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The Hell Problem

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posted on Oct, 20 2009 @ 11:22 AM
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This Hell Problem is very troublesome. The existence of Hell as a physical or spiritual location where "souls" will suffer eternally is such a ridiculous concept. I don't mean to offend people that believe that Hell in this sense actually exists. I will try to be as concise and clear as I can and explain my views.

For arguments sake, let us assume that the following are true:
- God is the Creator of all life
- God is all knowing and all powerful
- God created man and woman
- God gave man and woman free will
- God restricted man and woman in their ability to understand his true nature while they exist in the physical world

Now add this to that list:

- God actively created or allowed Hell to exist knowing by who, why and where and for what purpose it came into existence.
- Hell is a place where entities that do not believe in God will suffer for eternity and cannot be redeemed.
- Man and woman are judged whether or not their souls will suffer in eternal hell by their actions and beliefs in a physical world where their ability to understand truth was restricted by God before they were created.

Can somebody who believes in Hell is a literal location where souls will suffer for eternity based on these conditions please explain how this is plausible in even the most abstract sense?

[edit on 20/10/2009 by Dark Ghost]




posted on Oct, 20 2009 @ 12:11 PM
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reply to post by Amagnon
 

That is why from the very beginning Jesus knew he would have to leave his heavenly home to come to us to show us the way to the Father. Christ was God in the flash and while he was here with man he told us about the love and forgiveness and mercy of the Father.

It was because he offered up his life for us we have a pathway to salvation. It's not hard to understand but it is a choice one makes for themselves, to believe or not believe. Your choice!


Peace.
Grandma



posted on Oct, 20 2009 @ 12:39 PM
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Originally posted by saint4God
Why would anyone need to consult a book when I can consult with God? He's alive, listening and capable of answering for Himself.


I can't take you seriously when you say this if you still seriously believe there is a hell, and do not realize that the concept was just increasingly exaggerated over the years by religious institutions to keep followers in line. Saying "God is love" and also "God will send you to hell" is talking out of two sides of your mouth at the same time and not having a full grasp of what it is that you are saying. Do you meditate? How do you "talk to God"?



posted on Oct, 20 2009 @ 06:46 PM
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Originally posted by bsbray11
I can't take you seriously when you say this if you still seriously believe there is a hell, and do not realize that the concept was just increasingly exaggerated over the years by religious institutions to keep followers in line.


I knew there was a Hell before reading the Bible or knowing God. I required proof to believe anything, I got my proof. In retrospect it was a dangerously stupid thing to do, but one thing is for sure, I have no more doubt. Post-Christiandom, I had not joined a church for fifteen years, preferring instead on my own.


Originally posted by bsbray11
Saying "God is love" and also "God will send you to hell" is talking out of two sides of your mouth at the same time and not having a full grasp of what it is that you are saying.


God is love, but he is not unjust. He will not offer a reward to those who have continually slapped His hand away. Would a parent give their child everything the child desires though they spit hate? That isn't love. That is destroying their opportunity to grow. Love is showing the child the correct path and encouraging them to take it. When they turn 18, they're responsible for the behaviour path they've set. After death, we're responsible for the pattern we set.


Originally posted by bsbray11
Do you meditate? How do you "talk to God"?


Prayer. It goes beyond comtemplation/reflection, but full on towards communication. It is addressing God.

[edit on 20-10-2009 by saint4God]



posted on Oct, 20 2009 @ 06:56 PM
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Originally posted by saint4God
I knew there was a Hell before reading the Bible or knowing God. I required proof to believe anything, I got my proof.


And what was that?



Originally posted by bsbray11
Saying "God is love" and also "God will send you to hell" is talking out of two sides of your mouth at the same time and not having a full grasp of what it is that you are saying.


God is love, but he is not unjust.


"God is love, but....."

This is all just political gobbledy-gook double-talk.

"Justice" is often killing someone back when they kill someone first. It's really no different than "vengeance," just legalized/socially accepted. Eye-for-an-eye. I happen to also disagree with the concept/word "justice," because of what it actually refers to. It was Jesus that was talking about turning the other cheek. I took that to heart, regardless of whether Jesus said it or not. But I suppose you have some complex explanation as to why that doesn't apply here, either. You "know" too much, my friend. You have too many answers when only one is needed.


He will not offer a reward to those who slap His hand away.


The only thing I have slapped away is organized religion, churches, etc., and as far as THEY are concerned I'm sure I COULD go to hell, because I have similar sentiments towards THEM.

You still are talking out of two sides of your mouth.

"God is love" and "God will send you to hell" are still 100% incompatible. Sending someone to hell is not a loving act in the least, it is extremely immature and selfish. You can flap fingers at me all you want but until you stop and think about this, you will not move me. Not even I would send Hitler to hell. But that is beside my other point, that hell is no more real than Zeus anyway.


Would a parent give their child everything the child desires though they spit hate? That is destroying their opportunity to grow.


What more opportunity is there to grow once you are dead and sent to hell?



Originally posted by bsbray11
Do you meditate? How do you "talk to God"?


Prayer. It goes beyond comtemplation/reflection, but full on towards communication. It is addressing God.


You may have said this to others before, but if you are talking to anything, I don't think it's the true source, the true creator. It would be more akin to something you would probably call a "demon," feeding your delusions and keeping you blind to the living light that I am referring you to.

[edit on 20-10-2009 by bsbray11]



posted on Oct, 20 2009 @ 07:02 PM
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reply to post by SmokeandShadow
 


i'll be honest, i am not about to get into this thread other then my reply, for the simple fact it has a lot of potential to be frustrating to me,

but it has always bothered me that a "god of love" would just cast away people who were raised to be jewish, or hindu, or muslim. not that they openly rejected the god of the new testiment, but that were stead fast in their own logical beliefs.

would ghandi not get into heaven?! what about other leaders of religions that are decent moral people?

just my 2 cents yo!

over and out



posted on Oct, 20 2009 @ 07:09 PM
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Originally posted by iamsupermanv2
i'll be honest, i am not about to get into this thread other then my reply, for the simple fact it has a lot of potential to be frustrating to me,


Why would this be frustrating to talk about?

I ask this rhetorically... I completely agree with your sentiment. The reason it is frustrating to talk about, is because you would have to argue with religious zealots, of course. Not spiritual zealots, haha, but religious ones.



but it has always bothered me that a "god of love" would just cast away people who were raised to be jewish, or hindu, or muslim. not that they openly rejected the god of the new testiment, but that were stead fast in their own logical beliefs.

would ghandi not get into heaven?! what about other leaders of religions that are decent moral people?



Saint, here you see the same sentiment that turned me away from organized Christianity, with its hell-preaching, popping up in someone else independently.

This information is inside of each and every one of us, including YOU if you search your feelings, because it is natural and truly God-given. No, you will not burn forever for refusing to grovel over one specific way of thinking about God. God is not American, English-speaking, Western.... Nor is it a "he." It is responsible for every spiritual realization across all cultures speaking all languages, throughout all time. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just a fear-monger, racist, or somehow else imbalanced in their perceptions and feelings. Christianity is a notorious religion for fear-mongering historically. It is not the one-and-only tried-and-true religion, that if you reject it you will be eternally punished. YOU know who it is that wants you to think that, and it most certainly isn't "God." It is the same type of people who say a jihad is spiritual. The historical and absolute corruption of Christianity is something you have to account for and be responsible for within your own beliefs.

[edit on 20-10-2009 by bsbray11]



posted on Oct, 20 2009 @ 07:20 PM
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Originally posted by bsbray11
And what was that?


I was previously an aggressive agnostic, meaning I didn't believe anything that I didn't see. I'm omitting the details because when I mentioned them before, someone here on ATS made the same mistake. There's a right way and a wrong way to find out the truth. The right way is to ask God if He exists, then patiently await His reply on His terms.


Originally posted by bsbray11
This is all just political gobbledy-gook double-talk.


It's not political but would agree that it's not easy to understand. If you think of a courtroom, the judge and policepersons aren't there because they hate people. They're their because they're interested in doing what's right for everyone involved. Sometimes love hurts, any parent who has had to discipline their child knows it, but if the child learns the right path, if the criminal sees the error in their crime, they become a better person.


Originally posted by bsbray11
The only thing I have slapped away is organized religion, churches, etc., and as far as THEY are concerned I'm sure I COULD go to hell, because I have similar sentiments towards THEM.


Not you, nor I, nor anyone in this world has the right to say who goes to Hell. We cannot see a person's heart. We do not know a person's soul. We cannot comprehend what goes on in a person's mind. God can. That's why his judgements are fair.


Originally posted by bsbray11
What more opportunity is there to grow once you are dead and sent to hell?


Exactly. Time is up, no more opportunity for growing. We've got to do that here and now.


Originally posted by bsbray11
You may have said this to others before, but if you are talking to anything, I don't think it's the true source, the true creator. It would be more akin to something you would probably call a "demon," feeding your delusions and keeping you blind to the living light that I am referring you to.


In your place, I could easily understand how you'd think so. A major aspect about demons is they're continually devious in their motives. A demon would not allow you go around helping others, encouraging good, demonstrating love, hope, faith, compassion, mercy, etc. It goes against the very nature of evil. Even in such an entrapment, it may gain one soul, but would lose countless others from these expressions of truth. That's not a risk their willing to take and works against their primary objective. I only know good because I knew evil (very up close and personally) first. The voice is completely opposite. A believer should check themselves continually, knowing what instruction they are given, who is giving it and why they are given it. I appreciate your concern for me ^_^, but not to worry.


[edit on 20-10-2009 by saint4God]



posted on Oct, 20 2009 @ 07:41 PM
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Originally posted by saint4God
I was previously an aggressive agnostic, meaning I didn't believe anything that I didn't see. I'm omitting the details because when I mentioned them before, someone here on ATS made the same mistake. There's a right way and a wrong way to find out the truth. The right way is to ask God if He exists, then patiently await His reply on His terms.


I appreciate your response, but I'm sure you are already aware that it doesn't do much for anyone else. I'm not entirely sure why you mentioned it here to begin with.



Originally posted by bsbray11
This is all just political gobbledy-gook double-talk.


It's not political but would agree that it's not easy to understand.


I have always found truth to be obvious, self-explanatory, and very easy to understand. So just letting you know that this is an automatic red-flag to me.


If you think of a courtroom, the judge and policepersons aren't there because they hate people. They're their because they're interested in doing what's right for everyone involved.


This is another terrible example. I already said I did not agree with the concept of "justice." You should think about that a little more deeply before you use courts and the legal system as an example of how you think "God" works. The legal system is extremely arbitrary in this country, and does all number of despicable things in my view. Similarly court systems in foreign countries. They are all the same; "eye for an eye" is their m.o., never "turn the other cheek."


Sometimes love hurts


Maybe this is the real core of our disagreement. "Love" means something different than pain to me, personally.


any parent who has had to discipline their child knows it, but if the child learns the right path, if the criminal sees the error in their crime, they become a better person.


Once again, what discipline is one taught, of what value is the experience, to be sent to hell eternally when you are dead?



Not you, nor I, nor anyone in this world has the right to say who goes to Hell.


You should try to convince me that hell exists before you expect me to believe anything you say about it. I would think this would be common sense but I guess I took that for granted.



Originally posted by bsbray11
What more opportunity is there to grow once you are dead and sent to hell?


Exactly. Time is up, no more opportunity for growing


So in other words you just agreed that your former example, "parable," metaphor, etc., was off-base and there is no relationship between teaching someone something, and sending someone to hell. You were comparing the two in your last post but now you agree that there is no comparison, because there is no education or other value for anyone to be sent to hell.

I will reiterate, there is no educational experience or any other value whatsoever in being sent to hell for eternity. Nor is it loving, obviously, unless (as for you, apparently) love also means pain. Yes, I am beginning to see how your view of things really IS very complicated.


A demon would not allow you go around helping others, encouraging good, demonstrating love, hope, faith, compassion, mercy, etc. It goes against the very nature of evil.


I find this to be a disturbingly black-and-white characterization of good and evil in the world. Charles Manson did good things for people.

[edit on 20-10-2009 by bsbray11]



posted on Oct, 20 2009 @ 08:03 PM
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Originally posted by bsbray11
I have always found truth to be obvious, self-explanatory, and very easy to understand. So just letting you know that this is an automatic red-flag to me.


If this were the case for my biology degree, it would've saved me a number of years and thousands of dollars in loans I have to repay. Unless of course all that stuff they talk about at the university is lies. That might be an interesting new discussion topic.


Originally posted by bsbray11
This is another terrible example. I already said I did not agree with the concept of "justice."


Then it's evident where the stumbling block is on Hell. I also hope being a parent will add perspective.


Originally posted by bsbray11
You should think about that a little more deeply before you use courts and the legal system as an example of how you think "God" works. The legal system is extremely arbitrary in this country, and does all number of despicable things in my view. Similarly court systems in foreign countries. They are all the same; "eye for an eye" is their m.o., never "turn the other cheek."


While it is true there's no 'perfect human justice', it does a pretty darned effective job at getting people to obey the law. Every day people enjoy the benefits of freedom from not having to suffer under the rule of murderous chaos. In ancient tribal times, the biggest-baddest person wins and if he didn't like you he killed you. Does that seem fair? Is that love?


Originally posted by bsbray11
Maybe this is the real core of our disagreement. "Love" means something different than pain to me, personally.


You've never sacrificed anything for anyone out of love?


Originally posted by bsbray11
Once again, what discipline is one taught, of what value is the experience, to be sent to hell eternally when you are dead?


None, the time for discipline is over, just as it is for a child who turns 18.


Originally posted by bsbray11
You should try to convince me that hell exists before you expect me to believe anything you say about it. I would think this would be common sense but I guess I took that for granted.


No, it's just that proving Hell is dangerous and far more painful than looking for God. But hey, at the time I was an idiot who did so. I'd much rather share good advice so that others do not have to suffer (this is love).


Originally posted by bsbray11
So in other words you just agreed that your former example, "parable," metaphor, etc., was off-base and there is no relationship between teaching someone something, and sending someone to hell.


Notice in my template there was a parallel between death and age 18. Both are a day of reckoning where there is no more time to choose and grow. It is true that there's no teaching someone something by sending them to Hell. The time for learning is over at that point.


Originally posted by bsbray11
Nor is it loving, obviously,


No, it is justice, as I said, another characteristic of God. He loves us and wants us to choose Him, but He also loves the truth and will not allow heaven to become tainted with sin.


Originally posted by bsbray11
unless (as for you, apparently) love also means pain.


There can be pain without love. There can be love without pain. Sometimes there is pain endured for the sake of love. I love my family. I would take the bullet for anyone of them so that they may live.


Originally posted by bsbray11
Yes, I am beginning to see how your view of things really IS very complicated.


Not my view. As mentioned before, no one wants to read my sources. I'd be glad to provide them if interested.


Originally posted by bsbray11
I find this to be a disturbingly black-and-white characterization of good and evil in the world.


I thought truth was simple for you? Or have you changed your mind?


Originally posted by bsbray11
I have always found truth to be obvious, self-explanatory, and very easy to understand.



Originally posted by bsbray11
Charles Manson did good things for people.


You'd really like me to go into how people who did good things turned to doing bad things? I can also give some examples of how people who did bad things now do good things.



posted on May, 23 2010 @ 03:22 PM
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reply to post by saint4God
 


saint4God, I have a question for you. You say that those who "slap away the hand of God" deserve what they get, but what about me. I have never "slapped away the hand of God". In fact, I have begged over and over again for a sign or miracle from God to erase my doubt, because I have trouble believing what is in the Bible as being any more true than most other holy books, because I have found a lot of errors and problems in it. Why won't he help me? Am I not worthy enough and deserving of eternal torture because I need a little help to make such a commitment? He certainly never hesitated to give people signs and help in Biblical times. I am no atheist, and I beleive that there is a lot of supernatural out there, but I have trouble taking the Bible (as Christians know it) as the answer.

[edit on 23-5-2010 by NamelessMonster]



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 11:29 AM
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I would like to say couple of things which have been touched on previously in this thread, which have also just been ignored to continue arguing the validity of scripture; "How could a Loving God have created something as terrible as hell".

It was touched on earlier with the concept of a child leaving their house that no matter how much his parents loved him, he can still choose to be apart from his parent, and there is nothing that can be done about it. Hell exists because Love requires it to. Had God created us to love him without a choice, would that really be love we're giving him? And would the Loving God we worship really be loving were he forcing us to love him? The Law also says that God is Just. He's not only our Loving Father, but also a fair judge, a good judge, and would a good judge let every criminal free from prison? Hell exists because it must, because there are some people, who when given the countless chances in there life to simply ask God's Guidance, to accept his Love, will still say no, so God MUST give them an alternative.

It was mentioned earlier the different names of Hell: Sheol, Hades, Gehenna, and none of them are exactly what hell is, they are all aspects of it, but none are the full picture. In the Tanakh, when they say Sheol, they do not mean Hell, the word means afterlife, because the concept of Hell wasn't introduced until you reach the writings of the prophets. Sheol was just a blanket term for the entire afterlife, whatever that may be. Hades was used in Greek translations of the New Testament because it would be a familiar concept to the Greeks, Hades: where the wicked and unrighteous go. And Gehenna, was an actual earthly place. It was a Garbage dump on the outskirts of Jerusalem, where all the garbage of Jerusalem and the surrounding area go, and is subsequently burned. So Gehenna was again a place you didn't want to be.

The only aspect of Hell not explained in these three names, is the absence of God. All things come from the Lord, so yes, God did create evil, he created the balance between himself and Satan, the bible doesn't try to hide that, but for this case when they say God, they mean the loving and caring aspects of him. The happiness, the comfort, and so when someone goes their entire life saying that they don't need God, God the Loving parent who lets us make our own choice, God the Judge who no matter how much he wants to must be Just, gives us exactly what we asked for, and he leaves us alone.



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 12:14 PM
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An interesting idea of hell (and heaven for that matter) would be if everybody got infinite knowledge after they died.

Because knowledge is not just words. It is understanding. This means if you hurt someone and rationalized it away, after death you would feel what it is like to have been that person, and understand full well the part you played in that. People like Hitler would endure the greatest suffering, because they would feel the suffering of each and every soldier from all sides of the war, each and every family member who lost loved ones, each and every victim of the camps.

This would also make earthly repentance and atonement meaningful. If you came to a genuine understanding of the suffering you created, to the point where you experienced the empathy of it and became distressed by it, you are then gaining the understanding within this life and effectively cleansing yourself of the "shock" that would come from gaining the realization suddenly after death.

Ultimately once everybody came to terms with their discovery, they would repent, and on the flip side those who were hurt would understand the reasons their aggressors did what they did and forgive them, resulting in atonement.

The suffering would be a lot longer for someone like Hitler (since time is a factor in suffering; all the time a soldier spends terrified stuffed in a bunker surrounded by enemies, with the feeling that "this will never end" would have to be felt, individually for each victim). But then he, too, would be cleansed.

This is purely hypothetical. I don't even believe in an afterlife. But what I like about this is that it's all based on one very simple premise: everyone gets perfect knowledge. From that alone you can derive heaven and hell (really more like purgatory) and repentance and forgiveness of sins.



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