tperrymandias writes: The bible says that the dead are conscious of nothing at all, so then can you torment some one in a burning hell forever, if they are unconscious? “For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5)
Personally, I do not believe that this scripture is meant to teach us that, once we die, we are unconscious of everything around us. This is certainly not what Jesus believed. In His teaching on Lazarus and the rich man, Jesus describes the condition of both men as the entered into Hades after their death.
“Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.’” (Luke 16:22-25)In this account, both men are very aware of their surroundings and are able to communicate, feel pain, and express emotions. Peter also reminds us that,
“Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah , during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.” (1 Peter 3:18-20)During the three days following Jesus’ death, He descended into Hades and preached the Gospel to those who had died before. Even the dead were given a chance to receive the Gospel. Three days later, when He rose from the dead, He took with Him those who believed. This is why many who had died were seen alive after Jesus’ resurrection. “The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.” (Matthew 27:52-53) I think this is what Paul meant when he said of Jesus, “He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.” (Ephesians 4:8) I believe that the captives He is talking about are those who had died and were being held in Hades. Either way, how could Jesus preach to those who where unconscious?
I believe that what King Solomon was trying to say is that the dead are unaware of what is happening among the land of the living. I honestly do not believe that my dead grandmother is in heaven looking after me. She is in heaven, but she is totally consumed with Jesus. There is, however, one who is watching out for me and that is Jesus.
I hope this helps.