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Do babies deserve hell?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Green Gaia, Jul 15, 2006.

  1. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Not to give you too hard a time (since you're new and all ;) ),but you previously stated, "As I understand it, those that carry out immoral, evil actions will go to hell and those that are morally sound will go to heaven." Surely you're not saying that anyone who sins in any way is destined to spend eternity in Hell? If that were the case, I don't think anybody'd end up in Heaven. Wouldn't you agree?
     
  2. alex-f

    alex-f Member

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    No I don't think so. If a person, no matter what age, is aware that they are doing something wrong then they are culpable. In my example, the action was not immoral as the child did not understand stealing to be wrong.
     
  3. alex-f

    alex-f Member

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    I put the term very losely, which I am guessing people don't like here ;) No of course I do not think a person is doomed upon the first immoral action they undertake, otherwise yes your quite right. I was only using the general idea that immoral people go to hell, the moral people go to heaven, the idea as to how many immoral things you can get away with etc. wasn't really my point, it was that an immoral action is only so if knowingly undertaken.
     
  4. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Yeah, we can really be sticklers for things like that. :D

    I'd have to agree with you that sin is the intentional choice to do something you know is wrong. Consequently, babies and small children do not have the ability to sin; it would follow that they cannot go to Hell.
     
  5. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    In the Baha'i Faith our belief is that children are under the special protection of God and we do not accept the concept of original sin... So the children are not held responsible.... The adults are responsible as it is their function and responsibility to educate children.

    "As to the subject of babes and infants and weak ones who are afflicted by the hands of oppressors: This contains great wisdom and this subject is of paramount importance. In brief, for those souls there is a recompense in another world and many details are connected with this matter. For those souls that suffering is the greatest mercy of God. Verily that mercy of the Lord is far better and preferable to all the comfort of this world and the growth and development of this place of mortality. If it be the will of God, when thou shalt be present this will be explained in detail by word of mouth."

    (Tablets of Abdul-Baha, pp. 337-338)


    Question:

    What is the condition of children who die before attaining the age of discretion, or before the appointed time of birth?

    Answer.

    "These infants are under the shadow of the favour of God; and as they have not committed any sin, and are not soiiled with the purities of the world of nature, they are the centres of the manifestation of bounty, and the Eye of Compassion will be turned upon them."

    ('Abdu'l-Bah‡, Some Answered Questions, Chapter 66)
     
  6. Simon Gnosis

    Simon Gnosis Active Member

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    A supreme question.

    One that I would answer thusly.

    No one goes to hell.

    Not even Hitler.

    God does not play sadistic power games with His own creations.
    If God is judging his own creations then he judges himself, so he may as well throw himself into the fire as well.

    In fact if we did have such a psychotic monster for a God then I would choose Hell over Heaven.
    I would rather burn for all eternity then spend one milli second with such a vile and repulsive God in heaven.

    This is the basis for my fundamental hatred of orthodoxy.
     
  7. uumckk16

    uumckk16 Active Member

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    I'm sorry, I know this is off topic, but I don't understand where the justification for original sin is if children are pure. Doesn't original sin mean all people are born sinners? And therefore children are not pure, and must be baptized? Maybe I have my theology all wrong :eek:

    As for the OP...I don't believe in Hell, but if I did, I agree with whoever said that at some point Hell wouldn't be a just punishment even for people like Hitler. And so it certainly wouldn't be a just punishment for a baby (I do believe babies are born pure).
     
  8. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    God isn't cruel; we know that from Jesus' teachings.


    The pastor needs educating; he also sounds as if he needs educating.
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/tc/2005/001/11.15.html
    Q. I have a friend who was taught that when babies die before they can be baptized, they go to hell. Are there any Bible verses about this? How can I help him?

    —Kerrie Clark, via e-mail
    A. Kerrie, this idea was initially expounded by St. Augustine (d. 430), the most popular Church Father among Western Christians. He interpreted Romans 5:12 to mean that every human is born bearing the guilt of Adam's sin, and termed this "Original Sin." (Eastern Christians dispute this interpretation, and claim Augustine was using a bad translation.) Since Augustine believed that the guilt of Original Sin could only be removed by the sacrament of baptism, anyone who died unbaptized would face the unavoidable penalty: damnation.

    Augustine examines John 3:36, contrasting believers and non-believers, and asks, Which category do infants belong to? If we include baptized infants with the faithful, then the unbaptized must be unbelievers. They "will have to encounter what is written concerning such—they shall not have life, but the wrath of God abideth on them." Augustine added that they would face "the mildest condemnation of all," a proposed realm called "Limbo."

    No one is required to accept these views of Augustine. The Holy Scriptures should be our final authority, and anyone who pushes beyond its boundaries in a quest for further understanding can make mistakes. That goes for the historic Church Fathers as well as for today's believers. Perhaps 2 Corinthians 5:10 is a good verse to consider on this issue.
    In light of this teaching, I think we can be assured that Christ's grace will be extended to babies in a special way.

    There is no doubt in my mind that unbaptised infants will go straight into heaven; if I knew God would turn them away, I would turn away from God myself.
     
  9. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    No, you don't have your theology all wrong. Some Christians believe in the doctrine of Original Sin, and others do not. Personally, I think it's ridiculous. Nobody is born guilty of anything. We figure out soon enough how to sin, and once we do, we become sinful. But it is impossible to sin without first having a knowledge of the difference between right and wrong. Obviously, babies and small children don't have that knowledge. You'll have to find someone who believes that doctrine to try to make sense of it for you, 'cause I sure wouldn't be able to.
     
  10. egroen

    egroen Member

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    This is but one of the many inherent problems with a literal interpretation of the Bible and the concept of original sin.

    I think the bible gives more evidence that anyone who does not accept Jesus as their savior goes to hell. No exceptions are made, whether that person lives in a remote village in africa and never hears of Jesus or that person dies in infancy. To argue evidence to the contrary involves apologetics, extrapolation and pretzel twisting of the highest order.

    Psalm 51:5: "Surely, I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me."
    Psalm 58:3: "Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies."
    Romans 3:10: "There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God."
    Proverbs 20:11: "Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right."
    John 14:6: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

    Only the rise of rationalism and enlightenment have prompted some but not all Christian sects to go against clear biblical teaching and the precedent of Church teaching by suggesting that babies are exempt from these draconian policies.

    -Erin
     
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  11. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    Babies do not deserve hell.




    Two different hell-realms are taught in the Tibetan tradition, and these are only temporary occupied by entities that went there under their own merits (or lack thereof). One has to have done truly wicked acts with cruel intentions - and then make no attempts to rectify their actions with reparations or compassion...........to wind up there. Babies are not capable of committing evil. Therefore, they will go through the Bardos again, as per their karmic imprints, and then choose where their next incarnation will be to help work out their karma in order to find enlightenment.




    What a sad and egoistic answer a pastor would give to a grieving couple that would plant the image in their minds that their lost infant child is being tortured forever. I do not agree with this answer. It is not an answer that is meant to counsel and bring comfort. It is an answer that intentionally grasps to an arbitrary "truth" and also feels compassion is not needed.




    Peace,
    Mystic
     
  12. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    I've always made it a point not to speak in a certainty or confident tone when talking about someone's else's beliefs. Maybe it's just me, but I try to have respect for the very reason that I may just be misunderstanding what they mean. And even if I did, I can't remember calling LDS beliefs ridiculous. Oh well......:(

    From the Catholic Cathecism,

    405 Although it is proper to each individual,295 original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin.

    So what is it about this that you don't understand? :confused:

    ~Victor
     
  13. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Quite; personally, I think the pastor ought to be put out to pasture; teaching the way he does is no benefit to anyone (except presumably to his own conscience, believing the distorted and hurtful things he is saying).

    Poor guy.
     
  14. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Victor, I made a point of not mentioning any denomination in particular. Why do you mention mine by name when there are many others besides mine who don't accept the doctrine of Original Sin? I merely said that some do and some don't, and stated my own opinion of it. I find it ridiculous because it flies in the face of reason. If a baby is believed to be born anything other than pure and clean, it is incumbant upon those who believe this to be the case to tell me what sin he or she is guilty of. Is he guilty of sins he may commit as he grows older? Of course not. Then is he to be held accountable for Adam's sin? Why would a loving parent punish an innocent child for some sin committed by an older sibling?


    I believe I understand it fairly well. I just don't agree with it. I don't believe that any newborn baby is in any way, shape or form deprived of holiness. If I am misinterpreting this official statement, and it means only that we are born "inclined to sin," I can't help but wonder why infant baptism is practiced. Throughout the scriptures, baptism is consistently mentioned as going hand in hand with repentence. I'm afraid I can't help but wonder what a newborn baby has to repent of.

    On the other hand, LDS scripture states that "the natural man is an enemy to God." That's not too far a cry from what Catholics believe, is it? It's just that we don't believe that "the natural baby is an enemy to God."

    At any rate, it was not my intention to offend. I'm sure that you would find some of my beliefs ridiculous for the simple reason than you may not fully understand the rationale behind them. Perhaps if I understood why anyone would believe that a baby is "deprived of holiness" I would be more sympathetic to the doctrine.
     
  15. uumckk16

    uumckk16 Active Member

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    Thanks for the response :) I know not all Christians believe in original sin, but it seems most if not all denominations perform (if not require) baptisms. What's the point of a baptism if one doesn't believe in original sin? The LDS even perform baptisms for the dead, correct? Why?

    Sorry to be so off topic :) As always, I am simply curious...

    Edit: Sorry, after I posted this I was thinking about LDS doctrine and it occurred to me that children are not baptized until the age of 8...so I suppose you believe that by that time they are guilty of sins, as are those who died without baptism? That makes more sense, I understand now.
     
  16. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    Reading this, it occured to me that there's the Bible verse that states the sins of the fathers are visited unto the 3rd and 4th generation. It doesn't say they get visited in perpetuity.

    Well, that's just more of a passing comment anyway. It's not like I have any dog in this fight. :D

    Is a newborn or even a one-year old even capable of repentance?
     
  17. Fluffy

    Fluffy A fool

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    Hell is eternal suffering. I can't think of anything that would warrant an infinite punishment except an infinite crime and I have never know a person to commit such a thing.

    It is an infinite scale and that tends to bunch all of humanity's crimes into one small portion right near "innocent". Compared with infinity, rapists and murderers only deserve hell a tiny bit more than babies do.

    Perhaps it can be used to aid in removing the inclination towards sin.
     
  18. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    If I said "progressive revelation" is just ridiculous, hogwashing, blankity blank blank would I have to mention LDS for you to find that a tad offensive?

    I don't mind "not accepting", but since I paint faces of everybody I talk to, I can't help but see Katzpur and attach wonderful images that I have of you. So it does differ on my side with the reality that I feel a tad closer to you and that I don't mind you "not accepting" (which I was already aware of). But was surprised to have you use such a tone. What can I say, it now hurts more when you say something versus someone else. :sad:

    Beats me. Ask someone who holds to that.

    Then why not ask that question instead?

    For someone who does not submit to the Bible Alone, I often wonder why you would insist for those of us that don't submit to such a doctrine to have every detail in the Bible when I, James, Scott, and others have made it clear that we submit to Holy Tradition. Nonetheless, you'd have to convince us where it clearly indicates babies shouldn't be baptized.

    Those isn't a word I'd use but understand what you mean. But just so you know, one can be ignorant, deprived, and even corrupted and still be justified in the eyes of God.

    No, I would just say "I don't understand them" or "I disagree". But I guess that's just me. Just surprised it came from you is all. I usually look to you to get proper understanding and to have civil discussions without mudslinging.
    You understood it enough to call it "ridiculous".

    Peace be with you,

    ~Victor
     
  19. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Just so that I don't derail Maize's thread, would you mind starting a new one to discuss this question? Seriously, I'd love to be able to explain our position, but I'm afraid that my explanation would just end up raising more questions and I think the question of whether or not babies deserve Hell is important enough that I don't want us to get sidetracked. I don't care if you start it on the LDS discussion forum or on one of the debate forums. It's up to you. :)
     
  20. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    According to the Latter-day Saints, no. We hold the age of accountability to be eight years. Obviously, a child that is younger than that knows that if mom says, "Don't hit your brother," he's not supposed to hit his brother. But does he really have an understanding of why he's not supposed to hit his brother -- other than that mom will punish him? I don't think he really does.
     
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