Since the news broke that Robin Williams had ended his life, there’s been a particularly weird notion spreading around parts of the Internet – “Are Robin Williams and Adolph Hitler both in hell?”
Now, first off, I have to make it clear that I do not believe heaven or hell are actual real places. When a body dies, the person is dead, no further consciousness at all. If heaven or hell could be anything at all, I would say they are both just states of mind, and not just voluntary states of mind as if we could just pick and choose.
The idea that Williams and Hitler would be in hell at all is simply ridiculous, but it stems from the fact they both ended their own lives. They committed suicide. In the eyes of some, this is an unforgivable sin and warrants eternal punishment.
The idea that ANY single act or thought committed in this finite and temporal life could somehow warrant infinite and eternal punishment confounds any rational person’s sense of justice.
In my mind, it makes a LOT more sense to look at a person’s overall legacy, the composite body of a life accomplished.
Hitler’s legacy is one of murder and violence. Williams’ legacy is one of joy and laughter.
A note I read elsewhere suggested that Hitler took his life and ended up in hell, while Williams took his life to end the hell he was already in.