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Is Hell a just punishment?

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by jorylore, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. jorylore

    jorylore Member

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    How can torturing in hell for eternity, a.k.a millions and millions of years, be just punishment for 70 or 80 years of wickedness. We're not talking about heinous crimes either. But living a life absent of God can be considered wicked. Can anyone give a reasonable explanationfor this unreasonable extreme punishment? I look forward to hearing from you all. :bounce
     
  2. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I sure can't. The notion of hell as a just punnishment is ridiculous.
     
  3. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Well from our point of view, the suffering of hell is a self-punishment rather than a punishment imposed on us by God. What you, therefore, see as the meaning of hell I would agree is unjust whereas I would argue that the Orthodox view of hell is indeed just, except that under these circumstances the concept of just punishment doesn't exactly mean a great deal.

    James
     
  4. jewscout

    jewscout Religious Zionist

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    i don't know that it is...that's why i don't believe in such a place
     
  5. Original Freak

    Original Freak I am the ORIGINAL Freak

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    Self punishment? I'm not choosing to punish myself? So by not choosing to believe in any of the many religions out there I'm choosing to punish myself in them all if one is actually right? Unless you know it's real, or believe it's real it is not a self punishment but one imposed on you.
     
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  6. Druidus

    Druidus Keeper of the Grove

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    Frubalistic OF.

    Hell is unjust in my eyes. I cannot agree with something like that, and must agree with OF.

    I have been given no reason, no evidence, no factual basis for a belief in heaven, or God/Jesus the divine being. To punish me for not believing something with little reason to do so (at least reason based in fact) is to punish one for mere ignorance.
     
  7. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    I'm sorry, but you clearly don't understand the Orthodox position. I didn't go into it here because I've written about it many times here on the forum but, in a nutshell, it's this. God doesn't punish anyone eternally. All God's punishments are pedagogical. Eternal punishment could not be such but could only be vengeful. Vengeance is bad but God is good and therefore vengeance plays no part. Neither heaven nor hell are places but they are states. Everyone gains eternal life in the presence of God's love. For those who love God this is wonderful and thus heaven. For those who hate God this love is unbearable and the fire of hell. Only by choosing to hate God, then, can you be consigned to hell. We do not know the state of a man's soul and do not limit God and therefore we cannot say whether those outside the Church (or even outside of Christianity) will be saved or damned. All we can say is that you have a better chance if you know the Truth of the Orthodox faith. It is quite conceivable then that you as an atheist might go to heaven as might a good Hindu, Buddhist or whatever. In fact Church Fathers spoke of Greek philosophers being likely saved. Not knowing about God will not land anyone in hell. Only those who actually wilfully reject God are certain to be damned (and to do that you would have to know God in the first place, surely?) This is why I say that speaking of just or unjust punishment is not really relevant to our view - it is not punishment at all, just the consequence of our disposition towards God once we finally arrive in His presence.

    James
     
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  8. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    I agree completely; I believe that people will be judged on how well they behaved, relative to their own conceptions of morals and religion. Anything other than that would make God 'cruel' and God is Love.:)
     
  9. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Hell is the absense of God.

    If you don't choose to be with God, you have then chosen to be without him.

    The weeping and anguish will not be from fire and such... it will be the anquish of an opportunity lost.

    God is light. Hell is darkness. Your choice to make, as I have my own choice to make.
     
  10. Druidus

    Druidus Keeper of the Grove

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    NetDoc, why would God expect me (on pain of eternal torture, instigated by the self or divine being, it makes no matter) to believe in her and cherish her with little to no evidence pointing me in that direction?
     
  11. jorylore

    jorylore Member

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    So are you saying that if I consider certain acts of immorality to be ok, for whatever reason, and not sinful, than God will judge me according to my understanding?
     
  12. ch'ang

    ch'ang artist in training

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    To me even the most vile people don't deserve to be tortured for eternity there is no person that I would ever willfully damn for eternity. Simply because eternity is a really really really long time. I can't even see an axe murder going to hell for eternity let alone a good person who dosn't beleive in god, to me a god that would do that is not worthy of praise.
     
  13. Original Freak

    Original Freak I am the ORIGINAL Freak

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    No I didn't understand the Orthodox position, and I'm not sure I ever will completely, but that was a very informative post and I'm much closer than I was...thank you.

    It's not really a debatable position though is it "We don't really know, but we're pretty sure those that don't hate god and are good get into heaven."
     
  14. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    No, because you have already damned yourself (so to speak) by calling them acts of immorality. What I am saying is that I believe that God would not hold it against you if you commited acts with some others might perceive as immoral, but you do not. And there's no good in running off saying 'Goody goody, I can be as naughty as I like', because God knows what is in your heart.:D
     
  15. joeboonda

    joeboonda Well-Known Member

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    The Bible says that God is not willing that anyone should perish, but that we all be saved. He originally made Hell for the devil and his fallen angels. He loved us soooo much that he sent his only begotten Son to die in our place. Jesus said it would be worse for some than for others in the day of judgement, inferring various degrees of punishment.

    Why is Hell eternal? Jesus said it was, for one. But here is the logic. Jesus(GOD on earth-Emanuel), is an infinte being so he suffered a finite amount of time for all our sins. If we reject his provision, then we being finite beings must suffer an infinite amount of time and still wont pay for our sins. Time began when God put the world in motion, and will cease after God makes the new heavens and new earth, we will then be in eternity, which is forever.

    Hell is a horrible thing to contemplate, but Jesus warned us of it more than he spoke of heaven, and he DIED for us so we don't have to go. Now if you hear the good news that God offers salvation as a TOTALLY FREE gift, and you do not heed the pleading of the Holy Spirit to accept the gift, and you die in your sins, there is nothing that can save you.

    We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God, how do you know, by the ten commandments. Have you ever told a lie, then youre a liar, have you ever stolen anything no matter how small? then you are a thief. Have you ever taken the Lord's name in vain? then you are a blasphemer, have you ever looked at a woman to lust after her? then you are an adulterer. So right there you are a lying, thieving, blaspheming, adulterer in God's eyes and he cannot let you into heaven. In James it says if we break one small part of the law (10 commandments) we are guilty of all. God cannot let anything unclean into heaven, it would be consumed by His Holy presence instantly. He offered His Son as a covering for our sins, His blood washes away all our sins, removes them as far as the east from the west, which is infinite. But we all have sinned, he paid for our sins, offerred it as a completely free gift, we only have to accept it. He only provided one way to come to him and that is through His Son. He gave us over 300 prophecies in the old testament about Jesus to prove Jesus is his Son, so we have no excuse.
     
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  16. robtex

    robtex Veteran Member

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    Netdoc for my clairty are you one who believes that God is everywhere (omnipresent)? If so how can one be in the absense of God. If not where is he not present in your estimation in the universe?
     
  17. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    I didn't mean for it to be a debatable position to be honest. I just wanted to point out that the idea of hell need not be unjust - I don't think the Orthodox view is unjust at all but I still pray that nobody will have to suffer God's love as an unquenchable fire.

    We don't say, however, "We don't know, but we're pretty sure..." etc as in your reply. We do know these things (not by any criterion an atheist would accept, though, I admit), we just don't know the destination of any given soul. We can make general statements such as, those who are good and love God will go to heaven, we just can't say who those good people are.

    James
     
  18. Original Freak

    Original Freak I am the ORIGINAL Freak

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    Yeah, I ad-libbed a bit.

    Is there anyone who thinks the eternal 'burning in hell' for sins on earth is a just punishment?
     
  19. true blood

    true blood Active Member

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    The picture painted in this thread of "hell" isn't even close in the Scriptures.
     
  20. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Rather than just saying 'You're wrong', why not offer your own opinion? Strangely, though, I don't believe that there is a picture of hell painted by this thread, seeing as most of us seem to disagree. Where do you think we are all going wrong, then?

    James
     
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