For my own part, I regard stories that involve people making a pact with the Devil, or an ever burning Hell pit of damnation, as suitable fodder for entertainment, but nothing else.
As a case in point, in the course of my research for Dark Sentiments 2011, I found the original, accept no substitutes, Dante’s Inferno Hell Test, the intro to which reads:
Welcome to the Dante’s Inferno Hell Test, the original and the best. This test, sponsored by the 4degreez.com community (the fine people who brought you the famous Personality Disorder Test), is based on the description of Hell found in Dante’s Divine Comedy. Answer the questions below as honestly as you can and discover your fate. Based on your answers, your purity will be judged and you will be banished to the appropriate level of hell. Abandon all hope.
The sponsoring site is described on its home page as, “… an interactive community for teenagers and twenty-somethings,” but I don’t think that’s accurate because it all worked fine for me. As far as the Hell Test goes, you have to have bought into the whole Christian belief system to make this work, which I pretended to do for the sake of tom foolery and finding out what results I got. As it turns out, I scored this:
Sixth Level of Hell – The City of Dis
You approach Satan’s wretched city where you behold a wide plain surrounded by iron walls. Before you are fields full of distress and torment terrible. Burning tombs are littered about the landscape. Inside these flaming sepulchers suffer the heretics, failing to believe in God and the afterlife, who make themselves audible by doleful sighs. You will join the wicked that lie here, and will be offered no respite. The three infernal Furies stained with blood, with limbs of women and hair of serpents, dwell in this circle of Hell.
There were also a selection of comparisons to show how my score matched up with all the levels of Hell. I was pleased to see I scored very low as compared with “Repenting Believers”, but more than a littler miffed to see I scored only moderately Lustful, but highly Gluttonous. Clearly this casts the test in doubt because I’m actually completely the other way around. I did score high on the Wrathful and Gloomy scale – I’m very wrathful but not really gloomy, my poetry notwithstanding. I scored very high as a heretic, and high for being violent, fraudulent, malicious, and treacherous.
Even though there is no way it can, or should, be scored, I decided it might be entertaining to give you all my truthful answers to the questions contained in the Dante’s Inferno Hell Test. Here we go.
Please select your gender: Too late. It came preselected.
Have you been attending religious worship lately? I’m in a state of spiritual communion 24/7, but not the way you mean.
Have you been known to dress provocatively to attract the attention of the opposite sex? I dress for me. I’ve noticed that I tend to attract the attention of the opposite sex, and it doesn’t stop there. Now for my Wife, I’ll dress as provocatively as she wants.
Do you own or plan to own a flashy sports car or an SUV? Flashy sports car no. SUV, since I live in a rural province that’s prone to shitty winter weather, maybe, but under protest. You know, you write questions like a city boy who thinks SUV’s are status symbols and only gangsters have guns.
Have you suffered suicidal thoughts? What does “suffer” mean in this context? Someone who is suffering may consider suicide as a means of relief, but I contest that simply thinking about suicide will cause suffering. In any situation, all possible options must be considered. Suicide is only one of them, and since suicide is a relatively rare choice, I would say that points to it rarely being the highest ranking one.
Have you been in any physical fights in recent years? Define recent. Does it have to be with another person? Honestly, my philosophy is that if you end up in a fight, you missed something, and if you end up in a fair fight, your tactics are the shits.
Have you ever cheated on a boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse? No, but I have been accused of it in a past life. Actually, now that you mention it, I once had a high ranking female municipal government official tell me privately that there was a rumour going around to the effect that she and I were having an affair. Now, I had actually heard that rumour myself and was nowhere near as scandalized by it as she clearly was. So I looked her in the eye and said, “I know. I started it.”
Do you believe in astrology, tarot cards, and fortune-telling? No. Do you?
Do you donate time or money to charities? Yes, but only in moderation.
Are you often very depressed? Why did you ask if I was often “very depressed” instead of just depressed? Is a regular state of depression better than one of very depression? “Very depression” – I just made that up, and no both ways.
Do you believe in God? Not the way you mean.
Have you stolen anything from an employer or friend? Nothing more than a peek.
Are you good at telling lies? Absolutely. If you’re a practicing Christian you should understand that.
Do you look at pornography? Yes, and when I find something really good I share it with my Wife. She does the same for me. Actually, she occasionally makes some for me.
Do you often lose your temper? No. Lucky you.
Do you consider food to be one of life’s finer pleasures? Food, no. Good food, yes.
Do you intentionally cause harm to yourself? No, although as you can clearly see, I occasionally waste my time.
Do you intentionally cause harm to others, or to animals? Define “harm”. I hunt, but never for sport, and there are some who would consider the short but inevitably violent moment preceding death of the prey to be due to intentional harm inflicted by the hunter. If you mean do I revel in causing pain in people or animals, I would answer absolutely never in animals, and as to people, I take them on a case by case basis.
Do you tend to hoard your money and possessions? If I had to pick up and go, what I value wouldn’t take up much space, and the most important things can walk under their own power. There is a Chinese saying that goes, “In the course of a long life, the wise man will be prepared to abandon his luggage several times.” As far as hoarding money goes, you have to have it before you can hoard it.
Are you loyal to your friends and family through good times and bad? Yes I am. It’s damn near a super power.
Have you had sex or do you plan to have sex before marriage? Marriage is created by the mind of Man, the mating and sex drive by Nature. What do you think?
Do you think science and logic represent the pinnacle of human understanding? Not even close.
Do you use God’s name in vain (ex. “God damn it,” “Oh my God”)? Abso-fucking-lutely, although those examples are a little light in the loafers for my daily needs. I would only use those if I was addressing a group of retired Sunday school teachers.
Do you enjoy violent movies and video games? Enjoy? Some days they’re necessary.
Have you been to a strip club? Yes, but I was on a security operation. Didn’t expect that, did you?
Do you read scripture? Not for the sake of reading it, no. However, I have in the past. Right now I’m reading Game of Thrones. It’s a lot better written and more believable.
Do you like to “live large”? Is that like driving a hot sports car and an SUV at the same time? No.
Have you wished bad things upon your fellow countrymen? Wishing it is a waste of time. There’s only reveling in it when it happens to the deserving ones, or helping fate along. Oh, and I think you should know, that “fellow countrymen” thing is way too limiting.
Have you ever attempted suicide? Never.
Do you give food or money to beggars? No. In fact, I once had a guy come up to me and my Wife in a Halifax street and promise to go home if I gave him money. Home? He wasn’t even properly homeless!
Do you believe it is your right to indulge yourself with every last dollar you earn? Every last dollar I earn doesn’t belong to me.
Have you recently done something that you’ve criticized others for doing? No. And why are you only interested in “recently”?
Have you ever visited or called a psychic? Not unless they were a client, in which case I not only visited or called them, I sent them a bill afterwards.
Do you repent for your sins? Never. I’m quite proud of them actually, and some of them are on my Wife’s list of faves!
Do you love to shop for yourself, even when you don’t need anything new? Not for myself, but as far as shoes, dresses, lingerie, and other such things, I love to escort my Wife while she does it.
Do you consider living a virtuous life to be one of your top goals? One needs to be able to look one’s self in the eye. For me that’s not a goal, it’s where I live.
Do you believe in an afterlife? This isn’t the first time it’s been obvious you and I are speaking a different language even though the words we’re using sound the same. Not the way you mean.
Do you “hate” a lot of people? No. Only a select few, and while none are worth any action on my part to remove them from this mortal coil, each one should hope that if their life is ever in need of saving, I’m not the only other person around.
Have you ever taken pleasure in someone else’s misery? When it’s deserved, of course! If their misery really bothered me all that much I’d put them out of it.
Do you have any pagan religious beliefs? If by that you mean “non-Christian”, I have nothing but, you pompous posturing bastard!
Have you ever lent money to someone and charged them interest or expected some “extra” in return? You mean like a blow job? No.
Have you ever engaged in sodomy (non-standard sex)? You have a broader definition of sodomy than I do. Define “standard sex” as you see it. I’m interested because quite sure the sex my Wife and I consider “standard” for us would kill most mortals.
Have you ever tricked someone into thinking you were someone whom you are not? Yes, and they asked for it.
Have you ever seduced someone, only to lose interest soon after? No. I have always limited my seductions to interesting people.
Can you see yourself engaging in treason against your country? I would not spy against my country for another, but the term “treason” is a dangerously fluid one, and can be applied to the observance of laws as well. My country is not the political construct that goes by the same name, so I direct my allegiance accordingly.
Do you eat at restaurants several times a week? If I’m on the road, regrettably yes. It gives me gas.
Are you ever attracted to members of your same sex? I have absolutely no difficulty recognizing the sexual attractiveness of a person of the same sex as me. Not quite the answer you were going for, eh Tex?
Have you ever gotten someone drunk, tricked someone, or used some other underhanded means to try to initiate sexual activity for you or for a friend? I only get laid the old fashioned way – by deserving it.
Would you sooner go without sex than go without good-tasting food? What kind of a fucking stupid question is that? Would you like to go through life missing your right or your left testicle?
Are you a “penny pincher”? I’m cheap, but I’m not stingy.
Have you ever been intimate with a member of your same sex? It hasn’t escaped my notice that you’re hoping I’m at least bisexual. Forget it. You’re not my type.
Do you hate yourself? Please. You have seen my Wife, have you not?
Do you often touch yourself in an impure manner? Please refer to the answer I gave to the previous question.
Have you ever intentionally given bad advice? Yes. I once sent an asshole driver from Quebec, who had nearly run me off the road three times in one day, to a desolate coastal point to wait for a ferry to Halifax that didn’t exist. I hope the cocksucker is still there.
Are you overweight? You make me laugh.
Think about some of the sinful or wrong things you’ve done in the past. Do you foresee yourself continuing to do these things? Only the most enjoyable ones. I like to leave room for new things.
Do you make an effort to consume less resources (i.e. electicity, gasoline, plastic, glass, paper, etc.)? More than just an effort.
Could you picture yourself assassinating someone or ordering an assassination on someone if it meant that you would become very rich and powerful? Also even if it wouldn’t make me rich and powerful.
Through God, all things are possible. False. I’m not buying what you’re selling.
In war, the best idea is to bomb the hell out of the other country. False. In war, the best thing is to win. Bombs don’t win wars.
People are poor because they deserve to be, and should be given no help. False. Poor people are no more deserving of being poor than most rich people are rich because they deserve to be rich. Nevertheless, the states of rich and poor have an inertia that makes them tend to stay the way they are, and only the application of significant energy can change that.
Morals are relative. False. Morals are morals for each person because each must live by their own code. Thus, morals are personal, not fluid. Truth, on the other hand, is both relative and fluid.
It’s okay to punch someone if they “have it coming.” True. Of course, but unless you’re well practiced, punching anything hard, like a head, can break bones in your hand. And no, I am not hereby declaring that I am an abusive person. People can, really, have it coming. You for example.
Religion is fiction. True. Religion is about control. A belief and deeply held faith may prove to be wrong, but that doesn’t make them fiction.
Some people, such as Nostradamus, are able to predict future events. False. Bullshit.
It’s okay to cut a family member out of your life if they have done something that you strongly disagree with. True. In my case it’s not done lightly, and the transgression needs to be truly, unconscionably heinous. That’s how I got myself an ex-sister.
Rich men and women deserve every penny and should spend or save their wealth as they wish. I refuse to grade this one because I couldn’t care less unless they piss in my soup.
It is acceptable to use false flattery to get ahead. True. It’s also acceptable for a woman to use her physical charms. Remember what I said about a fair fight?
Hammering away on scandals is a good way to damage those with whom you disagree politically. False. Requiring public figures to have closets that are skeleton free has left us with the past eunochs we get to vote for today.
A pimp is a good thing to be. False. If that were true, they would outnumber whores. Plus, I understand it’s hard out here for those guys.
Fasting is a way of expressing religious conviction that you have chosen or would gladly choose. False, and bugger that.
Some people just deserve to die. True. However, taking the initiative on this one can have unforeseen and far reaching consequences.