Does anyone deserve to burn forever?

This question is more for Christians and other religious types. I mean people who believe and worship “God”. I’ve asked similar questions before.
Think about forever. Forever and ever and ever and ever. And ever, and ever, and ever and ever. And ever, and ever, and ever and ever.


We’re on this planet for such a short time, do you really think your “loving” God (:rolleyes: ) will torture someone “forever”? No matter how bad someone is, do they desreve to be tortured forever, and ever, and ever and ever.

Does anyone deserve to burn for trillions and trillions and trillions of years X infinity for something they did for only a little while? How is that justified?
How do you justify worshipping a God that would do this to anyone?
A person lives their life, THEIR way, for, say, 75 years. God gets back at them by burning them for the rest of eternity. Right? Isn’t this what your Bible says? Why do you drop to your knees and worship something that would do that to anyone? Explain this, please. I live my life MY way, and refuse to appoligize for it. For this I should burn forever? This is a “loving” God? Please convince me that I should worship such an entity.

If you asked the question before, why ask again? Really - I don’t mean to be rude, I just wonder what you hope to gain from the repeat. Do you think there will be some different answers?

I’m sure there’s some kind of parole hearing after you’ve done half your time.

Sorry but you are not going to get a logical answer out of this.

Anyone who believes this is religious in some context, and people who are religious have faith in what they believe in. Faith does not require logic. You are absolutely correct in saying that it is not logically deserved, however if someone interprets the Bible as saying such and they believe everything in the Bible then the answer to your question is simple.

Well, if it’s not deserved, what is your measuring stick? How many lies does it take to make you a liar, and if you lie when it’s raining, do you deserve to do less time that if you lie on a sunny day?

I think the issue is you look at the time, and say it doesn’t fit the crime. But let me ask, if the punishment for a crime is eternal, then how bad is the crime? And if the crime then does deserve eternal punishment, why would we want to try and think it’s not bad to be say…a liar? And if the crime is that great, how great then is the grace of God to send His son?

To those who put stock in the formulation of Hell as fire and brimstone and burning and the hurting and the GLAVIN FOREVER! is to say that, yes, not only does “anyone” deserve to burn forever, everyone deserves to burn forever. But because God put John’s colon between three and sixteen, etc., and you should believe that because it’s true, and you should know it’s true because it’s written down.

There are formulations of religious thought, however, which aren’t that caricatured and simplistic–really, most of them aren’t, but the squeaky self-caricaturing wheels get the attention’s grease is all.

That’s part of my point. A person who commits a murder and doesn’t “repent” gets eternity in Hell. A person who commits 6 million murders and doesn’t repent gets eternity in hell.
Duh, right? Why stop at one then.
To me, faith is a belief in something, free of evidence or other anoying requirements.

And how does one “love” something who threatens to burn you forever if you don’t don’t?

Who ever said God was fair? I believe in God, but look around. Does this look like a “fair” world to you? People who have done nothing to deserve suffering have lives of relentless torment. People who have done everything to deserve suffering have lives of luxury. The Bible never mentions fairness and you shouldn’t confuse “loving” with “fair.” Do you believe in treating all people equally? I don’t. You probably don’t. God certainly doesn’t. Do you sometimes do nice things for mean people, just to see what happens, just to see if it will make them a little nicer? So does God. Do you ever walk past homeless people on the street and ignore them, just to see if they will ask for help, just to see if they will help themselves? So does God. Does God love the nasty person and hate the suffering person? No. He loves both, but each has a different need and he addresses them differently.

Says who?

As luck would have it, it is impossible to burn forever. Because If you burn long enough, sooner or later you will die.

After you die, you are relieved from the pain and suffering.

Then you feed the worms.

End of (your) story.
–oh did you mean burn forever AFTER death? Well, that’s just silly. Anyone with a quarter of a brain doesn’t believe in that kind of childish nonsense.

Actually, it is fun to get all fundamentalists (specially the creationists) to go on a loop by pointing to them that if they assume the 2nd law of thermodynamics prevents evolution, it also prevents a thing like hell. :slight_smile:

Actually, the Bible says nothing about people being tortured in hell. It is, however, a place of torment, and if J. P. Moreland is correct, the references to fire symbolize judgment, rather than actual flames. This explains J.P. Moreland’s position in greater detail.

That link was ok until it reached this:

The problem to me is that free choice sounds more false if one has no chance to USE it in the hereafter, reason being that one can make the point that there is really no free choice here, and that is not only talking philosophical, but also taking just practical issues: like one not being able to choose the country, and many times, the religion one is borne into.

Will you call it a paradise if you are not free to come and go? Similarly, why are we assuming the ones not in heaven will remain forever outside? Or unhappy forever?

Sorry, but a human interpretation of a book allegedly written/inspired by god does not count.
My debate is to those who take the literal word of the bible.
Those who truely believe in the burning lake of fire, forever and ever, etc…
How do those who believe god would do that to someone actually worship such a being? How do they in turn say ‘God is love’ when they believe he will do this to millions of souls. How do you willing worship someone who you believe is going to do something that horrible?

Christians, at least the fundie protestant sort, think that every person has “sinned against God”, and ergo it’s perfectly just (by God’s standards at least) to condemn them to hell. Whether the “sin” is murder or merely looking lustfully at a woman, the sin is still enough to warrant eternal hell…unless you bring Jee-sus into your heart today, sinner! :rolleyes:

That this standard of justice doesn’t align with any common-sense notion of justice anybody actually holds, doesn’t seem to bother the Christians all that much, nor does it seem to make them question whether such a deity is worthy of worship or “love”, as clearly it would not be if it applied such unjust standards. Nevertheless, the fundie Christian realizes that under their belief system many of their friends and family who they consider “good people” in their common-sense judgment are actually condemned to hell, and the only way for them to reconcile this contradiction is to persistently attempt converting them all to the Jesus team. If they can do that, conflict resolved, both their notions of justice are served.

I myself am presently the target of such a fundie’s attempt, and since he happens to be my longtime best friend I tolerate it, and at least get an interesting debate out of it once and awhile. I’ve tried to point out this inconsistency, and the dilemma that follows from it, but he falls right back on defining God’s notion of justice as superiour by definition, despite the clear reasonable evidence to the contrary.

You guys don’t understand this concept at all.

Here’s the bottom line, and the only post I will present in this thread:

All have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God.

That includes “fundie Christians.”

God doesn’t rate sin. It’s all the same to Him. Basically, this means that lying is the same as stealing, murder, whatever, to God.

Everyone stands condemned. Those who hear the gospel, and accept the obvious fact that they are not now, nor ever will be, perfect, and accept the perfect sacrifice of Jesus for all sins, get the free gift of salvation. Those who hear the gospel, and reject it, stand condemned, no matter how “good” of a person you are, or if you “only” lied alot. Whatever.

“Fundie Christians” didn’t make this up. We have no choice, but to accept what is plainly written in the Bible.

Basically, your choice, in your limited amount of time on earth, determines your eternal destiny. It really doesn’t matter what any of us have to say on the matter, because none of us are in any position to judge God, despite what you might think/say.

Our words are, eternally speaking, meaningless. The words in the Bible are eternal. Say what you will on the subject. It matters not. History proves you wrong.

Now, go ahead. Flame away. Call me a nut. I’m finished with this subject, and I’m not going to debate it.

Half of forever is still forever.

This is another argument against Christianity. Regardless how bad a person is, his “sins” are finite, yet the punishment is infinite.

Yes, but God is just and good, because that’s what the Bible says, so you should believe what the Bible says and avoid hell, because that’s what the Bible says. And the Bible is true, because it says it’s true.

Also, apparently, ‘history proves [unbelievers] wrong’ – I’m not sure what this means. Of course the words of the Bible are eternal – at least, they will endure as long as there remain any copies of the book. But the words of Homer and Virgil and Shakespeare are also eternal; the books have been preserved, and they will continue to have meaning as long as there are humans left to read them. There are many books which contain the same circular argument as the Bible:

  • This book contains the only path to salvation, according to its text.
  • This book is true, according to its text.
  • Therefore the text of this book must be believed.

I wonder what Christian literalists would be saying if they had been born in, say, Saudi Arabia – would they be claiming that the words in the Qur’an are eternal, and that Allah offers the only true path to salvation? What if they had been born in another place with a different dominant religion? Are people deserving of eternal punishment for being born in the wrong place or the wrong time? You might argue that people born in non-Christian countries today are ‘refusing’ Christianity because the message is being delivered there, but what happened before Christian missionaries came to that place? How could one ‘refuse’ something they had never heard of, even if it existed elsewhere in the world?

This is a perfectly valid position, once you posit that God is an evil motherfucker. On the other hand, given that a Biblical God is established to be the source of all evil by definition, this isn’t surprising.

Well, let me try and answer some of these questions. Sin is finite. Ok, well, if you lie, how long are you a liar for? A day? Two days? If I murder a child, how long do I have to worry about being caught and tried for murder?

If you murder once or one million times, it’s the same is also not accurate. There is different levels of hell, as there are different levels of heaven. God does judge sins, not as a pass or fail. And how that makes someone evil, I don’t know. If I commit a crime, and I’m brought before a judge and told the payment for my crime was such and such, is it because the judge is bad? What if I was a judge and my son was brought before me, and I had to pass the same sentence, is it a lack of love? I think that if my son understood the gravity of his crime, and was really sorry, I’d still have to pass judgment, but if I then went and served the time, what more could I do?

As for people being born in different places, what about someone born in the home of a drunk, who use to beat his children and wife? What about someone who was born in a house that his father tried to kill him? What about someone born who couldn’t see or speak? No one will go to hell because they haven’t heard of Jesus Christ. The heathen will go to hell for murder, rape, adultery, lust, theft, lying, etc. Sin is not failing to hear the gospel. Rather, “sin is the transgression of the Law”. If we really care about the lost, we will become missionaries and take the good news of God’s forgiveness in Christ to them.