Religious Fallacy: The absurdity Hell

For years in the pews of a Southern Baptist church in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA I listened carefully to the preacher who proclaimed wildly that “all those who don’t accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior” are doomed to an eternity in the lake of fire.  Sweat beading down his forehead and the occasional “HayMEN” from the congregation confirmed that everything he said was true.

Even as a young and devout believer I struggled with the concept of Hell. Why did an all knowing and loving God create such a place? Could the same God that walked the Earth as Jesus also create a place where people go to suffer forever? The contradictions go on and on.

An All Knowing God and Hell

God, by its very nature is all knowing, all encompassing, and perfect. So where does Hell fit in?

The logic doesn’t follow:

1. An all knowing and perfect God created humans.
2. God, being the all knowing and all powerful creator, knows that some humans will not meet his standards. Furthermore he created us that way. We had nothing to do with it.
3. God sets the punishment for not meeting his standards as Hell. An eternity of suffering.
4. Thus, a “perfect” God created humans purposely flawed and already knowing that most of us will go to hell.

Does that make sense to anyone?

The punishment doesn’t fit the crime.

Another problem I have with the concept of Hell is that the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. How can even an entire lifetime of evil constitute and eternity of constant suffering?

Crime: Man eats too much food and lusts after women for 100 years. He finds religion harmful to society and rejects it.
Punishment: Burning in fire forever. That’s more than 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 years. FOREVER!

Am I missing something?

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8 thoughts on “Religious Fallacy: The absurdity Hell

  1. Holden

    I think the only place where you got it wrong is that God gave us freewill. So its not that he made us to go to hell, just that I guess he knows ahead of time that we’re going.

    So…. yeah, its kind of crazy when you think of it.

    Reply
      1. trueandreasonable

        Yes that is pretty much true – at least when it comes to our salvation. Both Calvin and Luther believed that our salvation is entirely up to God not us. I also can’t understand this view. God is really judging himself.

        Moreover, IMO rational people do not concern themselves with things completely beyond their control. Anytime I hear of a religion where nothing I can possibly do will make a difference I tend to ignore it. Why shouldn’t I? Nothing I can possibly do will make a difference.

        However, many Christians do in fact believe God created us with a free will. And it is our beliefs and actions that end up being judged. There is no clear contradiction there.

        Reply
  2. conservative2cents

    I grew up in a Jehovah’s Witness home. I am not currently a JW, but I’m a Christian (as are JWs, contrary to what many believe).

    The point is… JWs don’t believe in hell. They believe that it’s a concept based on a wrong interpretation. They think the bible was understood at the time to mean that non-believers and the unrepentant would just cease to exist when they die. The casting into “the pyre” being symbolic of how we deal with trash; you burn it to be rid of it.

    They also use the same logic: free will, loving god, proportional punishment, etc. Those who choose another path simply won’t be rewarded.

    I’m not sure where I stand on the existence of hell, but if there is truth in a loving creator, the JWs’ view makes some sense.

    And, it’s possible for Christians not to believe in eternal punishment.

    Reply
  3. wiley16350

    I absolutely agree with the absurdity of hell. When atheists got me to start seeing the logical problems of hell it led me down a path to much more exciting truth. The truth is, the bible doesn’t proclaim an eternal hell as taught by most christian churches. If you want to see the evidence for this then here are some links.

    1. http://www.godsplanforall.com
    2. http://www.hopebeyondhell.net

    There is a lot involved with this discussion, so I’m not going into detail. Look at those resources and you’ll get a better understanding of God and the bible.

    Reply
  4. John Barron

    1. An all knowing and perfect God created humans.
    2. God, being the all knowing and all powerful creator, knows that some humans will not meet his standards. Furthermore he created us that way. We had nothing to do with it.
    3. God sets the punishment for not meeting his standards as Hell. An eternity of suffering.
    4. Thus, a “perfect” God created humans purposely flawed and already knowing that most of us will go to hell.

    # 2 is biblically incorrect. God created man “very good”. Man, and man alone chose to use his freedom to disobey God thus staining the nature of man. It was (Adam) who changed the nature of man. Second, no one is required to sin, are they? I’ve never had to go against God’s moral standard, I chose to. I’ve stolen, I didnt have to. Ive lied, I could have told the truth. How is it God’s fault that we choose to violate his laws?

    As the creator, he justifiably sets the rules and the punishments, just like parents do for their own children. Is it wrong of me to set punishments for broken rules in my house?

    #4 bulds on the flawed #2. There is no biblical evidence that God created man “purposely flawed”. Knowing that people will break the rules isnt a liability on him, its a liability on the people who reject what has been promised to be an eternal heaven. Why is it his fault that people say “I dont believe you”?

    Lastly, the duration of the crime is irrelevant to the punishment. Thats true even on earth. It takes a second to kill a person but results in a lifetime in prison. The punishment is proportionate to the authority which was violated. For example punching my neighbor in the nose results in a far lesser punishment than punching the president in the nose. Both are mere men, but the reason for the difference in punishment is because of WHO was violated.

    When we violate God by sinning, we violate the eternal Creator God of the universe. It has to do with authority and stature, which is why even the smallest of sins results in eternal hell.

    But once again, no one is required to go to hell.

    Reply
  5. xtian kryptonite

    John, no one here is interested in your irrational apology for Christians. you are trying to act innocent in your argument and harmless. you are not fooling me tho u fool others. you are speaking only from one moral code of conduct. there are thousands. which one is right?

    Reply

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