I think most people here will agree with me that the idea of hell is one of the most evil
and poisonous ideas human beings have ever come up with. The idea of Gandhi being
tortured for all eternity simply because he had the wrong beliefs or belonged to the wrong group will immediately strike any decent person as disgusting and totally unjust, and any God that does such things is a monster.
However, many (most?) fundamentalist Christians continue to believe in hell, or at least
they say they do. I think the main reason for this is that this type of Christianity is
based on what Lakoff calls strict father morality, and so these people just feel that
the idea of hell is essential to keep themselves in check, to make for a good social order, and to scare and threaten people into becoming Christians.
But on the other hand the idea of hell will always put off a large number of people, so that this kind of Christianity will never be universally accepted. So if they really want to
convert everyone, might they not be better off trying to get rid of this idea even though
they find it useful in many ways?