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Does the bible say hell is eternal torture/torment?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/14/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 416 times Debate No: 89666
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
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I have seen countless Christians, who claim hell to be a place where you are "tortured forever". I've looked in the bible for where is says this, and what I found is what seems to be a misunderstood idea. The bible describes hell to be an everlasting lake of burning sulfur, where you meet the second death in torment, As an everlasting punishment. The misunderstanding here, is that ceasing to exist can also be accurately described, as an everlasting punishment. The act of dying in the second death, is never clarified to itself be everlasting, the only things described as eternal, is hell itself, and the punishment you get, not the act of burning in hell.

Matthew 25:46 "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." Eternal life is a but when compared to hell. This means "You can go to hell, or you can get eternal life." They are phrased as separate options, which heavily discredits the concept of hell being an eternal life of torment, rather than a temporary torment and a permanent non existence, hence the phrase second death. Death is eternal, so where does the bible state, that you DON'T die in hell, but rather stay there for eternity.

This is my argument. To clarify, Hell itself lasts forever, the punishment can be death or eternal life in torment, as they both match the eternal punishment phrasing. So I am looking for someone, to prove where the bible states that you receive ETERNAL torment/torture specifically, an eternal life in hell. New or Old testament, either is acceptable, as I find the same mistake in both. The bible is the source however, this debate is not about other religions, nor is it about what seperate popes or holy people say. This is just about the bible, I want a reason why I should believe hell is an everlasting torture. I am open to different arguments, but the most solid way to approach this argument, is just by explaining a bible quote and why is proves hell to be an everlasting torture.


The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines life as
: the ability to grow, change, etc., that separates plants and animals from things like water or rocks
: the period of time when a person is alive
: the experience of being alive.

After the rapture, the great tribulation, and the appearing, the unrepentant will be thrown into eternal damnation, while the rightous enter the kingdom of god. They wont be GROWING or LIVING exactly, but there is no life after hell, no second chance so you can't die. Believe me though, everyone in hell will WISH they could die to get out of it!

Luke 13:28: There shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves cast out.

So obviously you will see others enjoyment, while being in hell yourself.......(not saying you are going to hell or anything)

Luke 16:23-24 he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and seeing Abraham far off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

Looking forward to your reply! :)
Debate Round No. 1


My use of the word "life" is simply being aware, knowing things are happening to you. The alternative to death, which is not, not existing at all, permanent non existence. Yes religion does muddy the waters of what life means, but when I refer to eternal life in hell, I dont mean you will be growing or really living in the mortal realm, but you will still be aware, you will still exist.

Your quotes are really good, as they do suggest that the torment stages lasts significant time. However all of these feelings described in the biblical hell, could still be described from an act that took less than 5 minutes. Lets say 5 minutes as a base of how long you burn in the alternate where you dont burn forever. You see yourself being cast down, you wish to be ended of the torment, the wish that the torment shall end, can both imply that the torment doenst end, or rather its so bad that there is nothing you want more than it to end. I mean you could see gods glory right before being cast into hell, it never again, clearly states that you sit there forever, watching everyone bask in glory while you are tormented. It happened, but again everything in hell is clarified as lasting forever, except these processes. Is there any thing that suggests in the bible, that you cant cry for mercy, and see the people going to heaven, for any amount of time longer than 5 minutes?

Your explanation of the word life does well counter my point that hell is contrary to life, because their usage of life could be the ability to grow or change, rather than simply being aware. So that does help counter my counter points, but you still have yet to find a reason why this torment lasts forever. If I was burning in a lake for 5 minutes, thats plenty of time to plead, and feel regret. Your substance is still lacking, as that is what I am looking for. You can discredit my arguments all the way through, the problem is you still need to make a solid argument of your own, that does prove hell to be ETERNAL torment. Every quote you have brought does not differentiate from temporary torment from eternal torment, so I still request of that. You are the pro side. I am not saying I wont argue, but rather you havent made a good point for your own side.

I find it very odd that the bible will consistently refer to hell as a death, as if the first death was just the decider leading up to the second death, but if the second death leads to nothing, that does suggest that in the second death you cease to exist. What does killing a soul mean when a soul cannot functionally die? "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell."

Dying, you could try to argue that death doesnt mean exactly that, because death is described as the end of life, and if hell happens after your life is already ended, that suggests that death does not mean not existing? This doesnt work because that would render the phrase "second death" completely meaningless, as if the bible believed that death is only the end of your vital organs, what meaning would a second death entail. It would contradict itself. Not to mention the bible quote I just gave also uses the term "destroy" which again, suggests that you no longer exist. Rather than exist forever in torment.

Summary, my hell or life point has been well handled, but the wording of all quotes still provably suggest that your soul ceases existing, and none of your examples, even when combined, need to take longer than 5 minutes. Meaning you have still inaccurately supported your side of the argument and I will be awaiting to see if you do.


Our bodies die and decompose, which is how we view life on earth. ETERNAL life, is something completely different. Because after Christ rose, he breathed the holy spirit into his disciples that they may be guided though their life on Earth. Once we die, if we are saved, we are given new bodies and our bonds are all loosed. We are given a "Never dying soul" or an "Immortal soul" on Earth, and our souls never die with our bodies.

But in eternity, "one day is as one thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day" (2 Peter 3:8). Time will cease to be in eternity, you increment of "5 minutes" is irrelevant in Eternal Damnation, as well as in The Kingdom of God.

We don't grow in eternity, thats right. Physically, or morally. That's why we must turn to the savior today. We don't want to be moral midgets in heaven, do we?
Debate Round No. 2


"that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." You misquote or simply misunderstand the implications of Lord being above time. Currently he also exists before the universe was created, so if he is above time, and creation is a process that can only occur in time, creating time is impossible. Your quote doesn't mention Damnation, it specifically says the LORDS perspective. GOD sees the world in all times, not us. Yes beyond time would be eternity, but you also forget that every thought we have takes time, the physics of being in an eternal heaven by your definition, actually stops all thought and hence all love, meaning you cannot love the lord in heaven, as love requires time to be processed. Or do you want to deny the basic laws of observation, and say that you can enjoy heaven, if time just stopped, or if you didn't abide by time, meaning time abiding concepts like thought and emotion would freeze....

I hope you realize even the act of suffering REQUIRES time, in fact it is our body that feels pain, so if we are beyond bodies we wouldn't be able to. There is absolutely no difference between heaven and hell if we use sensible ideas of physics. Everything we see, feel, think, is proven to be controlled by the brain, so when we are separated from said brain, and our brain decays on earth, there are no feelings to be had, no pain no love. Not to mention no time, so if we had out bodies it wouldn't be possible regardless, as the pain signals would still have to travel to your brain, again a process abides by time. How is it possible to "cry for mercy" when we both cannot feel, cannot think, and cannot speak?

But this is about hell, so I honestly shouldn't care about how it cannot work, hell doesn't exist. I just want specifically where the bible SAYS it to be ever lasting, You misquote the bible, of which it actually said that to god time is fluid and not passing but all the time. It is like that to supposed god, right now, when watching you. That doesn't change your perception of a straight forward time, so your quote is completely irrelevant to how long hell lasts, as by the same logic, our mortal life lasts forever, because to god one day can also be a thousand years... see where this goes? Your quote isnt even addressing eternity, but rather how God sees everything.

Christianity functions off of extreme illogical assertions, so again I just want the claim, Im not here to disprove god, Im here to be told what hell is supposedly like. Is it eternal torment? Clearly not because you have to misquote and work around the bible to get to the conclusion. Recognize that even the bible doesn't itself state the the act of torment in hell, lasts forever. You try to rewrite the meaning of time even though it would directly contradict the act of sufferING which is a time abiding action, and the quote where it doesn't abide time only addresses god, not a single thing otherwise. You try to redefine a word based on misquotes. Eternity is just never ending. And again the act of being tormented in hell is never said to be eternal. You are rather taking a hypothetical stance of time itself not moving, which directly contradicts the idea of said hell, because thought would be impossible in a non time abiding space, rather than a time abiding space that never ceases.

You have not explained why torment in hell is everlasting. You have one more chance to get this right. Where does the bible say TORMENT in HELL is everlasting. You are taking quotes that doesn't even apply to hell or that do not prove hell to be non time abiding, heck you've done quite the opposite. This argument seems confusing, which is mostly due to Hell being chock full of contradictions and holes, but the argument still stands, you have failed at explaining where the bible states hell to be a place where every individual faces never ending torture.


The Bible is a Holy book, and it is open to interpretation. If we just took the entire bible literally, it would just be a normal history book. For you to condemn my interpretation of scripture saying that time does not exist beyond the world is pure ignorance. The quote i mentioned doesn't include damnation, because i tied it to several other scriptures, as damnation is used several times in the bible to describe hell.

The soul feels pain and suffering, do you really think that guilt and feeling all comes from the brain and bodies? God created us and gave us our never dying soul to take care of and maintain purity on the earth.

I understand your disbelief of increments of time, being confined to time all your life. Your idea of love needing time is obviously just an assumption on your part, as an experiment cant possibly be formed because only Jehovah can stop time.

I'm sorry that you failed to listen to my reasoning, and would like to end with this quote. John 20:29 Blessed are they that have not see, but believed.

I enjoyed debating with you, and hope that someday you may become a Christian and realize that true happiness and satisfaction comes from God, rather than challenging his creation.

Thank You!
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by whiteflame 5 months ago
Then I believe you have some misconceptions about what the standards are. You're not required to quote either side - all you're required to do is reference a specific point made by each side and assess it. The vote is, I suppose, relatively new, though it's been around for over a year. I've been enforcing it for about half of that time.

You're certainly entitled to your views about what you think debaters on this site would like most, which is any vote over no votes. You're not alone in that view. However, there are many who would disagree with that sentiment. Having a single voter decide a debate with barely any explanation is often viewed as worse than a debate ending in a tie.
Posted by Brendan21 5 months ago
Don't worry about it. I'd rather not have to debate to defend a vote in the comments section. To explain exactly why I voted the way I did is silly as I voted based on what I read, I just do not feel it necessary to quote each side when giving my reasoning. This is still where debates are won by voters, and to remove the only vote cast simply because of a poor explained reason to cast votes still destroys what this website is all about. I'd like to also note that this is clearly a new policy as in years past no votes were ever removed and it made for more votes in general and more debates to actually end with a winner.
Posted by whiteflame 5 months ago
And, again, I'll offer that you defend your vote instead of just being upset with moderation for removing it. If you want to defend it, do so. Complaining about moderation won't do anything if you're not willing to do the bare minimum to show that you met the standards.
Posted by Brendan21 5 months ago
Woot, Whiteflame strikes again to ruin any kind of vote for this debate and, WOOT yet another tie because of it. #analmods
Posted by whiteflame 5 months ago
>Reported vote: Brendan21// Mod action: Removed<

3 points to Con (Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: Have recently come across the same thing as Con in my idea of Biblical Hell and have discussed it with a few Christians who actually agree with Con. Seems to be far more logical of a loving God than eternal torture.

[*Reason for removal*] The voter appears to chiefly inform their vote with their own outside views. While there will always be a certain amount of bias involved in any given decision, the voter is required to use the RFD space to explain their decision given the arguments from the debate. The voter fails to examine any specific arguments made by either side. Merely saying what's logical isn't an assessment of any given point.
Posted by Brendan21 6 months ago
I find it interesting that people don't like the idea of this for some reason. Why do we 'unworthy' need to burn in agony forever if we aren't saved by God instead of just dying like we believe will happen anyway? Annihilationism is actually the basis of Christianity and the idea of hell really only came about around 400 AD because a terribly horrible man known as Saint Augustine.
Posted by Jnaejnae 6 months ago
Although the Pro was kind about it, he ultimately failed which was personally a let down. He basically admits that the bible does not literally support his claim, which is specifically what I asked of him. Even worse he phrased it with a dumbed down inaccurate portrayal of my claim, with the assertion that I am ignorant ( with nothing to support that assertion).

He misquotes, then violates facts about the universe, and decides that his whole supporting argument for doing so, would be a rhetorical question that implies I am wrong because he believes otherwise. Which is an incredibly dull an ignorant argument.

His main argument still doesnt hold up, because when I look up the quote from the bible, It actually says something different, of which contradicts his claim. As he said damnation is described as existing in a fluid idea of time, but his quote mentioned only the Lord, not damnation nor hell, but he uses a lyrical trick to suggest it was one and not the other, when clearly it was neither.

And then goes on to say that my argument about time is an ignorant assumption. Because we cant stop time so we cant know what happens. But we already can and do know what times does. What would happen if we didnt have the first dimension? Well wouldnt be able to walk that way for sure. Same principle for spacetime. You cant conclude a time reliant action, in a realm where time doesnt exist, and this isnt an assumption nor assertion that time does not exist there, infact that is his main argument. Which is a huge contradiction on his part. And overall kinda disappointed that I won that debate. He had very little to say, but wasnt surprised because there is nothing to say. There is no proof for the pro, which is why I side for con, so when I ask for proof, I guess I kinda set it up from the beginning for the opponent to lose miserably. oh well. gg. Pro was still a cool dude about it.
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