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The problem of pain leads Christians to says: God (Yahweh) loves us and he is not just kind with us, and because of this he allows suffering so we turn away our focus from the world and through suffering to evolved spiritually and morally, so that we find and acknowledge the true God (Yahweh), Jesus and in the end experience true happiness, joy and companionship with God (Yahweh) in Heaven for eternity.

The problem of hell and the free will concept leads C.S. Lewis and Dr. Craig to emphasize the role that free will plays in determining one's eternal destiny in heaven or hell; they also accept the so-called libertarian understanding of free will, according to which freedom and determinism are incompatible, because not even an omnipotent being can causally determine a genuinely free choice. If some person should freely act wrongly—or worse yet, freely reject God's grace then it was not within God's power to induce this person to have freely acted otherwise. So our human free choices, particularly the bad ones, are obstacles that God must work around as he tries to bring his loving purposes to fruition. And this may suggest the further possibility that, with respect to some free persons, God cannot both preserve their freedom in relation to him and prevent them from freely rejecting him forever. .(As C. S. Lewis put it: “I willingly believe that the damned are, in one sense, successful, rebels to the end; that the doors of hell are locked on the inside”.)

As a conclusion we have the following proposition:

(1): Some persons will, despite God's best efforts to save them, freely and irrevocably reject God and thus separate themselves from him forever.

All seems fine and beautiful at the first look. But let me point some important observations and objections:

However the logical possibility of (1) being true is compatible with its being false and with the very real possibility that the infinitely resourceful God will successfully win over all sinners in the end. It is even compatible with the epistemic certainty—based upon revelation, for example—that no one will successfully resist God's salvific will forever. So a plausible free will theodicy of the lake of fire requires more than the bare logical possibility that (1) is true.

For consider this:
- it is logically possible that a fair coin would never land heads up, not even once in a trillion tosses, such an eventuality is so incredibly improbable and so close to an impossibility that no one need fear it actually happening.
- Nor would (1) be any less improbable than that if an argument of Eric Reitan's should turn out to be correct. In working with a sinner S (shattering S's illusions and correcting S's ignorance), God could presumably bring S to a point, just short of actually determining S's choice, where S would see the choice between horror and bliss with such clarity that the probability of S repenting and submitting to God would be extremely high. Or, if you prefer, drop the probability to .5. Over an indefinitely long period of time, S would still have an indefinitely large number of opportunities to repent; and so, according to Reitan, the assumption that sinner S retains his libertarian freedom forever (as the bible says explicitly) and that an omnipotent God will not eventually win over sinner S (and do so without causally determining his choices) is as impossible as that a coin will not land heads up in a trillion tosses. The impossible multiplies infinitely when we have billions of coins (sinners) and infinite tosses(opportunities).

Christians don’t seem to like random chance when it comes to how our universe and life appeared (even when there is the argument of many universes theory) but you seem to embrace it when it comes to the impossibility of billions of people to freely choose forever the torment of the lake of fire because they never find and/or acknowledge the true God (Yahweh), they never repent, ask him for forgiveness; even though this omnipotent being tries also forever with all his might to reconcile with all of them.



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no response?


Atheist in Louisiana

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You'll get far more responses if you use the Choose Your Own Topic subforum.  That's where everyone hangs out.  All of the others are rarely used.  I try to, but topics and replies are few and far between.
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