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Thread: Why do people believe in hell?

  1. Top | #431
    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    In the NT, god is clearly described as being the source of suffering for those who wouldn’t make the cut at judgement.

    It’s that simple.
    A statement which you have made several times but have not, yet, been able to convincingly quantify.
    Premiss - God enforces His will / punishes unrepentant evil / hell etc.
    Premiss - Hell is sufficiently unpleasant that it entails suffering for its inhabitants.
    Faulty conclusion - God causes the suffering in hell.

    The suffering of people in hell, being punished for their crimes, does not equate to God
    "creating evil." It's not objectively 'evil' to put criminals behind bars and even if it were, the fact of criminals being in jail isn't something we would blame on the police. The police don't cause the suffering of prison life.

  2. Top | #432
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    In the NT, god is clearly described as being the source of suffering for those who wouldn’t make the cut at judgement.

    It’s that simple.
    A statement which you have made several times but have not, yet, been able to convincingly quantify.
    Premiss - God enforces His will / punishes unrepentant evil / hell etc.
    Premiss - Hell is sufficiently unpleasant that it entails suffering for its inhabitants.
    Faulty conclusion - God causes the suffering in hell.

    The suffering of people in hell, being punished for their crimes, does not equate to God
    "creating evil." It's not objectively 'evil' to put criminals behind bars and even if it were, the fact of criminals being in jail isn't something we would blame on the police. The police don't cause the suffering of prison life.
    1. God made the decision to curse every human with a fallen nature, and humans have no choice in the matter. Humans are being punished for crimes they did not commit, crimes that happened before they were born. This is wrong, and even flawed humans realize that.

    2. God programmed us to be sinners, but he expects us to act like saints. This is an absurd requirement, and wrong.

    3. You characterize Hell as being "sufficiently unpleasant". Christian theology describes Hell as a place where humans are subject to constant torture. Civilized nations do not torture people who are convicted of crimes, because even flawed humans understand that torturing people is wrong.

    4. Humans do not imprison convicted people forever. At worst, they serve life sentences which end when they die. Humans sent to Hell spend eternity in Hell. Their punishment never ends. This is wrong.

    5. The God of the Bible is a monster. The Bible describes many atrocities God has inflicted upon humans. But God doesn't get punished. God doesn't hold himself to the standard of behavior he uses to judge humans. This is wrong.

    6. All humans have to do to avoid divine punishment (Hell) is to repent, and get on their knees and accept God as their Lord and master. No matter what crimes they have committed, they always have a get-out-of-jail-free card that requires only that they suck up to the judge. This is injestice, and even flawed humans understand that.

  3. Top | #433
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    In the NT, god is clearly described as being the source of suffering for those who wouldn’t make the cut at judgement.

    It’s that simple.
    A statement which you have made several times but have not, yet, been able to convincingly quantify.
    Premiss - God enforces His will / punishes unrepentant evil / hell etc.
    Premiss - Hell is sufficiently unpleasant that it entails suffering for its inhabitants.
    Faulty conclusion - God causes the suffering in hell.

    The suffering of people in hell, being punished for their crimes, does not equate to God
    "creating evil."
    Those that are in hell are able to set the conditions in hell...so it's within their power to transform hell into a pleasant environment?

  4. Top | #434
    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
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    Why Do Christians Believe in Hell?
    https://www.thecatholicthing.org/202...lieve-in-hell/
    Critiquing David Bentley Hart's article in the New York Times earlier this month...
    (The catalyst for this thread)

    "...The Catena Aurea, or “golden chain,” is St. Thomas Aquinas’ remarkable stitching together of commentaries by the Fathers on the Gospels, to produce a single running commentary. It provides a balanced view of authoritative teaching by the Fathers on Scripture. I would start with Mt. 25:46, because that is a proof text for the existence Hell: if anything ever counts as a proof-text, it must be those words from one of Jesus’ own parables."

    Hart thinks hell is an abstraction and a translation error and he accuses billions of Christians of malice asserting they take a morbid delight in setting themselves above others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hart via the NYT
    The idea of eternal damnation is neither biblically, philosophically nor morally justified. But for many it retains a psychological allure.

  5. Top | #435
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Never mind what is stated about eternal torment in scripture? That doesn't count? David Bentely Hart has the final say?

  6. Top | #436
    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
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    Well I don't agree with him, no.
    Matthew 25:46 says eternal life. Jesus doesn't employ two different meanings of "eternal" or "everlasting" - one for eternal salvation and a different one for eternal damnation.

  7. Top | #437
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    "Ever-lasting" is definitely not a good translation. Anaeon (the word in question) is a statement of quality, not a measure of duration. An aeon was an Age, or Lifespan, an extended but limited period of existence. In other ancient texts, it can refer to a huge span of time, like the length of a dynasty, or just to an individual's lifetime. The whole time that something exists. It's an an adjectival form here, so we don't have a direct equivalent to this word in English; maybe something like "Agely", or even just "aged"?

    So reversing to Aneon it gives you a literal meaning of something akin to "ageless" or "non-aging". Something without a natural lifespan. It often has the implied meaning of "immortal" in classic texts, the same adjective you might use to describe the Olympian gods in a work of Hellenistic philosophy. "Eternal" isn't wrong, but its sense is slightly different.

    In Gnostic Christianity, the Aeons were quasi-personified manifestations of the God, pure concepts that had primevally divided from the Godhead, easier to understand if you already know something about Neoplatonist philosophy: in their lowest layers, the aeons had become confused layers of materiality in which humanity had become trapped, forgetting our own true natures as sons and daughters of God. "Aeon-less" from this perspective means "freed from the Aeons", ie, having transcended the material world and unified with God again beyond the confines of the physical universe entirely.

  8. Top | #438
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    The same word is used in reference to salvation/eternal life in heaven and damnation and torment. Either both are eternal or neither are eternal.

  9. Top | #439
    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
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    Yes.
    It's meaningless to have a literal definition for eternal salvation but a figurative, abstract meaning when talking about eternal damnation.

  10. Top | #440
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Are you two arguing against an imaginary opponent?

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