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 AUTHOR
 discombobulated61
Joined: 12/30/2006
Msg: 75
Why Is the Concept of Hell ImmoralPage 4 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)
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.
 late™
Joined: 1/9/2005
Msg: 76
Why Is the Concept of Hell Immoral
Posted: 3/2/2007 10:04:05 AM
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.


I happen to know(personally) and admire a lot of Muslims, so I'm not as misinformed as most westerners are concerning Islam. I find many things to admire in many belief systems, to me they need no carrot/stick OR leap of faith to be inclusive of one's life path.

This is why I worded that post as I did, re: "there's a catch". But, 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".

One of the more telling aspects of this is the insistance of some people in some faiths that "without a belief in God, (and the carrot/stick), why would anybody be moral?

And this also illustrates the idea of pure self-concern out of "fear of hell", being these people's main motivation in their actions = Being a "good person" purely out of self-preservation (fearing the torments of Hell) is now the reason they can't "see" the idea of living a "good life" just for the sake of living a "good life".

Wouldn't God "know" that your motives are self-concern as to reward/torture?

For those who subscribe to such faiths:

Does it make sense that he/she/it would let this slide, yet send people to Hell for not making the <5% leap of faith who lead a life that contributes to the greater good of all man, but doesn't include the threat/reward as part of a world view?

Hence, another aspect of the immorality of Hell.


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.


Pascal's Wager:


Let us now speak according to natural lights...Let us then examine this point, and say, "God is, or He is not." But to which side shall we incline? Reason can decide nothing here. There is an infinite chaos which separated us. A game is being played at the extremity of this infinite distance where heads or tails will turn up… Which will you choose then? Let us see. Since you must choose, let us see which interests you least. You have two things to lose, the true and the good; and two things to stake, your reason and your will, your knowledge and your happiness; and your nature has two things to shun, error and misery. Your reason is no more shocked in choosing one rather than the other, since you must of necessity choose. This is one point settled. But your happiness? Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is.

Variations of this argument may be found in other religious philosophies, such as Islam, Hinduism, and even Buddhism (see below).



The Atheist's Wager is a response to Pascal's Wager.

You should live your life and try to make the world a better place for your being in it, whether or not you believe in God. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will be remembered fondly by those you left behind. If there is a benevolent God, he will judge you on your merits and not just on whether or not you believed in him.


See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_Wager


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?

= eternal torture = for what we "can't judge/know"?

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



 NewWayHome
Joined: 9/20/2006
Msg: 77
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: 78
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: 79
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."
 skypoetone
Joined: 3/24/2005
Msg: 80
Why Is the Concept of Hell Immoral
Posted: 3/2/2007 7:13:37 PM
First of all, I have to disagree that the bible should be a "challenge" to anyone’s thinking. How many people spend an hour studying a text book to put a flat-pack table together?... Then, very pleased with themselves, go for it - only to find a missing bolt or screw? To me the bible's like that, it has many missing nuts and screws (literally).

I say, for God's sake, get a grip people...

Hell or high water, people will find things out their own way... even if it takes death to do it.


 andigogo
Joined: 2/15/2007
Msg: 81
Why Is the Concept of Hell Immoral
Posted: 3/5/2007 2:06:18 AM
hear hear skypoetone well said, you could spend all your life woundering what if.....or i should of........if hell or the pearly gates are there or not if they are there to punish or reward, you cant live your life thinking "should i do this, if i do i might not get to heaven" or rewarded or what ever, life is for living now live it, for gods sake.
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