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Questions11

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Re: Hell
« Reply #90 on: October 31, 2013, 06:26:52 pm »
I agree Bdsimon.  Although there are some xtians who believe that babies will go to hell (they weren't elect), most modern xtians make all kinds of exceptions then find tenuous biblical evidence to support their emotional, moral, intuitive understandings.

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ksfaith

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Re: Hell
« Reply #91 on: October 31, 2013, 06:29:10 pm »
The Bible does clearly suggest that babies and those not of the age of accountability, who die, do go to Heaven.  So, I don't think it's reading anything into Scripture. 

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Archsage

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Re: Hell
« Reply #92 on: October 31, 2013, 06:31:44 pm »
Arch: I'll be simple.  This is simply my personal, emotional opinion: doing what you know will cause a human enormous pain and anguish for eternity without chance or hope of change or respite (whether by separation or forced incarceration), deserved or not (and I don't think any act deserves that), is fiendish - ie, more worthy of a devil than an omnibenevolent deity.  This is not an argument, just an assertion drawn from my conscience.  Your conscience is no doubt different.

If it's merely your opinion, and has no actual bearing on reality, then it is completely useless and ultimately void of any lasting meaning. Therefore I won't bother. But if you claim it to be some objectively valuable fact, then I'm still curious about your reasoning.

If someone deserves something, and you don't give it to them, how in the world do you call that fiendish? You are, in essence, saying that it is fiendish to be Just. Are you saying that justice is wicked, or cruel? That those who are Just, are evil spirits or demons? (for the term fiend refers to those things).

“It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness..."  –Blaise Pascal

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Questions11

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Re: Hell
« Reply #93 on: October 31, 2013, 06:37:39 pm »
I disagree.  I think the verses used to support that position are pretty far from being strong, unambiguous and conclusive.  Not that the bible can't be used to support that position, just that many have that position not based upon the strength of the biblical case for it (which is quite weak) but based upon moral intuition.  The fact that not all xtians throughout history have held to it (I think it's quite recent, isn't it?) highlights this.  Never underestimate the power of confirmation bias when it comes to finding what you want to be true in the bible.

Not to mention that having babies go to heaven throws up all kinds of hideous knock-on theological and pragmatic difficulties (especially for evangelical Arminians who believe that freely chosen faith in the gospel is the only way of salvation).

Arch: you seem to not understand that an opinIon can be reflective of reality.  Obviously, I believe this to be so for my opinions - I'm sure you do of yours.  Feel free to be curious about my reasoning, it's largely based upon my intuitions about God being good and about my intuition as to what that goodness entails.  I think mercy triumphs over judgement - so even if one deserves hideous punishment it is better to be merciful.  Jesus and all that.  Of course, one can be both just and merciful to some extent, but if they clash I think mercy trumps justice.  Note, I also said that I don't think any crime deserves hell to begin with, so in many ways it's moot.

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Archsage

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Re: Hell
« Reply #94 on: October 31, 2013, 07:30:37 pm »
Arch: you seem to not understand that an opinIon can be reflective of reality.  Obviously, I believe this to be so for my opinions - I'm sure you do of yours.  Feel free to be curious about my reasoning, it's largely based upon my intuitions about God being good and about my intuition as to what that goodness entails.  I think mercy triumphs over judgement - so even if one deserves hideous punishment it is better to be merciful.  Jesus and all that.  Of course, one can be both just and merciful to some extent, but if they clash I think mercy trumps justice.  Note, I also said that I don't think any crime deserves hell to begin with, so in many ways it's moot.

If you believe that your opinions reflect reality (rather than just are conjuring's of your own internal thoughts) then you believe that they have objective value. In that case, you're implicitly claiming them to be more than mere opinions, but rather as, in some form, statements of fact. That is why I am curious -- if it was only your opinion I wouldn't be pressing you for an explanation.

Now, I can understand what you say, that mercy triumphs over judgement. But what I asked you before, is if you were saying that Justice (that each person is rendered onto themselves what they deserve to get, rather than things that they did not deserve) is a fiendish thing? That is what you were implying before. Are you standing by that statement, or are you actually saying something different?
“It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness..."  –Blaise Pascal

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Bertuzzi

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Re: Hell
« Reply #95 on: October 31, 2013, 07:34:33 pm »
The problem with your last is that it's not biblical. "The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. (Revelation 20:13 NLT)" It speaks nothing about continuous judgement but rather a final judgement. The following verse says they were then thrown into the lake of fire, which is considered the second death.

Also if you check out some of my previous posts you'll find a significant case for annihilationism and also against traditionalism (which seems to rest on a few key scriptures in Revelations). These other scriptures you speak of are not really considered as evidence for Traditionalism but rather can be interpreted either way.

I'll try to respond with a longer post tomorrow.  But just wanted to quickly add that we need to be careful to distinguish between figurative language versus the literal in the Bible.

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Jem

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Re: Hell
« Reply #96 on: October 31, 2013, 07:43:30 pm »
Quote from: Jem
The "wicked" will never see life again. Cast into gehenna, they will never awaken from the sleep of death.
God has no need to torture anyone. He just takes away their right to live. Does he have to do more?
This seems to be at odds with Matthew 25. If all nations are gathered before Jesus at the judgment and they are questioning their judgment, it does not make much sense to say that they are asleep.

All the nations that are gathered before him at that time do not include the dead. These are people very much alive at the time of judgment. Jesus likened it to the days of Noah. Only the living were judged and perished in the flood. Noah was said to be a"preacher of righteousness" so who was he preaching to? Dead people?

The dead have paid sin's wages and are covered by the sacrifice of Christ (who died for all) so any "unrighteous" dead ones will be resurrected after judgment day to be given a second chance. If these refuse to bring their lives into harmony with God's requirements,  they will experience "the second death" from which there is no resurrection.

Those alive when the judgment comes have already had their chance and blown it by not responding to the "witness" that God had proclaimed "in all the inhabited earth" (Matt 24:14) just as the people in Noah's day failed to heed his warning, so Jesus said that the majority of people alive today are "goats" who did not discern God's will and ignored his messengers, choosing instead to ridicule them. (Matt 24:36-39; 2 Pet 3:3-7) :(
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And they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace" Psalm 37:11

Unless otherwise stated, all quoted material taken from WTBTS sources. jw.org

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bdsimon

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Re: Hell
« Reply #97 on: October 31, 2013, 07:50:05 pm »
Quote
All the nations that are gathered before him at that time do not include the dead.
I am sorry Jem, but I don't read it that way and I don't think the great judgment and all nations (from all times) being before Christ (and all the angels) can mean anything other than the dead as well. I read it that way the first time I read it and in every commentary I have ever consulted in my many years since. Of course they (and me) could all be wrong. I just don't see it.

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Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

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ksfaith

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Re: Hell
« Reply #98 on: October 31, 2013, 07:59:34 pm »
I disagree.  I think the verses used to support that position are pretty far from being strong, unambiguous and conclusive.  Not that the bible can't be used to support that position, just that many have that position not based upon the strength of the biblical case for it (which is quite weak) but based upon moral intuition.  The fact that not all xtians throughout history have held to it (I think it's quite recent, isn't it?) highlights this.  Never underestimate the power of confirmation bias when it comes to finding what you want to be true in the bible.

Not to mention that having babies go to heaven throws up all kinds of hideous knock-on theological and pragmatic difficulties (especially for evangelical Arminians who believe that freely chosen faith in the gospel is the only way of salvation).

Hi, Q

I'll respond to the second comment first.  I, too, had some reservations about this in the past, due to what felt like a loop-hole to salvation.  Why do babies get a free pass, I asked? 

After reading WLC discuss Molinism and middle-knowledge, however, I think it is perfectly consistent for God to allow babies who die to get into Heaven.  Are you familiar with middle-knowledge?  If God knows beforehand who would and wouldn't accept Him, given any circumstance, then I think he'd be justified to allow those who WOULD accept Him, had they lived on, but who died as babies, to go to Heaven.  So the only people God would have created who die as babies would be those who would have accepted Him had they lived on or in some other circumstance. 

But to address the Biblical evidence, we have the account of David in 2 Samuel 12:23 saying about the death of his child (conceived illegitimately with Bathsheba), "I will go to him, but he will not return to me."  The implication is clear that David's child is in Heaven and David will have to wait until the afterlife to see his child again. 

I would not think this at all to be confirmation bias, as it seems a clear implication.

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Jem

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Re: Hell
« Reply #99 on: October 31, 2013, 08:08:43 pm »
It's interesting that you equate hell with torture and God with being a fiend, Jem.  Do others feel that way about hell?  To be honest, I think of annihilation as very bad thing also, so I think the accusation cuts both ways, though obviously to a lesser degree.

It is the belief of many that serious torment in a place of exclusion from God is permanent Q11. The image of eternal suffering is quite different to that painted by scripture.

In the garden of Eden, what was the penalty that God placed on eating from the forbidden fruit? Was it eternal separation?....burning in eternal flames?.....or just plain death? What did Adam understand "death" to mean?

If God did not warn him about suffering in "hell" for all eternity....don't we have to ask why? If anyone ever deserved to go to such a place, it was him!  Suffering in an eternally separated state from God requires that human souls be alive. He told Adam he would "die"....nothing more. If Adam had been threatened with eternal suffering, maybe he would have made a different choice...who knows?   :-\

Why do we imagine that some part of us goes on living after death? It was the devil who said that, not God. Satan told Eve she would not die....so did she? If she continued to live in some other form, then God lied and the devil told the truth.

In Israel, God announced that he had put "life and death" before them. He mentioned nothing about heaven or hell.
He told them to "choose life" by obeying all his commands.

We have the same choice....we choose either life or death by obeying God. The opposite of eternal life is eternal death according to scripture. How did we come to read it otherwise?
"the meek ones themselves will possess the earth,
And they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace" Psalm 37:11

Unless otherwise stated, all quoted material taken from WTBTS sources. jw.org

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Questions11

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Re: Hell
« Reply #100 on: November 01, 2013, 03:52:00 am »
Arch: I stand by the statement that if justice somehow requires eternal torment, then it would be fiendish to implement that.  Of course, true justice never requires such a thing.

Jem: I understand.  But I am not convinced by the annihilationist position.

Ksfaith: I have a basic understanding if Molinism (and reject it), but I don't see how Molinism and/or trans world damnation saves the position from massive theological and scriptural difficulties.  I'm afraid the bible passage you have is weak because given the OT background soteriological and cosmological context it is far more likely that David was simply saying that he too would die - or at least many commentators argue this.  Which means that this single proof text is far from being enough to overturn the very clear NT repeated teaching of salvation only coming through faith in Jesus.

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bdsimon

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Re: Hell
« Reply #101 on: November 01, 2013, 04:25:36 am »
Arch: I stand by the statement that if justice somehow requires eternal torment, then it would be fiendish to implement that.  Of course, true justice never requires such a thing.

Jem: I understand.  But I am not convinced by the annihilationist position.

Ksfaith: I have a basic understanding if Molinism (and reject it), but I don't see how Molinism and/or trans world damnation saves the position from massive theological and scriptural difficulties.  I'm afraid the bible passage you have is weak because given the OT background soteriological and cosmological context it is far more likely that David was simply saying that he too would die - or at least many commentators argue this.  Which means that this single proof text is far from being enough to overturn the very clear NT repeated teaching of salvation only coming through faith in Jesus.
In addition to what you have posted here there is another difficulty as well. The Bible teaches that all of us have sinned and are condemned in Adam. If we say that babies get in to heaven then we are saying that either they are not sinners or that they receive the grace of Christ without ever placing faith in Him. If we say that they are not sinners then there is no one who needs grace until they sin. This is contrary to orthodox teaching of sin and grace. All have sinned and are in need of grace which seems only to leave us with the exception model. Which I fully accept and embrace- I have just allowed for more exceptions.

As another note on Molinism- I thought WLC embraced TWD which would actually mean that all babies would go to hell since they did not freely accept Christ? God knew that they would never accept Jesus as Lord so they never received the opportunity to hear about Him. That is my understanding of what he teaches on those that have never heard. Of course he probably makes exceptions (for babies) because it is counter-intuitive to us to think that God would condemn babies (which is my argument).
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

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Questions11

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Re: Hell
« Reply #102 on: November 01, 2013, 04:31:54 am »
Very good point, Bdsimon: original sin/guilt, especially in light of Calvinist predestination and/or Molinist trans world damnation, would lead one to believing all babies, mentally handicapped, those who never heard, aborted foetuses etc go to hell.  And there are xtians who believe this.

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Archsage

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Re: Hell
« Reply #103 on: November 01, 2013, 05:06:12 am »
Quote from: Que
Arch: I stand by the statement that if justice somehow requires eternal torment, then it would be fiendish to implement that.  Of course, true justice never requires such a thing.

Let me get this straight, if someone deserves eternal torment, it would be fiendish to give them it? If someone deserved a pie, it wouldn't be fiendish to give it to them would it? If someone deserved a death penalty, would it be fiendish to give it to them?

I'm not quite sure what you think the term "deserve" means.
“It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness..."  –Blaise Pascal

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Questions11

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Re: Hell
« Reply #104 on: November 01, 2013, 05:28:48 am »
Yes, as what is deserved in terms of retributive justice is abhorrent and against all possible considerations of what is moral in terms of intrinsic goodness, restorative justice and mercy.  And intrinsic goodness, restorative justice and mercy trump retributionist justice.

And, again, talking of someone deserving eternal torment is, to me, like talking of making circles square.  Which might possibly explain some of the issues we're having.