Board index Heaven and Hell

What we know about heaven and hell

Re: God shouldn't have created those who he knew would rejec

Postby Axis of Evil » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:42 pm

> But if my reasoning power is the result of genetic mutation and natural selection, I have no particular ground to trust the veracity of any thought that comes to my head that has nothing to do with survival.

You're just saying that naturalism can't solve hard-solipsism. The thing is, nothing can. You start with logical axioms and then from there you determine what there is evidence for. The axioms can't be evidence for anything since they are necessarily unjustified.

> then which one I choose to believe is a toss of the coin.

There is either 1 million

> You haven't supported your case that evolutionary naturalism can reliably lead you to truthful reasoning.

The inability to come to accurate conclusions about reality would more likely than not lead to an animal's death. The fact that evolution didn't perfectly provide as truth-giving mechanisms is reflected in the fact that we currently do have many false beliefs.

Also, unless every single experience our mind receives is false, then using our logical axioms there would be a clear difference between that which reflected reality and that which didn't. We would use this distinction to filter the bad from the good.

> I think the reason we can know things is because God natural selection, an intelligent non-intelligent source, created us with the ability to reason.

See how this works?

Think to yourself, is this claim falsifiable?

> No. If God let everyone off the hook it would not be just.

I didn't ask if it would be just. Answer the question, please.

> The suffering people experience...

Stop right there. Again, I am talking about any hell where people suffer.

> Reincarnation, at least as taught by Hinduism, is the ultimate meaninglessness.

I didn't describe Hinduism. I described a system where people get reincarnated until in their life they have experiences that lead them to choose God.

> [Hell] may only be eternal for those who refuse to be reconciled.

What hell do you believe in?
Axis of Evil
 

Re: God shouldn't have created those who he knew would rejec

Postby jimwalton » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:21 pm

> You're just saying that naturalism can't solve hard-solipsism. The thing is, nothing can. You start with logical axioms and then from there you determine what there is evidence for. The axioms can't be evidence for anything since they are necessarily unjustified.

I'm speaking in the field of biology here. If the process by which we came about is hit and miss, how can we put credible trust in our cognitive processes as not being hit-and-miss?

> The inability to come to accurate conclusions about reality would more likely than not lead to an animals death.

You are again resorting to the survival angle. I have admitted the survival angle and don't wish to keep treating that as if it's what I'm talking about. I'm not talking about perceiving reality pertaining to survival, but about perceiving truth and being able to reason reliably.

> The fact that evolution didn't perfectly provide as truth-giving mechanisms is reflected in the fact that we currently do have many false beliefs.

But if we can't consider that our memories, intuitions and thoughts are at least better than 50% reliable (and realistically speaking, at least 80% reliable), then we have no such thing as science (we can't believe our observations), logic (our reasoning has just as much a chance as being faulty as true), and cognitive reliability. We just can't trust our brains to be giving us true thoughts. Science is defenestrated.

> See how this works? Think to yourself, is this claim falsifiable?

Just because a claim may be unfalsifiable doesn't mean it's untrue. Unfalsifiability is a character of the scientific method, but not of all knowledge. A hypothesis is considered scientific only if there is the possibility to disprove the hypothesis. A hypothesis or model is called falsifiable if it is possible to conceive of an experimental observation that disproves the idea in question. If a statement is unfalsifiable, that can just mean it doesn't follow under the jurisdiction of science. For instance, I may say, "Beethoven's 9th Symphony is one of the most artistic pieces of music ever written." Is this falsifiable? But is it true? What about the philosophical statement, "Everything that is true must be non-falsifiable"?

> "No. If God let everyone off the hook it would not be just." I didn't ask if it would be just. Answer the question, please.

You're asking me to answer to question, "If God let everyone off the hook would that not be more merciful than not?" But that's a false question, just like "Have you stopped beating your wife?" If you want just a yes or no answer, neither may paint a picture of the truth. Your question in its simple form is manipulative and leads to misunderstanding, and that's why I answered with the truth rather than a simple yes or no. You might as well ask, "If God were not God, would He still be God?" I can't answer just yes or no because the question is a misdirection and can't be answered truthfully by a simple yes or no.

> Stop right there. Again, I am talking about any hell where people suffer. ... What hell do you believe in?

Yeah, I've been telling you all along you may have a distorted view of hell, and yet you seem to persist in holding to it. I've said that I don't think hell is fire. I've said I don't think it's physical torment. Hell is the agony of being separated from God. Jesus uses the imagery of fire to symbolize how awful such separation will be. So, if you're talking about *any hell where people suffer,* we have to make sure we're talking about the same thing, which it doesn't sound like we are.

> "Reincarnation" I described a system where people get reincarnated until in their life they have experiences that lead them to choose God.

Yeah, I knew that's what you were talking about, so let me add to my answer. The Bible indicates that rejecting or accepting God is matter of the heart and mind. All the evidences in the world and all the reincarnated lives through who knows how many years aren't going to change anyone's mind. Jesus said that even if He came back from the dead people wouldn't believe, and it was true. I have learned from many conversations on this forum that no matter how many evidences and logical arguments I make for various things, people are closed to it. And it's also apparently so that even seeing God won't change people's minds. We even know from our current disastrous political environment that people don't want to be bothered with the facts. They believe what they want to believe despite all the evidences and facts in the world. It can be discouraging, as I'm sure you know. You have all the evidences and logic you need at your disposal now. Give them fair consideration, and turn to God while there is opportunity.

Here's what Luke 13.22-30 say, when someone asked Jesus a similar question:

Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem.Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5741
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: God shouldn't have created those who he knew would rejec

Postby Axis of Evil » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:38 pm

> If the process by which we came about is hit and miss, how can we put credible trust in our cognitive processes as not being hit-and-miss?

The process isn't hit-or-miss. False beliefs get weeded out by natural selection. This is much more likely than not.

> I'm not talking about perceiving reality pertaining to survival, but about perceiving truth and being able to reason reliably.

I don't see a difference. Survival requires a knowledge of facts about the world (truth). Being able to reason just requires some assumed logical axioms and assumed accurate depictions of reality.

> But if we can't consider that our memories, intuitions and thoughts are at least better than 50% reliable...

We can and do. There are a number of assumptions we need to make in any system, even theism. Assuming our memories and thoughts are reliable are some of these assumptions.

> Just because a claim may be unfalsifiable doesn't mean it's untrue.

Never said it was. But there is no reason to consider an unfalsifiable claim true since it'd be impossible to know if you were wrong.

> What about the philosophical statement, "Everything that is true must be non-falsifiable"?

It's a dumb statement. It could be the case that an unfalsifiable God exists. It'd still be irrational to believe in it.

> But that's a false question

You haven't explained how. The "beating wife" question can easily be answered "I don't beat my wife nor have I ever". I never asked for a yes or no. So answer my question: "If God let everyone off the hook, would it be more merciful than otherwise?" please.

> Yeah, I've been telling you all along you may have a distorted view of hell, and yet you seem to persist in holding to it. I've said that I don't think hell is fire. I've said I don't think it's physical torment.

Why do you keep characterizing my argument as if I'm saying anything other than hell = suffering? I never mentioned fire nor physical torment.

> So, if you're talking about any hell where people suffer, we have to make sure we're talking about the same thing, which it doesn't sound like we are.

I've been consistently clear as to what aspect of hell I'm referring to. You're the one putting words in my mouth despite my clarification.

> All the evidences in the world and all the reincarnated lives through who knows how many years aren't going to change anyone's mind.

3 issues:
1) This sounds like people are robots
2) Being reincarnated forever without going to heaven is better than the agony of being separated from God, ie. Hell.
3) What made these people this way? It's clearly not the environment since even brand new lives won't change it. And if it was their free will then clearly it's not free to choose otherwise. So it's their nature, I assume? But what determines their nature? Hm...
Axis of Evil
 

Re: God shouldn't have created those who he knew would rejec

Postby jimwalton » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:44 pm

> False beliefs get weeded out by natural selection

You give too much credit to natural selection, and you have changed the whole point of natural selection. Natural selection pertains to survival and fittedness, not to truth assessments. Natural selection isn't going to filter out those who consistently make math mistakes, believe the world is flat, or subscribe to astrology rather than science. Natural selection ensures that genomic variations have advantages to succeed.

> I don't see a difference. Survival requires a knowledge of facts about the world (truth).

Survival pertains to food supply, danger at hand, reproduction, and strength against sickness and against danger. Truth statements pertain to whether the world is flat or spherical (which has nothing to do with survival), whether Alexander the Great lived (nothing ... survival), and if there is a God (nothing...survival).

> We can and do.

You need to justify this and substantiate it. By what assurance can chemical processes and genetic mutation guarantee thought processes that are reliably true and dependable?

> "Just because a claim may be unfalsifiable doesn't mean it's untrue." Never said it was. But there is no reason to consider an unfalsifiable claim true since it'd be impossible to know if you were wrong.

You implied it by your complaint, "That's unfalsiable," as if asserting its unfalsifiability rendered it untrue. There are plenty of reasons to consider unfalsifiable claims. Life is full of them, as is quite a chunk of our education: grammar, jurisprudence, statistical predictions, business assessments, value judgments, etc etc etc.

> The "beating wife" question can easily be answered "I don't beat my wife nor have I ever". I never asked for a yes or no. So answer my question: "If God let everyone off the hook, would it be more merciful than otherwise?" please.

OK, I'll follow your example. God cannot let everyone off the hook nor would He ever because he is characterized by justice as well as mercy, and justice requires that not everyone gets off the hook.

> Why do you keep characterizing my argument as if I'm saying anything other than hell = suffering? I never mentioned fire nor physical torment.

One post of yours ago: "Stop right there. Again, I am talking about any hell where people suffer."

> 1) This sounds like people are robots

People aren't robots, and that's the point. People have free will, and can often not be persuaded even by evidence, logic, and solid arguments.

> 2) Being reincarnated forever without going to heaven is better than the agony of being separated from God, ie. Hell.

Unless there are aspects of the separation from God that are aimed at rehabilitation and reconciliation. Perhaps the reality of separation will motivate one towards reconciliation than 1000 reincarnated lives. Sometimes the best tutor is trouble.

> 3) What made these people this way?

Their volitional choices as free agents.

> And if it was their free will then clearly it's not free to choose otherwise.

They are free to choose otherwise, as are you. But if you choose not to, then that's your choice.

> So it's their nature, I assume? But what determines their nature?

It's not their nature, but their choices. You are born separated from God, but you are not born dark in your thinking and rebellious against God. You choose that.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5741
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: God shouldn't have created those who he knew would rejec

Postby Axis of Evil » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:17 am

> Natural selection ensures that genomic variations have advantages to succeed.

And those that can use logic well and decipher their world are more likely to reproduce by a huge margin. Think about insane people and their ability to mate.

> Survival pertains to food supply, danger at hand, reproduction, and strength against sickness and against danger. Truth statements pertain to whether the world is flat or spherical (which has nothing to do with survival), whether Alexander the Great lived (nothing ... survival), and if there is a God (nothing...survival).

Reproducing necessitates accurate means of determining what is real and what isn't. Everything you described falls under this.

> By what assurance can chemical processes and genetic mutation guarantee thought processes that are reliably true and dependable?

They can't. We assume our thoughts are reliable first, then determine what is real. Not the other way around.

> You implied it by your complaint, "That's unfalsiable," as if asserting its unfalsifiability rendered it untrue.

I'm sorry if you got this from what I said.

> There are plenty of reasons to consider unfalsifiable claims.

Until they are shown falsifiable there is no reason to consider these claims correct.

> God cannot let everyone off the hook nor would He ever because he is characterized by justice as well as mercy, and justice requires that not everyone gets off the hook.

I'm still not seeing how this addresses my question. I didn't ask if he could or would. I asked "if he..". It's a hypothetical.

> One post of yours ago: "Stop right there. Again, I am talking about any hell where people suffer."

Did you misread what I wrote? This matches my consistent statements about hell = suffering and that's all.

> People aren't robots, and that's the point. People have free will, and can often not be persuaded even by evidence, logic, and solid arguments.

If you conclude that someone will never change their mind, then they obviously are not free to change it.

> Unless there are aspects of the separation from God that are aimed at rehabilitation and reconciliation.

Are there?

> They are free to choose otherwise, as are you. But if you choose not to, then that's your choice.

Again, if they never will choose otherwise, then they definitionally cannot choose otherwise. If something statistically has a 0% chance of happening then it cannot happen. Remember, you appealed to

> All the evidences in the world and all the reincarnated lives through who knows how many years aren't going to change anyone's mind. Jesus said that even if He came back from the dead people wouldn't believe, and it was true.

So, are there or aren't there people whose minds will never change, ever?
Axis of Evil
 

Re: God shouldn't have created those who he knew would rejec

Postby jimwalton » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:46 am

We have been through many exchanges. To continue to go back and forth on words and sentences doesn't seem to be productive. At this point it's not taking the conversation anywhere. We started off discussing, "God shouldn't have created those who rejected him," and now we're off on many rabbits trails responding to each's others sentences.

Since you claim that people's reasoning power evolved to a point of reliability, then it's reasonable to assume people could make cogent decisions about the direction of their lives.

You think that a real God who was loving would most likely make a way for everyone to be saved in one way or another, so that hell either would not exist or would exist only for the desperately evil. What the Bible teaches is that God is doing everything possible to accomplish exactly that, and no stone will be left unturned in that effort. You can be confident that God is acting in the most loving and most fair way possible. His love and mercy and constantly at work to reconcile people to Himself.

You think that God is unfair in making the only option of rejecting God being separated from God (hell). And yet if you are able to make cogent decisions about the direction of your life, you are one accepting theism or rejecting it. You are the captain of your own fate, and there is nothing unfair about you bearing the consequences of your own cogent decisions. If you choose against mercy, you shouldn't be surprised when what you end up with is judgment.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5741
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: God shouldn't have created those who he knew would rejec

Postby Axis of Evil » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:52 pm

If my own actions result in permanent suffering, then it's up to a God to help me solve the problem.

A loving God wouldn't never, ever allow someone to f*** themselves over like that if there are other options. And there are.

If my life ends and I still reject God here are some options that don't result in me suffering

    1) give me another life.
    2) just keep looping my life over and over
    3) don't create me in the first place
    4) send me to heaven anyway. It can't be worse than suffering in hell, right?

I think the issue is you presuppose that God is both fully merciful, fully just, and necessarily is doing the right thing. Instead of looking at what is described and determining what God is like based on his actions and commands, you presuppose his character and try your hardest to make what's written fit.
Axis of Evil
 

Re: God shouldn't have created those who he knew would rejec

Postby jimwalton » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:52 pm

> If my own actions result in permanent suffering, then it's up to a God to help me solve the problem.

Absolutely correct, and He has. He has made a way for you to escape both the power and consequence of sin that will result in your judgment. He revealed Himself through history, the prophets, and His word. He has sent repeated messages explaining the truth, the consequences of rebellion against Him, and how to enjoy life instead of judgment. He sent Jesus to pay for your sin so you could be the recipient of His mercy. He gave us writers (New Testament) to explain all this to us so that anybody could know this path and was is required. God has done everything to help you solve the problem. You just need to accept His gift and conform to the truth about it all.

> A loving God wouldn't never, ever allow someone to f*** themselves over like that if there are other options.

There aren't other options. Jesus is the only way. And He has offered the solution to the problem as a free gift to you. His invitation is available the same to all.

> If my life ends and I still reject God here are some options that don't result in me suffering

God is life. If you reject God, you reject life. God is love and reconciliation. If you reject God, you reject the offer of love and reconciliation. God is mercy. If you reject God, you reject his offer of mercy. If you don't want to be separated from God and the consequences of that, the only choice and the right choice is to come to God.

It's as if you're saying, "I'm going to jump off this cliff, but I don't want to fall." Well, falling is the result of jumping. If you don't want to fall, don't jump. You want to reject God, but you want the benefits of accepting Him. That's a contradiction, and you can't have it.

> 1) give me another life.

You have a life. What makes you think another life would be any different from the one you have? If you think you would turn to God in another life, then turn to Him now.

> 2) just keep looping my life over and over

If you think you would turn to God in a future iteration of life, then turn to Him now.

> 3) don't create me in the first place

And rob you of the opportunity to have all the beauty and knowledge and enjoyment life offers? And to deprive you of the awesomeness of having a relationship with God? If your life is that bad, turn to God. He has made it His responsibility to help you solve the problem. Your part is to turn to Him; His part is to make it right.

> I think the issue is you presuppose that God is both fully merciful, fully just, and necessarily is doing the right thing.

I don't presuppose it. That's the record of history, the upshot of Jesus's resurrection, and the theological truth embodied in that evidence.

> Instead of looking at what is described and determining what God is like based on his actions and commands, you presuppose his character and try your hardest to make what's written fit.

This isn't true. I'm an evidentialist, not a presuppositionalist. We follow the evidence where it leads and draw our conclusions based on God's teachings and actions. Evidence first, conclusions second.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5741
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: God shouldn't have created those who he knew would rejec

Postby Axis of Evil » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:33 pm

> He has made a way for you to escape both the power and consequence of sin that will result in your judgment.

Not if I die without believing. None of the evidence you described is good or convincing to me.

> There aren't other options.

I described some.

> If you don't want to be separated from God and the consequences of that, the only choice and the right choice is to come to God.

This doesn't make my 3 other options not possible.

> "I'm going to jump off this cliff, but I don't want to fall." Well, falling is the result of jumping.

If there is a being that didn't want me to fall, he would allow for and ensure the other options.

> What makes you think another life would be any different from the one you have?

I'm not a robot.

> If you think you would turn to God in a future iteration of life, then turn to Him now.

That was option 1. Option 2 is different in that it's the same life over and over. Unless you think this life is hell, looping the same instance of lifetime over and over would be a more merciful option than hell.

> And rob you of the opportunity to have all the beauty and knowledge and enjoyment life offers?

Hell is infinite, so yeah. A lifetime of beauty compared to infinite suffering? Also, this feeds into my #2, in that reliving the same beauty and knowledge and enjoyment is better than hell.

> I don't presuppose it.

Could God possibly be unjust, unmerciful, or bad or is this an impossibility? Would you say it's possible, but not the case?
Axis of Evil
 

Re: God shouldn't have created those who he knew would rejec

Postby jimwalton » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:42 pm

> Not if I die without believing. None of the evidence you described is good or convincing to me.

If you die without believing, it's not because God is at fault, that He is not good, or that He made a mistake. It's because you persist in not coming to Him.

Suppose we crash on a deserted island. After weeks of starvation and problems surviving, I find a source of food and safe shelter, and I invite you to come. You claim you don't believe me and refuse the invitation. I show you that I have food and offer it to you. You refuse to come. Can you blame me if you "die without believing" because my evidence wasn't convincing?

> I described some.

Those are alternatives that don't take you anywhere different. If you think the evidence I describe is not good or convincing, then that wouldn't change if you were given another life or reincarnated. If you're aware of the conditions of acceptance and rejection now, then choose the truth now.

> This doesn't make my 3 other options not possible.

It does. You seem to want a different life to make a choice. If in that life you have the same consciousness, then you wouldn't choose God any different then than you do now. If in that life you have a different consciousness, then we can't really say it's you. If you want God, then choose Him in this life with this consciousness.

> If there is a being that didn't want me to fall, he would allow for and ensure the other options.

You're missing the point of the analogy. The point is not that there's a being who can stop you from being susceptible to gravity, but rather that if you choose to jump you choose gravity (in the analogy). That's the analogy. Falling is the only choice in a system governed by gravity. Living separated from God is the only possible consequence in a system where you have chosen to separate from God.

> Option 2 is different in that it's the same life over and over. Unless you think this life is hell, looping the same instance of lifetime over and over would be a more merciful option than hell.

If you want God, choose Him now. He offers you His mercy even today, even now.

> Hell is infinite, so yeah.

Not all Christians, you should know, believe in the traditional concept of hell and its being infinite. There are theories about reconcilationism, semi-restorationism, modified eternalism, and annihilationism, all with some kind of scriptural backing. In other words, hell isn't necessarily eternal for all who enter it. It may only be eternal for those who refuse to be reconciled.

I also don't believe that hell is fire. Hell is not "One Fire Tortures All." Fire is just the image of untold suffering, which is what one will experience when separated from God. We have strong hints that there are different degrees of punishment in hell (totally unlike the different levels of hell as in Dante's Divine Comedy, which is not Scripture).

* Matthew 11.22-24 & Luke 10.12: Jesus says it will be “more tolerable” for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah than for the people of Capernaum. That would indicate to me a more harsh punishment and a less harsh punishment.
* Matthew 23.14: Jesus tells the Pharisees they will be punished more severely for the way they are deceiving the people and living as hypocrites.
* Revelation 20.13: Each is going to be judged according to what he has done. Since that is the case, then the punishments and rewards can’t be the same for everybody.
* and finally, Luke 12.47-48 (workers are punished with more or fewer blows). There are degrees of punishment, and even sins of ignorance are treated differently than sins of intention.

Why I bother to point this out is because often those who consider hell to be unfair are picturing the same punishment for all, which is most likely not the case, and infinite punishment for finite crimes, which may also not be the case. People will be punished according to the works they have done (2 Corinthians 5.10).

C.S. Lewis makes some interesting observations about hell. I'll reword them and summarize some of them here: You object to the doctrine of hell. What are you asking God to do? To wipe out past sins at all costs and to give anyone who wants it a fresh start, smoothing difficulties and offering help? But He has DONE that. That's what his death and resurrection were all about. OK, then, are you asking God to forgive you? It's a RELATIONSHIP. He will forgive anyone who wants it, and cannot forgive those who choose not to be forgiven. To leave you alone then? Well, I'm afraid that's what hell is.

If a game is played, it must be possible to lose it. If there is a way that must be found by the will, and by love, then it must be possible to refuse it. If the happiness of a person is honestly the result of self-surrender, then no one can make that decision except himself, and he may refuse. I would love to say everyone will be saved. But then I'd have to ask, "Will they be saved against their will, or with it?" If I say "against their will," I'm in the middle of a contradiction; how can self-surrender and love be involuntary? But if the answer is "With their will," it begs the question: "What if they will not give in?"

So, with all that has been said, and with all the disagreements, even from Christians, about hell, I can conclude with confidence with this statement: Those who turn away from God will be separated from the life of God. Though we can’t be sure about the form or duration of that separation, this we can be sure of: it will be a horrible experience, and God will be fair about the form and duration of it. If you reject God, you take your chances.

> Could God possibly be unjust, unmerciful, or bad or is this an impossibility? Would you say it's possible, but not the case?

Good question. If it were possible for God to be unjust, then He couldn't possibly be God. So I would have to say it's impossible, but logic and definition. It like saying, "If God were not God, would He still be God?" So we look at his teachings and actions to determine if He could truthfully be God (is not unjust, unmerciful, or bad) or if he's another false god (a poser, hypocrite, and pretender). When we look at His actions and teachings, we find by evidence that He could very well be the true God. When we combine that observation and tentative conclusion with other evidences, we infer the most reasonable conclusion, that He is God.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5741
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Heaven and Hell

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


cron