hell (<444.6°C).

It’s the cognitive equivalent of injecting warm chocolate directly into the hypothalamus, and since being published in Applied Optics (August, 1972) has become a favourite of godless (baby-eating) heathen’s eager, as always, to annoy bombastic biblical literalists. What isn’t as well known is that seven years later a convoluted rebuttal was published in the Journal of Irreproducible Results by a rather head-strong Dr. Tim Healey; a man determined to do whatever it took to re-establish the standard arrangement of these post-obituary destinations. His argument, and I’ll lighten the load here, stemmed from errors he saw in the calculation of Hells pressure; errors he stressed which would increase the boiling point of sulfur. Now, most don’t know it but Hell has a GPS location: 31°46′49″N 35°14′24″E / 31.78028°N 35.24000°E, otherwise known as the Jehoshaphat valley; a 7,000,000m2 Iron Age sacrificial pit-come-refuse-dump where sulfurous smelling fires were maintained around the clock to consume it. “Have we any data as to the pressure likely to be found in Hell?” asked Healey in 1979. “The answer is Yes. A 19th century mathematician [Neiht] has already provided the groundwork for us and we may feel confident that by the year 2000 the total number of the damned will be at least 29,422,641,251,519,917,000 souls.” There is a method to this glorious madness which can be perused here, but for our purposes let’s just say Healey went to great lengths to look at the Ideal Gas Equation and how it applied to the finite volume of the Jehoshaphat valley (Gehinnon), the gaseous component of the human body, the dynamics of electromagnetic repulsion, the proposed arrangement of souls in Hell (no more than two layers otherwise those in the middle layers would escape Hells full rigours), and ultimately how it all shifted the phase diagram of sulphur. And here’s his final calculations:

So that, the volume available in Gehenna is 60 x 106 x 2m2 and the original volume of the damned is 0.06 x 29.422641 x 1018m3, then, at constant temperature (which we assume, taking equilibrium) P1V1 = P2V2 or P2 = P1V1/V2 substituting (1) P2 [29 x 6 x 1016] / [2 x 6 x 107] = 14.5 x 109 atmospheres.

Now let us see what pressure is needed to liquefy sulphur vapour at 525°C. We have, using the Clausius-Cleypeyron equation in its integrated form, Log P = 7.43268 – 3268.2/T where P = Pressure in mm Hg and T = the elevated boiling point in °K, so that Log P = 7.43287 – 93268.2/798) = 3.3373813, whence, (2) P = 2174.607 mm Hg = 2.86 atmospheres.  (1)  is so much greater than (2) that Revelations 21:8 indicates a temperature very considerably higher than 525°C. Thus, Hell is hotter than Heaven.

Now thankfully for me and every other mathematically challenged individual on the planet this labyrinthine mess amounts to absolutely nothing as both calculations are, I’m happy to say, categorically wrong. Heaven and Hell have the same calefaction: 37°C… the temperature of the human brain where both mythological destinations are birthed, lived, and will ultimately cease to exist when the thermometer inside said gullible brain falls to room temperature.



150 thoughts on “Why don’t you just burn in Heaven!

  1. But you missed the point! Christians often argue that if we were to just accept Jesus as … etc., etc. we would live forever. But we are already going to live forever in their scheme of things. The only difference between the afterlifes of Christians and us heathens is … the weather report. (In Hell today we have a high of … etc.)

    So, I guess we should credit Christians for granting every one of us an infinite lifetime … of infinte torture: either buring in Hell or listening to hosannas at the feet of God. (Have you heard most people sing? Imagine the screeching. Unbearable.)


      • Seems much to do about nothing since the verse you mention has nothing to do about Heaven.

        Teacher says the prophecy of chapter 30 is related (as that in the foregoing chapter) to the approaching danger of Jerusalem and desolation’s of Judah by Sennacherib’s invasion. Here is I,

        1) A just reproof to those who, in that distress, trusted to the Egyptians for help, and were all in a hurry to fetch succours from Egypt, Isaiah 30:1-7.

        2) A terrible threatening against those who slighted the good advice which God by his prophets gave them for the repose of their minds in that distress, assuring them that whatever became of others the judgment would certainly overtake them, Isaiah 30:8-17.

        3) A gracious promise to those who trusted in God, that they should not only see through the trouble, but should see happy days after it, times of joy and reformation, plenty of the means of grace, and therewith plenty of outward good things and increasing joys and triumphs (Isaiah 30:18-26), and many of these promises are very applicable to gospel grace.

        4) A prophecy of the total rout and ruin of the Assyrian army, which should be an occasion of great joy and an introduction to those happy times, Isaiah 30:27-33.

        Teacher says Christians believe the Bible, for just one reason of many, that prophesies are fulfilled.

        Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: Isaiah 30:1


    • Stephen you say it so well. I think given most people can’t sing, unless there are choir masters in heaven, the songs will be sickening even to the most patient listener am hoping they will be located a little farther from hell


  2. Damn interesting and funny as usual John. This means, hell or heaven, we are still fucked under high temperatures, so why bother anyway going to heaven?


  3. Jehoshaphat valley? Ok let’s say I accept the premise that this is hell’s location. How, I wonder, did mr. Healy discover its whereabouts? Via science or is he a post-prophet times prophet type? Ie: #wheredotheyfindthesenutjobs


    • According to the notes in the paper: The valley of Jehoshaphat is the Gehenna of the Jews (Jehennam in the Koran)–the place of eternal torment. The word is derived from Gehinnom = the valley of Hinnom where sacrifices were offered to Moloch (2 Corinthians 33 6) (= Adremmelech–the God of Sepharvaim). In later times, all manner of refuse was dumped there and fires were constantly maintained to consume it. The sulfurous stench and the fire was the original of the Christian concept of Hell. (The estimate of Nieht of Gehenna’s area 60 × 106 sq. m. is wrong, according to measurements taken on the spot by the Editors).

      Of course, it’s total bullshit as everyone knows Hell is in fact Michelle Bachmann’s electoral district 😉


  4. What about thr global warming? It could make Heaven even hotter! And if additional greenhouse gases will make it to heaven too, they will capture the infrared radiation from Heaven’s surface heated by 50x the Solar radiation, so if Earth will warm by 5 degrees, Heaven could well heat up by couple of hundred degrees.
    On the other hand, Hell is underground, so global warming will have little impact there.


  5. I wonder when The Atheist finally drive home that final stake through the heart of God (which one, pick one), who from the apologetics or none apologetics for that matter is going to invent the next God. Will it be you John? If so I want heaven to be like Aruba in January. The temp there is awesome…Nice read man, nice read…


  6. Another well done expose of things that followers of the Abrahamic religions have upside down.

    Not to worry – it’s the body that has eternal existence. The atoms that make up the body that endure; the mind (commonly known as the soul), which was created by the brain, simply goes away when the brain is dead.

    Be that as it may, is it really fair to use arithmetic to discuss religion – there’s not really that much math in the bible, and I’m sure religious folk think ti unfair to use it when discussing these sorts of things.


    • Well, its fair game considering the authors got specific and described these places. I’m not making anything up, just adding it up 🙂

      Regarding atoms, i do hope one day we discover that minuscule amounts of information can be stored in atoms… tiny fingerprints of all the things it has been.


  7. I want to go to heaven. At the temperatures recorded for hell which are too cold for me, heaven seems to be the place with BBQ.
    And while we are at it, theologians wouldn’t tell their listeners that the heat in heaven will render their eternal existence impossible


  8. Mmmmmm ….the ultimate hedonistic fantasy of having warm chocolate injected right into the hypothalamus while yelling, “do the math you asshole faitheist”. Thanks for the mathematical proof.


  9. That’s a lot of math. What I don’t get is this “concentration of souls” thing. Aren’t souls supposed to be ethereal? Can they even have a place? How can a soul, which is immaterial, affect the pressure of anything? Or am I missing some Biblical point?
    Also, can souls get sunburned? What would they care about temperature anyway?


    • They must feel temperature, the bible uses it as why it’s punishment. Other than that, maybe they don’t feel temp, but the view might be better in heaven, all the sunshine vs. a dark cave. Then again, that sounds like a heck of a lot of sunshine, blindingly so I should think, and the caves of hell would be lit by a nice campfire. Hmm, not seeing the downside to hell really. Just as hot, not as blinding, better singing…


    • The assumption is, i guess, that the gaseous component of the human body is the soul. It get’s even weirder when Neiht does the math for how much space each soul needs. Some people, i think, have to much time on their hands.


  10. John, electricity hadn’t been harnessed by humans when Isaiah was written. The metaphor of light on demand must’ve seemed heavenly. I’m more like Albert Brooks in “Defending Your Life.” Just give me food, lotsa food…Leona Helmsley can have the pearl gates and gold streets, and Helen Keller the bright lights. Thanks for an interesting post.


    • Glad you liked it! When any religion starts to get specific (like this) they inevitably crumble under the weight of the lies they make up. First rule of religion: DON’T BE SPECIFIC! 🙂


      • so, “Love they neighbor” is out… ; ) That one is in all familiar religions, the Abrahamic,(yes, even Islam, Mr. Dawkins) the Buddhist and Hindu mainstreams, etc.

        “Let there be light.”


      • I don’t need religion to love my neighbour. In fact, by not having any religion i can love everyone… unlike the Christians who’re behaving very badly in the US at the moment.


      • Right on. Love of neighbor is a good value and can even be promoted as rational self-interest.

        Jesus called certain religious “snakes vipers hypocrites” and as Jewish scripture says, “As it is to this day.” Yeah I’m misquoting out of context lol. “Go thou and do likewise.”


      • Yup, Confucius came up with the golden rule, although in all honesty any 5-year old would pretty much nail it if asked “How should people behave?” And you’re right… it is actually quite selfish. No one benefits from chaos so its in our own self-interest to develop and employ stabilising moral/legal codes. It frustrates me to no end to hear theists try and claim without their god there’d be no moral structure. What a load of silly trollop! 🙂


      • I’ve lived in a few places. Met a few people. And, in my small sample of life, 99% of my acquaintances were more concerned with what I thought of them than ANYTHING else that pertains to me. And, I always got the sense that I need not tell them that I’d prefer not to be raped, beaten, stolen from or murdered.


  11. You know that phrase, “It’s heaven all the way to heaven, and hell all the way to hell.” It amuses me that people think heaven and hell are destinations outside of their own experience. I got lost in all the numbers at about line 5 of your post, but I’m sure it’s one more example along the lines of “nothing in the Bible is literal,” or should be interpreted that way, except maybe the lineages described in the OT as a foundation. People were paying attention to that sort of thing back then.


  12. To MixedupMeme:

    That was a nice poem you posted here, meme. I think it was posted at: April 2, 2013 at 11:59 am
    I will go back through all the comments here and check to make sure. 🙂


      • In case your new buddy doesn’t approve my comment:
        In case he doesn’t approve it:
        “Being able to use the phrase “plurium interrogationum fallacy” instead of something simpler like “trick question” or “complex question” is humorous in and of itself.
        So is your calling someone a New Atheist beta chump.
        You’ve created quite a novel, narcissistic defense around your 1950′s glass fortress of a point of view.”

        Feel free to clear this from your thread after you get it


      • Also put this on his about page

        Have you considered that Dostoekvsy was a REALIST & FICTION writer?

        I am not aware of any statement outside a work of fiction which would support that he “firmly believe[d] in the authority and power of the Church and the Holy Mysteries.”

        He was a brilliant writer & his work reflects the time & circumstances of his life.


  13. Whoa. So it won’t matter what I pack. It’s going to be hot either way (if I were to disagree with your final statement). Luckily, I agree with you. I am hoping that either there is a major brain cool-down soon or people wake the hell up. Heaven up? Heaven up sounds like a drink and I happen to have a Hpeech Impediment.


  14. Do you have any math to calculate the number of hot, sweaty homosexual men currently in Hell who are writhing and dancing naked to a sultry mambo beat? This is important and it’s going to directly influence the number of impure thoughts I have today, so take your time and let me know if you need my slide rule.


  15. I like this so much I’ve posted it on FB, my brother being the science and math nerd will appreciate this. You’re a clever so and so 🙂 There’s always something I’ve missed on your blog, like a little treasure trove of tricks, you never quite know when you’re gonna put your hand in a mouse trap. Guaranteed what ever you pull out of the bag it’ll be entertaining!


  16. Never mind all the clever math. What about this simple fact. If we were to move the earth 10,000 miles closer to the sun we would all fry and 10,000 mile away from the sun we would freeze. All your reading can never get around the fact that the earth is perfectly placed to sustain life. The sun is exactly the right size. And don’t get me on to how perfectly sized the moon is, 10% lager and we would be carried away by tsunami every night.


    • Lad, it’s hard to know if you’re being serious or not. If you are then you’re astoundingly stupid.

      Over the span of 365 days the earth drifts some 5 million kilometers closer or further from the sun. Or more accurately, between 152 million to 147 million kilometers.

      I think you’ll agree, 5,000,000,000km is quite a deal larger than 10,000km.

      And the moon is retreating away from us. Slowly, yes, but retreating nonetheless. 75 million years ago it was, in fact, 3,000 kilometres closer to the surface of the earth


  17. Yes if you believe the earth is millions of years old that’s great. Perhaps we both got our figures wrong there is only is only six zeros on that figur, but so much for your books you googled that. It was the first listing. Either way my millage might be out but the earth gets about 0.3% between the closest and furthest distance from the sun. So if you add the extra three 0’s you put on your figur to the the one I miss typed on mine I’m right about that and the moon.


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