Music is an extremely popular art form. It seems to be a cultural universal. People with disposable income are often major consumers of music. Not to mention radio and the Internet.
The popularity of music makes all the more striking the diversity in musical taste. While some music lovers are fairly omnivorous in their musical taste, many music lovers are quite discriminating. One man’s music is another man’s noise. One man’s noise is another man’s music.
And this is representative of a broader phenomenon: it’s quite possible for two people to have the opposite reaction to the identical experience. Indeed, that’s rather common.
To someone with bad taste, good art is bad art and bad art is good art. Same thing with other matters of taste.
And that, in turn, raises an interesting possibility: one man’s heaven could be another man’s hell.
In pop culture, hell is depicted as the opposite of heaven. Hell is a torture chamber and all that good stuff. Fire and snakes and demons with pitchforks. The negation of all that’s good.
But, in principle, hell could be a lot like heaven–for a large part of what makes something pleasant or unpleasant is not merely the objective experience, but the subjective taste of the individual.
The damned might find heaven distasteful because they have bad spiritual taste–like someone who can’t stand to hear a particular musical genre, or a particular musician or singer or instrument.
In that respect, hell wouldn’t have to be the opposite of heaven. Rather, the damned would have to be the opposite of the saints. The setting could be much the same for both. Even if hell were a duplicate heaven, heaven might well be hellish to the damned.
I’m not, of course, stating this to be the case. The details of heaven and hell are bound to be speculative to some degree. But, hypothetically speaking, you can lavish someone with the best of everything, and thereby make him utterly miserable if, in his inverted scale of values, good is bad and bad is good.