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Eternal Damnation

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Unicorny, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. Unicorny

    Unicorny Warlord

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    Is conscious eternal torment morally justified?

    Framework for the Debate

    This framework addresses the main presuppositions which will form the guidelines for contention - everyone must agree on them to indulge in the debate.

    • God is True. God is One; Eternal; Absolute; Infinite; He begetteth not nor is He begotten. And there is none like Him.
    • Hell Fire is an eternal conscious torment and real.
    • God both knows what will happen whilst people still having Free Will (Molinism)
    • Human Beings have a Soul that exists eternally and is connected to the physical body (Dualism)
    • Only intentional sin is weighed, unintentional sin is not. For example, the unlearned would not be punished because it is unintentional whereas people who know about the religion and go against guidelines would be punished.

    Given these presuppositions, both supporters and opponents alike may argue for or against the resolution (Is Eternal Torment Morally Justified?).

    I will start: Eternal torment is morally justified given the above presuppositions.

    Status and Morality

    My first contention focuses on the severity of sin based on the status of the being it is being directed towards. This falls in line with general moral intuitions. Surely, the immorality felt by killing an ant or a fly is much different than that of another human since the status of the human is higher than that of the ant or fly. The argument doesn't require societal structures at all.

    Now when we consider God, a being of infinite greatness and supremacy the level of immorality rises to infinity. Many times when committing sins, believers are encouraged to not think of the weight of the sin but the greatness of the one we are transgressing: do not look at the smallness of the sin, rather look at the greatness of the One Whom you have disobeyed. Since the more serious a crime is the more serious its punishment should be, all sin against God merits an infinite punishment.

    An important consideration with this idea of the level of immorality increasing with higher status is the intentionality of the sin. For example, hitting someone with your car by accident rather than on purpose is much less immoral or even amoral rather than the latter.

    Only intentional sin will be counted as was agreed upon in the framework. An intentional sin would be someone who has heard the message of God, its guidelines, and freely transgresses them. People who have never heard the message of God will not be condemned to eternal damnation for their unintentional sins.

    Consequences of Sin

    While my first contention argues that all sin (given people who have heard of God's message) merits an infinite punishment based on status, this contention shows that some sins based on their consequences merit an eternal punishment.

    Many people who reject or who are critical of the teaching of the eternal nature of hell often say that the amount of sins are finite and thus doesn't warrant an eternity in hell. However, what they seem to focus on is the time aspect of the sin rather than their consequences. While an act of sin maybe temporal, the effects of some sins have eternal consequences.

    For example, consider heinous sins such as rape or murder. The consequences on the mind/soul of those affected by murder and rape are permanent for all those who have been involved. Since these crimes are arguably are primarily on the mind, their consequences are everlasting. Considering the agreed upon framework of this debate, the soul continues to exist after death and as such the effects continue to last until God relieves them. Murder of an innocent is has an eternal and permanent result, as a terminated life cannot be brought back, ever.

    Irrespective of whether the damage is repaired, the punishment should be eternal. An analogy to illustrate, suppose one who was stabbed by another person was hospitalized and brought back to good health in a reasonable span of time. Simply because the pain and damage caused has been repaired, it doesn't mean that the one who wronged doesn't pay the punishment anymore. In fact, they still would pay the same penalty regardless of whether the victim was healed or not. Similarly, because the one whom sin with eternal consequences has been inflicted upon is relieved it doesn't mean the one who has committed the sin is also relieved.

    Free Will

    This contention shows that Hell is ultimately a choice made by the individual and not be blamed upon God. According to God's message, this entire life is a test, it is a preparation for the next life to come. Those who are righteous and freely follow the guidelines of God's message (after hearing the message) whilst constantly repenting for their inevitable wrong doings will attain paradise and those who choose to not (after hearing the message) will reap the results of their evil deeds, eternal damnation.

    There is an important distinction that needs to be made when I say that one chooses to go to hell. Many times, a person would object that it is inconceivable that one would choose to go into a burning fire eternally. However they are forgetting that hell fire is a choice not in the direct sense but in an indirect one, it is a consequence of rejecting the teachings and moral guidelines of God's message. When one chooses to freely reject God's Message, they are simultaneously choosing hell. This is what is meant, and it is in this way that hell fire is a choice made by the individual.

    Conclusion


    In conclusion, an eternal hell is justified because of the infinite severity of intentional sin due to the infinite status of God. Some sins are indeed infinitely severe due to their everlasting consequences on the soul of an individual and finally, hell fire is essentially an indirect choice made by an individual when they freely choose to reject the message of God. All these reasons strongly support the doctrine of an eternal hell.
     
  2. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    Fine.

    So I'm damned for all eternity. This doesn't come as a big surprise to me.

    After all this time of being told that that's what awaits me, I'm really rather used and resigned to the idea.
     
  3. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton Awake

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    Sometimes I wonder if damnation really would be worse than ceasing to exist. It is impossible to answer, but I am not sure what I would choose. Deoends on the quality of the damnation, I guess.
    @Unicorny
    Do you think that damnations constitutes such a dire state of affairs that one would inevitably prefer to cease to exist?
    Moreover - non-withstanding the merit of your argument - but would it not be a bit cruel for the saved to enjoy themselves in their eternal paradise knowing full well that many, perhaps overwhelming more souls, are trapped in constant agony? I mean certainly people are able to live with that kind of thing in the here and now, but that is not a very Christan attitude, is it?
     
  4. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    Hella presuppositions tho
     
  5. Manfred Belheim

    Manfred Belheim Moaner Lisa

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    Two things which make me reject your conclusion (but not the only two...):

    * Your statement that the severity of the sin is related to the "bigness" of the one you are sinning against. This statement really needs justifying, especially since you are saying that any sin at all counts as infinite because God is infinite. You murdered 150 civillians for kicks - infinite punishment. You deliberately stole a chocolate bar from a corner shop - infinite punishment. Yeah this needs justifying.
    * The entirely arbitrary nature of what is and isn't a sin. Seems to be whatever God says is a sin is a sin, regardless of how much sense it makes. Eating a calf cooked in its mothers milk (or whatever it is) for example, or wearing clothes of multiple materials at any one time. Plus he even seems to change his mind sometimes. If there were some universal standard of good and evil that we could all agree on (that existed independently of the punisher, God) then that would be one thing. But the one who does the punishing making up his own list of arbitrary and bizarre rules is another thing entirely. It's not justifiable for him to punish US eternally for transgressing HIS rules if we don't recognise them as being fair or valid rules.
     
  6. BenitoChavez

    BenitoChavez Whispering Walrus

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    It's always perplexed me that God supposedly loves us, yet creates a place where we experience infinite agony. Then he only tells a handful of people about it and expects the rest of the masses to believe these prophets with no more evidence other than "God told me".

    But if I'm going to accept your framework for the purposes of the this thread, I'm going to have to agree with Manfred's 1st point. Why are all sins treated the same when they are committed against god? Surely god is capable of distinguishing between the severity of different sins.
     
  7. Gori the Grey

    Gori the Grey The Poster

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    Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, “What makest thou?”

    It’s God’s world; He can damn who he damn well pleases.

    But, here’s the important thing: while “all the souls that were were forfeit once, He that might the vantage best have took found out the remedy.”

    A redemptive love greater even than the love involved in the first fashioning.

    Some theologians wonder whether even Satan can hold out for all of eternity against God’s love.
     
  8. PhroX

    PhroX Emperor

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    Sin only exists because God wants it to exist - if he so desired, being infinitely powerful, he could have created a universe where we have free will and yet do not commit sin. That he chose not to means he wants people to suffer. Thus the fault lies with him for creating sin not us for committing it. God should be the one suffering eternal hellfire, not us.
     
  9. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    An atheist does not intend to disobey the word of God, an atheist does not believe the words religious men say are the words of God. If a child is told by another that the teacher said to not play with the classroom legos, but the child does not believe him it is incorrect to say the child intends to disobey the teacher. The child still does not know the rule.
     
  10. Unicorny

    Unicorny Warlord

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    Here is an example of someone exercising their free will; freely choosing on how they'd carry on their lives when fully knowing the consequences of their actions. As such, it stands to reason that one can only blame themselves for when or if they do end up in Hell forever, as no blame can fall on God.

    It was your choice after all.

    Eternal damnation is the worst of all. God says: “But those who disbelieved in God and denied His signs (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, revelations, hints, etc.), they will be the dwellers of the Fire, to dwell therein forever. And worst indeed is that destination”

    There is no question that eternal damnation is worse than ceasing to exist. In fact, those who deny to acknowledge God in this world will wish they were mere dust when resurrected. So yes - to answer your question: eternal damnation constitutes such a dire and grave state of affairs that one would rather strongly wish to cease to exist.

    That's a good question. The happiness of heaven is so unimaginable and complete that nothing can take away from it - not even the thought of knowing that others are being tormented in hell, and given the nature and character of the souls that will end up in hell, i.e. totally evil, obnoxious, arrogant, life hating, love hating person, I would argue that there's nothing cruel about it. After all, God is perfectly just and infinitely wise, as such, no soul will be damned unless fully deservingly so.

    Take for example the most heinous criminals: raping, dismembering, torturing, and burning alive hundreds of innocent girls - would you say its cruel for them if they ended up in hell?

    No, I said the consequence of sin is proportional to its severity and to whom it is being done against. Deliberately stealing a chocolate bar from a corner shop is a petty crime that does not warrant eternal damnation, as it is being committed primarily against the corner shop.

    On the other hand, denying the very existence of God warrants an infinite punishment as you're committing it directly against God, a supreme & infinite being. Murdering scores of humans for kicks also warrants eternal damnation as the crime itself has everlasting consequence in the form of abolishing the natural life span of a human life - an irreversible decision and moreover, inflicting misery and pain onto their souls.

    You have to remember that God is oft forgiving and most merciful, petty crimes are forgivable. Repentance from a sincere heart is always accepted - but one must prove themselves by being righteous and doing good deeds.

    What is a sin? A sin as anything that goes against the commands of God, a breach of the laws and norms laid down by religion. Sin is an act and not a state of being - it must be intentionally done. For example, giving poison to a patient accidentally whilst thinking that it was otherwise will not make you a murderer in the eyes of God.

    Not all sins are equal. Some sins are more punishable than others. A clear distinction is made between major and minor sins. If an individual stays away from the major sins, then he/she will be forgiven of the minor sins. Regardless, religion teaches that God is merciful and individuals can be forgiven of their sins if they repent.

    What actions would you recognize as being fair or valid ones that would not constitute being a sin?


    Being sinful is not the end of it all. We're not perfect, and therefore, God has the capacity to forgive. In fact, even if your sins stacked up sky high God will still forgive them if you're sincere and honest in your repentance.

    You're correct. Had God wished, he would have created a universe where no one ever committed a sin - but that nullifies the notion of free will. The entire premise of having a free will is being able to do whatever you want - without interference from God. As such, only you can blame yourself for your actions.

    God makes people suffer to test their resolve, character, faith and belief in God. No one said it was going to be easy - and in fact, it should not be easy: otherwise, what's the point to an easy test? It would be a waste of time.
     
  11. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    Is that the kind of person you believe I am?
     
  12. Unicorny

    Unicorny Warlord

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    I do not know who you are, nor will I ever be in the position to judge who you are as a person. Only a perfect being has the capacity to do that, i.e. God.
     
  13. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    But you seem to say that atheists deserve eternal damnation, I am an atheist. If I were to die this moment would you not say that I deserve eternal damnation?

    Also please don't ignore my other post. :)
     
  14. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Based on the assumptions I am supposed to make, the only answer I can reach is:

    "Probably only by God."
     
  15. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy Deity

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    Had that flit through myself a couple times.

    God may. Be there hellfire, it seems like it would be a stretch to not think God suffers All the hellfire of All times.
     
  16. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    I don't agree. It's your choice to damn me. And you've chosen to do so of your own free will.

    My choice is not to damn you. But it's not really a choice at all. I have no alternative.
     
  17. Gori the Grey

    Gori the Grey The Poster

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    Turnabout is fair play. What I call your prose poetry means I need to read your posts half a dozen times before I'm sure I know what you're saying.

    Ha ha. I did it by availing myself of verse poetry!
     
  18. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy Deity

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    You're just amused by a particular breed of incoherency. Which makes sense in your line of work, I think. But, while I did read your post a good 4 or 5 times(enjoyable!), my response was unclear enough you took it incorrectly, I think. It should have been, "I've had that thought before. I can see what you're musing about."
     
  19. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    It reminds me of this:
     
  20. Aleksey_aka_al

    Aleksey_aka_al Smiley

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    Well, he does it actually via beta-testing souls selecting those with which to build a universe without sins. While flawed souls will remain forever in bug log.
     

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