Hell is immoral and unjustified.
Debate Rounds (4)
There are usually 4 different main views of hell that the majority of Christians believe, being:
A. Everlasting conscious torment
B. Everlasting metaphorical mental pain from the separation of God
C. Annihilationsim (soul is destroyed in hell)
D. Universalism (everybody gets to heaven eventually after purgatory or hell)
I am not here to refute the last three, but instead I will be arguing against A) which is the traditional dominating view of hell that asserts that souls who do not accept Jesus Christ will go to hell where they are given everlasting conscious torment. I will be arguing that this is unjust and immoral.
Round 1 will be acceptance and any courtesies either wishes to administer.
Round 2 will be opening arguments
Round 3 will be rebuttals and whatever new arguments either side wishes to add
Round 4 will be a conclusion, each side summing up their arguments for their position. No new arguments may be given
With that out of the way, I wish to say that I am looking forward to debating whoever will accept this challenge. I look forward to trying to understand your reasoning for your position, and I hope you will understand my own.
1. The Lottery of Religions:
Pascal"s Wager is a common Christian argument that states that it is better to be a Christian and for there to be no God than it is to be an atheist and for there to be a God. A visual of this argument can be seen in this link:
But this is fundamentally flawed reasoning that reduces the choice of believing in the Christian God down to only two choices; belief or non-belief. The reality of the situation is much starker since there are over 10,000 different religions in the world. When confronted with the sheer number of religions to choose from, this idea starts to look less like a wager and more like a lottery. The lottery of religions can be seen in this link:
This is only a small fraction of the 10,000 different religions in the history of the world because we couldn't possibly accommodate all of them in a single spreadsheet, and I remind you that there are even more widely differing sects within each religion.
Now, there are 10,000 different "numbers" to choose from in the lottery with each one proclaiming that it is the truth while all other numbers are false. Some of the numbers are more popular than others, and when asked why people chose a certain number they usually say it is because they have faith in it. In fact, most of the numbers wildly assert that one will just have to believe them based upon faith. Some may offer evidence, but this evidence is obviously not sufficient to choose any one belief because we still need faith to believe in it. If any religion had sufficient and compelling evidence like their God visiting a massive amount of people to explain who is right, then we wouldn't need faith at all. But God does not provide compelling and indisputable evidence for any one religion, so we have to choose out of the 10,000 based upon faith.
I ask you: is this really the appropriate way by which to judge people? Does the true God really decide to send people to hell simply because they chose the wrong God to worship?
If this scenario is true, then literally billions of people will be sent to hell simply because they were convinced that the wrong religion was true instead of the right one. For example, if Islam is right and you get sent to be tortured for eternity because you rejected their God, would you consider their God loving or just whatsoever? No, of course you wouldn't. They could say that you chose your fate by rejecting Allah and that you deserve to be tortured for being an infidel, but you would know that it wouldn't be just to torture you at all. If you maintain the notion that people deserve to go to hell for not picking Christianity because it is right, then you must also believe that it would be justified for you to go to hell if Islam is right.
I ask you to put yourself in the position of someone being sent to hell for choosing the wrong belief. So I want you to answer this question: If it is justified for God to send people to Hell for not believing in Christianity, would it also be justified for Allah to send you to Hell for not believing in him if Islam is right?
It's disturbing that Christians can so easily rationalize the torture of other people for not believing, but if they were tortured because of their non-belief in Islam they would view it as completely wrong.
2. No One Consciously Chooses Hell.
Hell can be proclaimed as the worst possible state of conscious existence. Many Christians try to argue that God does not send people to Hell, but rather it is the Non-Christian himself who chooses to go there. This argument can be completely falsified only by placing yourself within the shoes of the non-believer.
Suppose again that Islam is right. We have both heard about Islam's claim to be the perfect word of God and rejected it, full well knowing that this could mean eternal torture. In this scenario, you have been mislead by Christianity, and I have been thoroughly mislead by science. Nonetheless, we are both going to Hell.
If Islam is right, would you really say that you chose to go to Hell because you rejected Allah? All of the Christians I have ever talked to about this have said no, and I would expect that you would say the same. That's because we didn't consciously choose to be tortured, we simply weren't convinced by Islam and instead were mislead by Christianity and science. We believed in our hearts that we were right and that we would not go to Hell, and so how can anyone ever choose to go to Hell? This world is filled with Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and various other theists who all believe that they are right; none of them choose to go to Hell.
Again, by placing yourself within the shoes of the non-believer, we can see that people don't consciously choose to go to Hell. They fully believe in their religion or their atheism, and would not be aware that their beliefs will cause them to suffer eternally.
And furthermore, if Christianity is right then God judges people based on a choice they made while the answer was obscure and greatly difficult to ascertain. Why is it that he judges me and gives me free will during life to choose heaven or hell when the answer is so hard to uncover, but when the answer becomes clear in Hell he rejects me if I want to choose to be with him in heaven? Does someone's choice of religion during life somehow outweigh their free will and choice to want to be with God when he makes himself clear when they are in hell?
For example: a man is in hell, and after 3 million years of suffering he looks up and pleads with God to let him be with God or die, is God going to deny him this request based on a choice he made 3 million years ago during his life when the answer was unclear? If people truly choose to be in hell, then none of them would want to go out. But we can all come to a consensus that no one would want to be in Hell, and if anyone is in Hell then they are most likely begging God to let them out or let them die.
Ultimately, if Hell exists then people are sent there based upon a choice they made when the answer was unclear, and they are denied their requests to die or go to heaven when they are being inhumanely tortured. How anyone can rationalize that this is justified is completely beyond me.
3. No one deserves to go to hell for eternity.
When I say this, I mean absolutely no one; not Hitler, not Pol Pot , not Stalin. Now, it's important to understand that I believe Hitler should be punished for his crimes. I just don't believe he should be punished forever.
If I could, I would make Hitler live through all of the millions of lives that he directly and indirectly caused suffering to. He would have to live through and die in the holocaust millions of times, watch his Jewish friends and family tortured and starving, and also have to live through and die in war millions upon millions of times. The reason why I would do this is so that he would learn a lesson about all of the suffering he caused, and so that he could build empathy and become a better person. But the point of this is clear: this punishment serves to teach him a lesson and better him as a person so that he may able to rejoin society and receive justice for his crimes.
However, I would not even think about sentencing him to be tortured for all of eternity. Any finite suffering one could ever cause on Earth would be infinitesimally small compared to the suffering and torture one would endure in Hell. Everlasting torture and punishment does not better the person, teach them a lesson, nor does it reform their ways. Everlasting torture serves no other purpose but to punish the person, and since the suffering they would endure is infinitely more than suffering they could ever cause, it is only there to satisfy God and his vindictive sadism. There is absolutely no reason for people to be tortured forever other than to satisfy God. One could say that Hell separates evil people from the good, but God could easily do that by annihilating their existence. Plus, your fate in Hell or Heaven is not decided by how good you are. Instead it is only decided by whether you accept Jesus or not.
In fact, Hell is infinitely worse than the holocaust because it literally never ends. But just like the Holocaust, Jews are sent to hell based on the fact that they are Jewish.
How could you say that the holocaust is unjustified when your own God sends people to an infinitely worse place for being Jewish as well? You'll find that Jews in the holocaust and Jews in Hell have a very important thing in common: they both are being tortured simply because they are Jewish.
God created Hell, God sends people to Hell because of their beliefs, God refuses to let people out of Hell once they are there, and God watches and knows everything that goes on in Hell with the complete power to end these people's pointless suffering. There is no justice with Hell, there is no lesson learned, and most importantly of all there is no one who deserves it.
I simply ask you to exercise empathy and compassion for non-believers and realize that no one could ever deserve to be tortured for eternity, especially based upon their beliefs. I await your arguments and rebuttal.
1. Hell is Not a Punishment
What is Hell? Hell is not a place but a state. Unlike previous times many Christian scholars today do not view Hell as eternal torment or fire. In fact it is worse than that. While we humans do not completely know what Hell is like, many of us conclude that Hell is a place where you are disconnected from God. In Hell you are not exposed by God's powerful love like you constantly are here on earth. God loves everyone, including those who do not believe in Him but Hell is a devastating place, not of fire and brimstone but of a Godless dimension. This is not a punishment but a place where people have rejected God and so they are not in communion with Him. Even atheists are surrounded by God, He surrounds all of us everyday. He loves us so much without you even knowing it and it is fantastic for you and I. Hell is basically an Atheist's world, a world without Him.
2. People Choose to Go To Hell
Let's be honest, no one in this world except Satanists want to go to Hell, even those who do not believe in Hell will admit that it is the last place that they would want to go to. So then why do I say that people choose to go to Hell? The concept of free will is often misunderstood. Free will is a gift that God gave to us when we choose to do good or bad, God has absolutely nothing to do with this. The man who murdered a family was not forced to do that, he chose to do it himself. People who go to Hell are one's that have chosen to sin without asking for forgiveness. People may not be purposely asking to go to Hell, it is how they choose to live their own lives. If they go to Hell the fault is not in God, it is in themselves and how they freely chose to live their life.
3. Anyone Can Go To Heaven
Believe it or not you can have faith by not even believing in God or Jesus. This is known as faith and good works. You can show faith by doing good works throughout your life. While faith in God and Jesus is important it does not mean you are completely faithful. Faith doesn't just involve divinity, it also involves what you do in humanity throughout you life, these moral acts are know as good works. Good works can get you to heaven and purgatory. Again, faith is needed, but you can show this through doing good things, by following the 10 Commandments without even believing in them. You bring up that Christians believe that you must be Christian to go to heaven, but this is not true. You can accept Jesus without even doing it and follow his commandments by simply doing good works. A lifelong atheist that performs good works throughout his or her life can still accept Jesus at death.
4. Jesus is an Important Part of the Afterlife
Old Jewish tradition stated that when the Messiah comes the gates of Heaven shall open. Because Christians believe the Messiah has already come there is now the kingdom of Heaven with Jesus at the right hand of the Father, and probably St. Peter. When Jesus resurrected He ascended into Heaven and the gates were finally open. This is why to Christians it is important to understand Jesus to understand the afterlife this is why it is important to accept Him. Note, Jews now accept the existence of Heaven without the Messiah coming yet, I am not exactly sure why.
5. We Don't Exactly Know Who Goes to Hell
For all we know there could be very few people in Hell, or maybe a lot. We just don't know. God, not us, judges who goes to Heaven, Hell or Purgatory. Someone once asked my priest if the 9/11 hijackers went to Hell. He answered, "What they did was wrong but I simply don't know because God is the ultimate judge." Before I gave you the example of the serial killer. I did not actually say he will go to Hell, I suggested he may without truly asking for forgiveness, this was an example of free will, not of someone going to Hell. So ultimately, while we may judge people here on earth, the ultimate judge is God.
Arguments for Atheists
6. Hell Creates a Good Society
In many countries we follow laws so that we don't land in prison. Similar to Hell. While it is not a punishment, Hell is still a place that we do not want to be. Many people ion society do good things so that they do not go to Hell and it creates a better and safer society. I once knew someone who wanted to commit suicide because of depression but he decided not to because he was afraid of going to Hell, it can also prevent suicide.
7. Why Hell Is Not Immoral
Because God is not involved in Hell there is no way that we can say that He is punishing us, plus Hell itself is not a punishment. Hell would be immoral if God purposely made someone do bad things and then unfairly send them to Hell. With free will you are not God's puppet, you ultimately decide how to live your life.
1."Hell is Not a Punishment"
The definition of punishment: to make someone suffer for a crime or for bad behavior
Hell is a place of everlasting suffering that people are sent to because they have committed a crime (rejecting the Christian God) or have had bad behavior. Hell falls completely in line with the definition of punishment because people are sent there to suffer after committing a crime or bad behavior. There is no way one can twist this to seem like Hell isn't a place of punishment. It's almost like saying prison isn't a punishment.
Moreover Hell is the most excessive punishment anyone could ever administer for a finite crime because it goes on forever. The purpose of punishment is usually either to reform bad behavior or to serve as retribution. Since Hell is everlasting, it does not reform bad behavior at all and only serves to make people suffer eternally for their crimes.
2."People choose to go to Hell"
You assert near the end, "People may not be purposely asking to go to Hell, it is how they choose to live their own lives."
But in order for people to make a choice about anything, they have to be conscious about exactly what they are choosing. It does not logically follow whatsoever that a woman chose to be raped by a man because she wore revealing clothing. This is because she had no idea that wearing such clothing would trigger such a violent and nefarious act from a man. And furthermore, it does not logically follow that people choose to go to Hell because of rejecting the Christian God when they weren't aware of or didn't believe the consequences.
You even admit, "Let's be honest, no one in this world except Satanists want to go to Hell, even those who do not believe in Hell will admit that it is the last place that they would want to go to." If people consciously and absolutely knew one action would send them to Heaven or Hell, do you think anyone would choose the action that sends them to Hell? I would say that nobody would except for maybe the most extreme masochist. This example brings up an important distinction: nobody would actually consciously choose Hell over Heaven if they were absolutely aware that they are both real places. But because people aren't consciously aware that a certain action will determine their eternal fate, only 2.18 billion people believe in Christianity and consciously choose one over the other. If people are not aware of or do not believe that they will go to Hell for an action, then it cannot be true that they chose to go to Hell because of that action.
3. "Anyone can go to Heaven"
A more accurate statement would be: Anyone can go to Heaven while they are living. They cannot however, go to Heaven once they are sent to Hell. There is no reformation system, there are no good deeds one can do, and there are no ways to redeem yourself after you are sent to Hell. You just simply suffer for the rest of eternity.
While I think it is nice that you believe that people can go to Heaven by just being good people, the problem is that people cannot go to Heaven by being good people in Hell. There"s no doubt that people would actively be begging God to let them out of Hell or to let them die. Where"s the respect of free will there? Why can"t people prove themselves to be worthy of Heaven after they die? It seems to me like it is an arbitrary and irrational bias. If people live forever in Heaven or Hell, they should always be able to prove themselves worthy of communion with God. Their fates shouldn't be decided by an infinitesimally small portion of their eternal lives when they are on Earth.
5."We Don"t Exactly Know Who Goes to Hell"
There are a few sentences in this argument that seem to be directly contradicting arguments 2 And 7.
5) "God, not us, judges who goes to Heaven, Hell or Purgatory."
5) "So ultimately, while we may judge people here on earth, the ultimate judge is God."
2) "If they go to Hell the fault is not in God, it is in themselves and how they freely chose to live their life."
7) "Because God is not involved in Hell there is no way that we can say that He is punishing us"
Obviously God is involved in Hell because it is he alone who decides who goes there. He is the judge in hearing people"s cases and ultimately decides all of it. So since God is obviously the Judge, you must retract your argument that he is not involved in Hell because He decided the whole population of who goes to Hell.
6."Hell creates a Good Society"
The only reason why Hell would stop people from committing crimes is because of the paralyzing fear of being tortured. One could say that a country has the lowest crime rate in the world, but if it is because they torture people who commit crimes then how can that country be considered moral whatsoever? Hell is an excessive punishment just like torture, and the good effects of threatening people with torture cannot negate the fact that you torture people.
As for the story of your friend almost committing suicide, it"s also completely immoral to torture forever a person who was so depressed that they wanted to end their suffering by suicide. I can"t imagine a more insensitive action than torturing someone for eternity because they were suicidal and wanted to end their suffering.
7."Why Hell is not Immoral"
You assert that god is not involved in Hell whatsoever. Let me list the ways in which he is:
1)He created Hell
2)He decides who goes to Hell
3)He watches and knows everything that goes on in Hell
4)He has the complete power to end people"s suffering by destroying their existence, or giving them a chance to redeem themselves
5)Above all, he chooses not to end the suffering of those who beg and plead with him to end their torment.
In conclusion, all of my opponent"s arguments have ultimately been attempts to blame the victim who is suffering in Hell while extricating the offender (God) from any blame whatsoever. But you cannot do that when you realize that Hell is a punishment, people do not choose to go to Hell, and God is involved completely with Hell. It is an irrational and unjustified punishment that deserves no validity among philosophy whatsoever. I hope that Christians come to see that they cannot blame the victim"s of God"s atrocities any longer, and ultimately I hope that Christians come to accept a more reasonable view of Hell such as Annihilationism or Universalism.
Tom95 forfeited this round.
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Tom95 forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by InfiniteBears 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: least ff's i didnt feel like reading your long arguments
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