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Hell

Fallen angels in Hell

Hell

Finally I get to write about hell. Not the Hell here in Michigan although I do know a family that moved from there to Paradise in Michigan so I guess Hell isn’t really for eternity.Why is there a hell? Well I have heard a few reasons ranging from it is where sinners go for an eternity of punishment up to it is just a place separate from god which isn’t torture to those that don’t believe in him since being in heaven with god for eternity would be torture if you don’t believe in him. personally I can’t accept the second choice for the simple fact that it isn’t biblical. Everything the bible say about hell is that it is a place of eternal punishment but the question I would ask is why did god create it? What reason was there for god to create hell?

Obviously if god created hell he had a reason unless he just enjoys arbitrarily torturing some of his creation. I really couldn’t understand how this could be possible considering god was supposedly the creator of the universe and must in that case be intelligent enough to have a reason other than hearing those in hell scream in pain for eternity. Let’s see if we can find a reason shall we?

First we need to examine the reasons why we would punish someone. Pretty much we can boil it down [not in a burning lake of sulfur] to 3 main reasons.

  • Deterrence
  • Rehabilitation
  • Separation
  • Let’s look at each reason separately.

    Deterrence – First I have to mention if hell were created as a deterrent, god can’t be omniscient otherwise hell would be empty. In other words he created a deterrent that he could not see beforehand would fail. Now looking at a what a deterrent is and why one would use them we see that although the vast majority of the population respects the rights of others to live a life of happiness there are some that have no respect. It is for those individuals that there are deterrents in place and those deterrents hopefully deter those people from committing crimes requiring punishment. As already said, deterrence is not the reason hell was created otherwise it must be concluded that god failed dismally.

    Rehabilitation – Pretty much this should be self-explanatory as to why this is not and could not be a reason for hell. Rehabilitation deals with those to whom did not heed to any form of deterrence and committed violations against the rights of others. Rehabilitation has the aim of deterring future crimes and unless hell is not for eternity as the bible states, this is not the reason and as we have seen deterrence isn’t either. Maybe separation is so let’s look closer.

    Separation -When deterrence and rehabilitation fail we use separation. What do I mean by separation and why is it used? Well there are some of that disrespectful minority that deterrence doesn’t stop nor does rehabilitation prevent future offenses. They continue committing crimes that impinge on the rights of others. The only way to stop these people is to separate them from society to protect the rights of others. This would raise a few interesting question. Why did god create those ‘evil’ people? Was he powerless to stop their crimes? These questions need answers in their own right but they are not the topic here so let’s ignore them. It is obvious that some people need to be separated from society [such as life imprisonment] so all others may enjoy life. One example should illustrate this nicely. Take a serial killer, as long as he remains in society any member of the same society is apt to be murdered by him. Separate him and that is no longer a possibility. If it is necessary to separate ‘bad seeds’ out of heaven’s population then the bible gives us a totally false picture of what heaven is. For many reasons, this can’t be the reason for hell’s creation.

    To sum up, there are 3 possibilities for god to create hell

  • God had a reason to create hell and did.
  • God didn’t have a reason to create hell and didn’t.
  • God had no reason to create hell but did anyway just to torture some of his creation.
  • Hell, as illustrated in Hortus deliciarum.

    Hortus Deliciarum.

    At a glance I would think all Christians would deny the third possibility. According to the 3 possible reasons for punishment as given above, there is no reason for hell to have been created so the first possibility is not reasonable as well as the third. In a logical feat worthy of a Sherlock Holmes story [Encyclopedia Brown for those of my generation], the only thing remaining must be the correct choice. That is the second one. God had no reason to create hell and didn’t.

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