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 Raveninns
Joined: 7/19/2005
Msg: 61
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Why Is the Concept of Hell ImmoralPage 4 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)
^^^^^
for ONCE, you and I agree

*****thinking that the world will fall apart now.....*****

A life lived in service, integrity and honour is it's own reward. There's no dogma that will surpass this.

Life is good, isn't it?

Cheers to you, Raven
 Raveninns
Joined: 7/19/2005
Msg: 62
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Why Is the Concept of Hell Immoral
Posted: 3/1/2007 9:02:14 PM
@Late

I really do think you're the bomb when it comes down to reality based logic. I bow to your knowledge and reasoning. That's why they pay you the big bucks, lol

Sometimes, just sometimes, there is more to life than what is seen. Feelings are human, and human is what we are. We interpret our experience with what is at hand.

Do I agree with Islam? Or Christianity? Or purple people? Whatever. I find that actions and how we treat others is the ultimate litmus test. It only makes sense that the Creator would too. He would not create hell. It is not logical. Humans make mistakes. Mistakes can be corrected.

I often wonder if the Creator just cracks up and uses forums like this as his Friday night entertainment.

Cheers, Raven
 NewWayHome
Joined: 9/20/2006
Msg: 63
Why Is the Concept of Hell Immoral
Posted: 3/2/2007 8:47:07 AM

If there is a heaven, the only way that a "God" can be a kind and benevolent entity is if everyone he created gets in free whether they believe in him or not, as the concept of God includes both omniscience and omnipotence, why would he create a being to just torture them - (free will? see omniscience/omnipotence)?

If "God" is an omniscient and omnipotent but not a kind and benevolent entity, I want nothing to do with him/her/it, as to me this is an immoral God.


I can understand and even empathize with the sentiment reflected in these statements; they were in fact central to my previous subscription to atheism, along with my rejection of the standard concept of hell.

I have to look farther than the limitations of the statement. I am a kind and benevolent entity. It would be ludicrous for me to assume that I can be something good that God is not, so I must presume that God therefore is also a kind and benevolent entity.

I have my dark qualities. I can be wrathful, angry, hurtful, and just plain selfish and childish. These are negative qualities of darkness which God may or may not possess. Perhaps it is that God possesses these qualities but does not exercise them; he is, after all, touted as a being of pure light.

*****

There is a simpler logic to apply to the 'everyone he creates gets in free' dilemma.

Ostensibly, we possess spirit and soul and these attributes stem from the creator itself; all that exists comes from the divine source. Spirit and soul are not matter, so entropy does not apply to them. All matter in the universe will eventually revert to a state of inert nothingness; but not the soul and spirit. At some point, the soul and spirit must be rejoined with the sources from which they originated.

We know therefore that our souls and spirits must rejoin with the creative force, regardless of our paths through life.

Heaven and hell are just theories. Sure, we have reference for them in supposedly divine scripture; but we don't really know what they are let alone understand their functions. Exploring what we can't comprehend and don't understand is sophistry, especially if we can't apply human reasoning to the conundrum.

*****

I have no reason to conclude that God is anything less than omnisicient, omnipotent, kind and benevolent; in fact, my Qur'an insists that God is these things.

It also insists that the true knowledge of things which aren't clearly spelled out, things such as heaven and hell, is possessed only by God.

I'm willing to accept that.

*****

Just a word on Pascal's Wager (since it keeps popping up).

I don't see where this equation considers the ramifications of everyone acting according to their individual wishes as opposed to the value of collectively following a path intended to created a greater social good in this life and I don't see where the equation considers the value of the possibility of an afterlife reward from God versus the possibility of a complete lack of any reward at all. It seems to me that these values should be weighted somehow in the equation and they don't appear to me to be so weighted.

Logically, I should have no problem in playing Russian Roulette with one bullet and a six cylinder revolver. However, the ramifications of a negative outcome far outweigh the benefits of a positive, so I just wouldn't do it; not even once. I see Pascal's Wager in a similar light.


There are still hoops to jump through, or their would be no need for the Qu'ran, and all "good people" would get in, even if they rejected Islam by choice, ...and this isn't "exactly" the case is it?


'Good people' requires an operational definition to have meaning in this statement. If we define 'good people' as someone who has never committed any sin, then yes, they get a one way ticket to heaven no questions asked. No mercy nor forgiveness from God is necessary under that definition. Is rejecting Islam by choice a sin? Only God knows the answer to that; however, the Qur'an implies that this is not the case and that there are many paths to salvation.

Our prayer does not say 'guide us on the path of Muslims, not on the paths of Jews and Christians' it says 'guide us on the path of those you bless, not those who anger you nor go astray'. World of difference.

I don't see Islam as having any more hoops to jump through than any other philosophy for living life. The great thing about Islam is that if you miss a so-called hoop, there's dozens of ways to make up for it. Not only is God kind and benevolent, but he's very accomodating and forgiving to all but the hardest of hardened hearts.

Surat al-Kaafiroon states: 'to you your religion and to me mine'; it does not make a claim that one is superior to another. Muslims know that theres is but one of an infinite number of paths leading to the desired goal and do not concern themselves with the valid nor erroneous paths of others.
 discombobulated61
Joined: 12/30/2006
Msg: 64
Why Is the Concept of Hell Immoral
Posted: 3/2/2007 10:00:32 AM
I've been reading posts regarding finite sin and infinite punishment. Can someone explain finite sin? Is sin finite? Does it not have either a direct or indirect affect on either yourself or others? While we see only the immeadiate effect of our sin God is able to follow and trace it's effect for generations upon generations. We know, for instance, how a simple thing as a smile or scowl from a complete stranger can effect a persons day. And in turn how that person may effect other people they come into contact. Imagine how much more and how far reaching the effect of most sin can be.

My point is that sin, any sin may not be as finite as you might imagine or would like to think it to be.

Many people are familiar with the old James Stewart christmas show where he is considering throwing himself off a bridge. An angel comes to his aid and shows him how he has affected the lives of people in his home town.

But what if we were able to see the effect of our sins on other people. If we were able to see just how far reaching the effect of even the smallest of sin has I believe most people would rethink their values. Only God is able to see and know the true effect of our sins and therefore only He is worthy of judging.
 NewWayHome
Joined: 9/20/2006
Msg: 65
Why Is the Concept of Hell Immoral
Posted: 3/2/2007 12:42:27 PM
in regards to Pascal's Wager and it's many flaws, the most glaring one is the lack of a single CLEAR faith/path to "heaven"


If there are myriad valid paths to heaven and hell then Pascal's Wager becomes complicated, does it not, as well as the atheist response? Although, I disagree with your phrasing of the atheist response. In my experience most atheists are purely motivated by the same self-interest by which the rank and file religiously devout that we equally revile as self-motivated with regards to obedience to God are compelled.

Selfishness.


Only God is able to see and know the true effect of our sins and therefore only He is worthy of judging.

If this is the case and we can't be worthy of judging for ourselves, then aren't we being set up for failure?


I find myself agreeing with the statement that only an omniscient being can appreciate the true impact of sins; this was the basis of my agreement with the earlier assertion that only God can define what is moral and what is not.

I don't think this means we're being set up for failure.

Throw out 'eternal torture', we can't know that this is 'hell' or that 'eternal torture' will be any particular outcome of our actions. We just don't know.

From other threads we know that atheists, for the most part, do not deny the possible existence of God; they merely don't possess the intellectual capability to believe in his existence. A person who lived their life for the greater good absent selfish reasons who did not deny the possible existence of God should have absolutely no worries when it comes to any possible afterlife. Conversely, the self-proclaimed person of faith who follows out of nothing but selfish fear should have everything to worry about.

I would propose that any truly moral person defining their morality outside of scripture, if acting in a truly moral manner, would virtually never find themselves in contradiction with scriptural morality.

I generally apply a measure of Kant and Ross along with the Bible, the Vedas, and the Qur'an in rendering personal judgements with regards to moral decision making.

The beauty of it is, even if I fail, God may still find it within his grace and mercy to forgive my sin.


How is this the actions of a "benevolent/moral, omnipotent/omniscient entity?


If a line of reason concludes with one assuming that God is neither benevolent, moral, omnipotent nor omniscient then the line of reason needs to be examined. The flaw is not with God, the flaw is with the line of reason. No line of reasoning that concludes in a flawed God can possibly be correct (especially if we make the assumption that the quality of evolution applies to God as well, which it must, since we can't possess something that God doesn't; that or evolution is a myth).

This would hold true even if God were nothing more than an intellectual construct, which I don't personally hold to be the case.
 FOR U
Joined: 9/16/2006
Msg: 66
Why Is the Concept of Hell Immoral
Posted: 3/2/2007 3:12:29 PM
The way I see it, I would warn my child more about the bad
consequences of their behaviour than the good. If God's
word..the bible mentions Hell more than Heaven...there must
be a good reason. Let's assume that there is a Creator and
His name is God. That He is love but also a judge and holy.
If He shows and made a way of escape from hell and the
lake of fire and we choose not to accept it.......who's fault
would that be......I think mine.....and not God's. If you
teach your child not to take drugs and why but they grow up
and get addicted and suffer the consequences of their choice
who will you blame.......me or my grown child ????? That is my
two cents worth.
 fitman2005
Joined: 8/18/2005
Msg: 67
Why Is the Concept of Hell Immoral
Posted: 3/2/2007 5:05:37 PM

I've been reading posts regarding finite sin and infinite punishment. Can someone explain finite sin? Is sin finite? Does it not have either a direct or indirect affect on either yourself or others? While we see only the immeadiate effect of our sin God is able to follow and trace it's effect for generations upon generations. We know, for instance, how a simple thing as a smile or scowl from a complete stranger can effect a persons day. And in turn how that person may effect other people they come into contact. Imagine how much more and how far reaching the effect of most sin can be.

My point is that sin, any sin may not be as finite as you might imagine or would like to think it to be.

Many people are familiar with the old James Stewart christmas show where he is considering throwing himself off a bridge. An angel comes to his aid and shows him how he has affected the lives of people in his home town.

But what if we were able to see the effect of our sins on other people. If we were able to see just how far reaching the effect of even the smallest of sin has I believe most people would rethink their values. Only God is able to see and know the true effect of our sins and therefore only He is worthy of judging.




-Discombulated61: good point and again I say--good point!!

when Dr. George Ritchie wrote the autobiography of his out-of-body experience, he touched on this most poignant issue. It was the key impression he came away with; that being that what we do here on earth has HUGE ripples in the after life...I think we can somewhat see this in key scriptural points such as " ..you will give an account of everything done in your body," or "...where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
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