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In each, others look to her for strong assistance and support. No glory. In her captain, Sears sees a young woman who plays and learns with a great deal of perspective and effort. So, Sam Shebabaw of Ethiopia wears his jersey and delights that women soccer players in America are some of his biggest fans. He writes to the team twice a year, and the Flying Dutch write back. My name is Steve Binnig. Here is a piece of my story. On Tuesday January 8th, , the second day of classes of my second semester of junior year, I woke up in a panic attack.

Up until that moment, I had never experienced a panic attack before. Frankly, I had never really had anxiety before. For the first time in my life, I did not think I was going to be able to bring myself to get out of bed. For the rest of the semester, everyday tasks like going to class, grabbing lunch with my closest buddies, and hitting the weight room suddenly felt impossible to accomplish. My brain felt like it was running at a million miles an hour. I could not make sense of my thoughts, feelings, or emotions.

Again, this entire experience was new to me, and for all intents in purposes, made no sense. Let me back track a bit. I come from a great family. I have a set of parents who love God, love each other, and love my sisters and me more than anything in the world. I have a lot of friends. I have an awesome girlfriend. I do well in school. I have a bright future… so why in the world did I have any reason to panic? Some days have been downright terrible. I have had to do some things that were, at first, really uncomfortable.

It started with a conversation that same Tuesday between me and two of my closest friends, Hayden Smith and Tucker Marty. I told them what I was experiencing, and that I had no idea how to stop it. Hayden and Tucker are two understanding and compassionate people, but it is still incredibly difficult to open yourself up like that to others. Luckily, they encouraged me to reach out to my family, my girlfriend Holly, and a few others I consider my closest friends.

To set the record straight, I have never had a hard time articulating my thoughts and feelings. I am a verbal processor, and I enjoy working through the thoughts in my head with others. But, attempting to make sense of my brain on that Tuesday felt undoable. That being said, I could not be happier that Hayden and Tucker encouraged me to speak up. I have seen my support system rally around me in ways that I did not think were possible. Bottom line, I got, and am continuing to receive, the help that I need. Now, enough about me. What does this mean for you? Allow me to clear the air: this is not a pity party.

I am not asking for your sympathy. Save it. What I am asking is for you to consider your current and past perspectives on mental health. As an athlete, I get it. For as long as I can remember, I have had coaches, teammates, parents, mentors, etc. Athletes are conditioned to be tough. From the way we train, to the way we play, even in the way that we relate to others… the best athletes are the toughest ones. Fear not, I am not about to dismantle the idea of athletics. I have learned many of my most valuable life lessons on the soccer field. I believe that through sport, we gain invaluable skills that carry over into our day-to-day lives.

But do not miss this. I also believe that in our culture, specifically in the sports world, we have created an environment where athletes are discouraged to speak up about their internal battles. That needs to change. If I have learned anything from battling mental illness it is this: Tough does not internalize. Instead, tough works through the messiest parts of life and faces its hardest trials head on. Tough asks for help when help is required. And most importantly, tough never, even when it seems absolutely impossible to keep moving forward, gives up.

All things considered, we attend a school that offers both a safe and welcoming campus. Speaking from my own experience, staff and faculty at Hope actually want to know their students. They care about us, and that is not the case at a lot of institutions. However, I understand that fact does not necessarily make it any easier to seek out the help you need.

Hear these words that I have had to tell myself repeatedly over the last several months: that is a lie straight from the pit of hell. There is no such thing as a perfect person, let alone Christian.


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We live in an imperfect world, full of sin, sickness, hardship, poverty… the list goes on. We, as people are inherently fallen and sinful.

Gerd Leonhard

As a result, things like anxiety and depression exist. My point is that one of the first steps in confronting mental illness is recognizing that struggling with anxious thoughts, panic, depression, thoughts of suicide, self-harm or whatever is not abnormal. It is simply another negative byproduct of our fallen world. My goal is to get people talking. Friends talking with friends, students with professors, departments with other departments, athletes with non-athletes, Sibs with Delphis, baseball players with football players, community members with Hope students.

You get the point. The people of Hope are too valuable to struggle on their own. We are blessed with too strong of a community to allow one another to fight our demons independently. But, I do know there needs to be change. If nothing else, I am here to tell you that mental illness is very real. I am ashamed to say that I would not have said that a few months ago.

It is no secret that there is a negative stigma that surrounds mental health in our country, and I have been guilty of contributing to that stigma in the past. Speak up. Whether for yourself or for someone you love. Binnig hope. If you or someone you know is in need of help, here are some resources both on and off campus:.

During the first year of graduate school, when the material is the most overwhelming and free time is a myth, you find yourself building strong bonds with your colleagues as you commiserate about the journey ahead of you and reminisce about all the different paths that brought you together. At the University of Montana, my physical therapy class consisted of previous school teachers, construction workers, massage therapists, horse breeders, collegiate athletes, and freshly minted college graduates.

Regardless of where we had come from, we all had the common grit and determination that comes with working hard to achieve high goals. Unanimously, we knew that was how we would survive graduate school too—pressing on with no intention of stopping now. As we conquered physical therapy school together, I gave thanks on more than one occasion for how well prepared I felt by my Hope College undergraduate degrees Exercise Science and Spanish. Any statistic can speak to the small class sizes at Hope College, which for me created a safe environment to foster my intellectual curiosity and integrity.

Having this personal connection with the professors encouraged me to succeed. I was not just another face in the crowd. From these relationships came powerful role models, lofty expectations, and personalized letters of recommendation that defied the generic mold. More than that, though, I felt Hope College prepared me for the pace and rigor that grad school tosses at its students. Why is he obligated to do so?

Father Spitzer’s Universe - 2019-09-18 - The Teaching Authority of the Catholic Church

I have yet to hear a decent argument of why God is obliged to do these things that everyone touts he should do. CD — imagine if you had the power to prevent a rapist from brutally raping a child without any risk to yourself or to anyone else. Would you prevent the rape or would you sit there and do nothing?

To be a good person, you would have an obligation to prevent the rape. That is how it is concluded God — if he exists — has an obligation to prevent the rape. He already has intervened, except it was at great harm and cost to Himself. This is the work of the cross. Evil has been dealt with from the eternal vantage, and in the future will be removed altogether. The little suffering we endure in this life is minuscule to the joys of eternity in Christ. Moreover, pain, evil, and suffering all play an important role to bring the state of humanity to our attention. If everything were perfect which they would be if God directly intervened in every act of evil this world endures , then we would perceive no need of a savior for humanity and the world itself.

Pain is necessary for survival in this broken world, and is the consequence of evil for which we ourselves are responsible. Can you see all ends? Can you perceive the past, present, and future and understand the eternal ramifications of this or that? How do you know that helping one will not result in the harm of another? Or that to help one may hurt the whole? The Father turned His back on His only begotten Son, Jesus, who was blameless and perfect, and permitted Him to endure the worst imaginable suffering—physically, emotionally, and spiritually—for the sake of the eternal salvation of humanity at large.

Why then is this of any significance in light of that reality? Because Christians list omnipotent and omnibenevolent as attributes of their god. If those attributes are correct, then he has both the power and the will. The fact that societies have established moral standards is not evidence of a deity by a long stretch. Go read the epistle of Romans if you genuinely want to try to understand this issue. At the end of the day, all humans are absolutely evil and God-hating by default from birth, and with no way to personally rectify this state.

Thankfully, evil people can still do good things. If everyone is indeed evil, then God is—no matter how benevolent—obligated to do anything for them. God owes us nothing. We deserve much more than the evil that is permitted to happen to us. The Gospel is the answer to this problem: He graciously and at inconceivable cost provided the means to give us rebirth into the goodness of Christ, and thus mend the chasm between God and man.

The problem with these discussions about God and evil are that they seldom consider attempting to evaluate it from a theocentric perspective, but rather an exclusively anthrocentric perspective. Common grace—that evil, while present, remains restrained and good things happen to bad people i. Everyone feels entitled. All this drivel and personal incredulity is nothing more than petulant whining. An internally consistent explanation of these issues is laid out very clearly in the Bible, as conveyed by Jesus and the Apostles in the New Testament.

Notably Romans deals with this issue extensively. You are welcome to do your due diligence and read it for yourself. The notable point is that God loves both, in spite of their evil. That is the message that Christianity preaches: that God is love, and even the rapist can find redemption, forgiveness, and love in His mercy just as much as a child can. Thanks Milton. I see the Christian view of God as all knowing, all powerful and all present.

An Imperfect God - The New York Times

The crime or the action is never what was intended in a perfect world. But the Christian story does not end there, it ends with good news, victory over evil. The son did not remain dead but was alive and out of the tomb three days later, according to Christian belief. At this point I am a temporal being, but I look forward to an eternity. My choice is to be with God for an eternity as he intended, with no suffering or pain, or an eternity separated from God.

If he was all knowing, as you say, then he had foreknowledge of the results of the system he designed. This means he is responsible for any and all evil arising from the system. There is no way around that. If the Jesus stories are true, then Jesus lost absolutely nothing. His death was in no way a substitution. Look at the facts……. He rose again in three days, became immortal, sat at the right hand of a god, and was destined to rule the world. Please explain how that in any way equates to the human experience of death.

That would mean that god sacrificed himself to himself to circumvent rules he himself put into place. I appreciate your feedback, Phil. I try to be pointed with my answers without being offensive. It is a hard line to toe. Thanks for more questions, and I apologise for my tardiness in replying.

There is more to the Jesus story, it is not only about death and resurrection. Prior to his death he lived for 30 years, thereabouts. He had a following due to his alleged authority and power for a period of roughly three years, recorded by eye witnesses and a man who decided to record a careful history. A man who was able to heal, raise people from the dead, teach religious leaders, calm storms, send pigs to drown, turn water into wine is quite impressive.

These stories, over years later, require faith to believe. As I ponder the death of Jesus I am struck by the torture and death. The friends that carefully laid his body in a borrowed tomb and the women that came to care for his body on the third day. With regards to omnibenevolent, I am not convinced. He loved the world Jn , he desires not the death of a sinner Ezek , he generously loved and forgave but allows people to reject him free will.

Actually, the term omnibenevolent was new to me on this thread and I am still contemplating it. Personally, I think that it is quite possible that a person named Jesus existed. There is certainly no definitive proof, but there is anecdotal evidence. For me the question is demonstrating that he was also a deity, or son of a deity depending on which type Christian you may be. The very earliest one was written some thirty years after the supposed crucifiction.

It is also a fact that eye witness testimony is one of the most unreliable forms of testimony. That is why forensics is so important in major criminal trials. Furthermore, the supposed miracles are at the level of modern day parlor tricks and are unimpressive even if it were possible to demonstrate that they actually happened. Thank you Milton. I am not sure whether you have actually read the gospels or the book of Acts? The gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts clearly include elements of first person account.

John likewise makes an autobiographical comment in John I would dispute your assertion about eye-witness testimony insofar as persons involved in an event verses persons that perceived an event. The Watergate Scandal is a case where a number of men were all involved. Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. Absolutely impossible.

Phil, yes, I have read the old and new Testaments several times through. It admittedly has been quite some time, though. But even if they were written in first person from beginning to end, it would provide questionable evidence at best. However, even Biblical scholars agree generally that we have no idea who the authors of some of the gospels are and that in some instances, one borrows from the other. If the fact that some people died for what they believed makes the belief true, then it would make Islam true, as well as Hinduism, Bhuddism, and numerous other religions.

People die to this day for various religious and political ideologies, that does not establish the truthfulness of their beliefs. You can Google the accuracy of eyewitness accounts and find ample information demonstrating the questionable value of eyewitness accounts. The guilty go free and the innocent are convicted based on eyewitness accounts. For such a claim as people rising from the grave, far more evidence would be needed to substantiate the claim. All claims are not equal in terms of weight, and therefore the quantity and quality of evidence needed to support the claims also will vary.

If the only claim was that there was a man with the name of Jesus who lived in the middle east 2 thousand years ago, perhaps the gospels would suffice, because such a claim could easily be true and would carry little importance. But when you throw in the miracles and god claims, the bar is raised substantially. It is the difference between me telling you there was a car in my garage or telling you there was a magical dragon in my garage. Milton, thank you so much for your reply. A few years ago I realised that caring for a person was far more convincing and compelling than arguing with them. But, I do not feel that you and I are arguing in the negative sense.

There is no point in us discussing technical details back and forth as every claim that we each make can be rebutted by a counter claim. Thank for reminding me that, if I truly believe that Jesus is the son of God, and that God exists, it is more powerful for me to live as one who learns from and follows him i. The narrative of Jesus records a man who loved the outcast and took the religious leaders to task. He was not impressed with knowledge, he was impressed with care and service.

Can you have good without evil? Without evil, how do we know what is good? The whole of human civilization and culture fights against natural selection. We can certainly build a moral framework based on human relations using the Golden Rule, for example, which antedates Christianity and is common to many cultures without invoking a deity at all. For example, if another species were dominant, that reproduced by some other means, the concept of rape might be meaningless.

It is only a crime in a human society that values autonomy. Christians are very ready to thank God for finding them a parking palce or saving one person in a plane-crash, but not to blame Him for letting the plane-crash — or a tsunami killing hundreds of thousands — happen. In light of the culture of the time, forcing the man who raped the woman to marry her was culturally appropriate as both a solution and a disincentive to rape. Having the rapist marry her would be compensatory to the irreparable damage he caused to her. Men knowing that they would be forced into a marriage with a woman that may be below his station or ambitions would disincentivize him from raping her in the first place.

It is also worth noting that if he would not marry her he would be stoned to death. All of what you articulated there goes back to the main point of the author and the beginnings of her pursuit of God: why should we value these things? Why do we have a sense of right and wrong? Evolutionary sociological and psychological arguments fail miserably to deal with this, and philosophy takes ardent note of that.

From the Christian evaluation, the suffering of this life is infinitesimal compared to the glory of eternity to come. And the suffering of this life is necessary to point us toward God and to terms with the fallen state of humanity and the creation at large. Chapter and verse for the stoning, please. My reading was that he would just have to pay the bride price without getting the bride.

Why would we fight against what is, according to you, essentially who we are? You have a fundamental misunderstanding of what natural selection is. You seem to think it involved constant physical battles between individuals or species, or tribes, or something. Nothing of the sort. Human consciousness changes everything. The concept that Darwin posited, which was flawed in a number of sense was simply a derivation of earlier work by a man who like many men do not want to accept that they are a created being, and thus accountable to their creator whether we wish to be, choose to be, or not — it just is.

As such there is no need for ethics, morality or such, because survival is the only criteria. I mean, really! The argument is valid. I am only arguing that a being that has the power to stop evil and does not is not a wholly moral being. And this is not an argument against the existence of God, but of the Christian God specifically.

But, again, Christianity specifically deals with this. As for the creation, God created it for the purpose of humanity and human free will. Though what we are discussing here is not an issue of free will, but restraint. Free will is a matter of the ability to make fully autonomous decisions. Restraining those decisions being carried out is another thing altogether. I am arguing against the existence of the Christian god, because the author specifically references the Christian god. If you wish to argue the pros and cons for any one of the thousands of other gods, we can, but not within this thread.

Demonstrate your assertion that a god created the universe for humanity and free will. I was just making an observation on that matter. I know you are arguing against the true God. How would you like me to demonstrate it? What criteria would you like fulfilled? It would probably be faster for you to just go and read the accounts. My answer would be that an omniscient god would know what that evidence would be in my case. So i will await his submission of that evidence. In the meantime, i have no reason to believe. I think that is fair. Fair enough. I would recommend it to you.

I will pray that God will reveal Himself to you on the grounds that are necessary for you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What man among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them—this is the Law and the Prophets. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it. If you will concede the possibility that He is there, and if so you would wish to find Him, then He will most surely find you. CD, I have no problem conceding a god may exist.

I just know that there is no convincing evidence for it to be true. Milton, your thinking is still fundamentally anthropocentric, and more specifically Milton-centric. On the justice of suffering: 1 All humankind is in rebellion explicit or otherwise against its creator. This is not a mistake; it too is a lesson in human evil and call to repent. Why do hundreds die in natural disasters? Why are children mistreated and slain?

You and me and people just like us. Why does God not step in and stop it? He will. But in the meantime he wants us to recognise our utter general culpability and turn to him for mercy. Yet we would rather blame him for giving us exactly what we corporately asked for — to rule ourselves and our world in our own way.

Now, there are half a dozen possible objections to this. But if any of them hold, then we are in a worse place — if there is no God who will judge, then there is no justice, no right, no wrong. These are all things we make up to try to make ourselves feel better in a dog-eat-dog world. As for evidence of God, why do you assume the problem is a lack of evidence?

There are none so blind as those who will not see. But he does offer some of us two gifts — the gift of realisation that we need him, and the gift of salvation. For those he gifts with the first, the second follows easily. Perhaps in his mercy and plan he will offer them to you. Finally, let me observe that when the Apostles speak in public in the book of Acts , their ultimate focus in not on the crucifixion of Jesus but on his resurrection.

To their thinking, the resurrection of the Christ is the sign that he is King and the judgement of God is coming upon the world Acts , Acts The apparent reign of ignorance and evil is coming to an end; do not be caught up in its fall. God in his mercy offers you a way back to him. You have actually put thought into your reply. Unfortunately, I disagree with your reasoning. My main point is that if god is omnipotent and omnibenevolent then he has both the ability and the desire to end immorality. He does not. Is he is incapable or unwilling? It is irrelevant that he may step in at some point in the future and stop it.

The point is that he can stop it now and chooses not to. Therefore, if he exists, he is immoral. Let me give my original question to you, because virtually everyone else on this thread has dodged the question and not answered it. Maybe you will be the first to have the courage. If you could stop a child from being raped without any risk to you or others, would it be immoral not to stop it? If you think it is immoral, then you and I agree…. If I could stop a child from being raped, without any risk to myself or others, would it be immoral for me not to stop it?

In accordance with human conceptions of morality, it would be immoral for me to stand idly by. Is God bound by human conceptions of morality? Did evil break me? Yes, but only until I allowed myself to be loved back to wholeness. Why do children starve to death? There is ample food to provide for every being on Earth. Look into the vast amounts of perfectly good food disposed of every day because of its aesthetics bananas are a great example!

Why is all of this perfectly good food thrown away? Because it is a financial drain to transport this food to the starving, when they cannot pay even a cent towards the cost, significantly impacting profits. True, re: wars, etc. As far as communism is concerned, it works very well in theory, but every failed example throughout history failed because of human greed in those at the centre the greed which also causes capitalism to fail!

He designed the entire system knowing beforehand what the consequences of his choices would be and he was okay with those choices. How is he not culpable? As much as we might like to be, or believe that we are, we are not gods, so cannot perceive nor judge His actions or lack thereof, depending on perception by our own standards.

5 Human Desires that Point to God

The Bible however, says that God knows our every thought before we have them, not that He chose them for us. Though, as I said, many people have different perspectives on this topic — many of which make not a shred of sense to me! To follow the logic that God is culpable for sending people into a world in which He knew the cost of our poor actions would be like saying a knife maker is culpable for designing a kitchen knife that someone used to kill somebody, or a teacher is culpable for setting a test that students would fail, if they chose not to study in preparation.

We all have the opportunity to make good choices, or terrible choices. Something is moral or it is,not. Why would you imply it is somwhow moral for your god to allow a child to be raped, but immoral for humans to do so? The act of rape is to me immoral, and so is allowing it to happen when you could easily stop it. Whether god stopped a rape in another instance is irrelevant.

I am concerned with the ones he does not stop. If Christians say human morals are derived from god and are objective in nature, then how can our moral standards be different? In what context is child rape moral? To say your god would allow someone to rape a child just so the child could hit rock bottom and maybe recover sometime in the future to learn some lesson is obscene.

Allowing children to be raped to teach then a lesson about life is a horrendous idea. How can you even think that could somehow be moral? Is that the best an all-loving god can do??? What about those who do not recover? Finally, I find it odd that you are telling me you believe it is impossible for an all-knowing, all powerful being to overcome the drawbacks of a human economic system and feed starving children.

If that is so, then he is surely no god. I am surprised you are proposing to limit the power of your god in such a manner. On the other hand, if he could have prevented the course of history that brought us to this point, then there would perhaps be no starving children. If that is so, then he remains responsible for those results. Obviously, I write as a human being, and my opinions and perspectives are my own, which I have formed based on my own limited understanding and life experiences. I may be dead-wrong, and as I am absolutely no theologian, I stress that my perspectives represent only myself, not my family, my church, my denomination, and certainly not Christianity as a whole.

I do have a friend however, who is a very learned woman of God, and a priest. I will send her this link and see if she wishes to answer some of your questions more accurately and concisely than I will ever be able to without years of studying theology! On saying that though, here is my completely worthless! People with faith in God understand that we are nowhere near being on a level playing field with Him, so will not ever assume to judge His actions, based on our limited understanding. Not only do we have no right, but we are somewhat concerned for the state of our immortal souls!

We are each tempted, we each question and doubt, and we each place higher value on human concerns and endeavours, and the pursuit of immediate gratification, rather than the things that really matter. As I said above, I certainly did not mean to imply that a child would go through such an ordeal for any kind of lesson. Their suffering is as a result of the evil afflicting another individual.

I do however, believe that we can learn from all suffering that we experience. I know I sure have. I also posit that anyone who truly finds God can find healing of any and all things that they suffer, experience, or — the most unpopular stance — commit. What it boils down to, in my humble opinion, is that any situation, no matter how base, how vile, how debilitating, can be injected with hope and eventual healing through faith; that all hurts can be healed through God.

I do not believe it is impossible for God to cure the wrongs of the world. The Earth was created with more than enough for everyone, yet the gift to humanity of free will, along with temptation, caused all of this to crumble. To somebody who does not have faith, death is the endgame, so to think of people dying from starvation, after a life albeit extraordinarily short in far too many cases of suffering is unconscionable and disgusting — hence your mistrust and hostility towards faith, as God is then to blame for this.

When one does not have any faith in anything outside of physical human experience, the ills of life are all that matter; they are the most important and debilitating questions in existence. When one does have faith, the ills of life are infinitely easier to bear. If you imagine the primary purpose of life as an opportunity to experience existence both with and without God, so that when you are faced with an opportunity to choose how to spend your eternity, your choice will be informed by your life experiences, the suffering of a godless world is easier to understand, endure and see through.

I have to distance myself enormously and place this conversation on a hypothetical plane in my mind in order to have this discussion at all, as the reality of suffering and starving children throughout the world causes me significant distress. The fact that there are children in agony due to their lack of food and clean water in parts of the world, whilst people in my own small corner of the globe throw elaborate birthday parties for their dogs, sickens me.

I feel the pain of these people especially the mothers, with whom I can most strongly identify , and I try to help in my small ways, through child sponsorship and feeding some of the local poor, when I can. I also thank God every single day for the riches my family can enjoy. I see the good that many Christian and non-Christian organisations do to try to remedy the situations and alleviate the suffering, then I also see the individuals affected by greed who exploit even these organisations most often from within.

In these, I again see lives with and without God. I see that free will and life are gifts given to humanity such that we might experience existence both with and without God, and be able to make our decision at the time of judgement. I also look forward to a world that is free from all of this. He will however, always be there to pick up the pieces and to heal the hurts, as well as to allow good to come from any evil experienced.

In my personal experience, my incredible hurts drove me away from the path that I was on to medicine, and instead redirected me to education. So if you had the power to prevent rapists from brutally raping children without any risk to yourself or to others, would you prevent such heinous acts?

Or would you sit there and do nothing? Which of those two courses of action or inaction do you think would present you as a more morally sound person? So you would stop the rape. The most important question here is the implicit one — what obligates me to act? If the oppressor is powerful, I may draw persecution to myself, or even be unjustly blamed for his offence.

Conversely, the more social support I get for intervening, the more likely I am to go out of my way to perform it. Firstly, this is not a new question. Consider Psalm 10, a lament to God that the powerful are getting away with evil. Secondly, while we act from a very limited moral and temporal perspective, God does not.

Broadly speaking, to turn a blind eye to evil that I could prevent is to condone or even participate in it. If I see one of my enemies mistreating another, am I bound to prevent it? This is the first reckoning. But there is an alternative reckoning. God will not and cannot overlook evil, or dismiss it cheaply. Instead, Jesus, Son of God, comes to be human, to suffer as a human, to be rejected by humans, to die as a human, and to be judged by God as the innocent ideal human in place of all other rebellious evil humans.

In that death, he takes the evil done upon himself. Moreover, he takes the evil suffered upon himself also. For me to overlook evil is immoral. Sorry, but if your god does not intervene and stop an immoral act, then he is complicit in the act. His future acts cannot unrape the child. I think that having another person pay the penalty for your own immorality is a sick concept.

If your great grandfather killed someone, would you think it fair that they put you in prison for his transgression? No, that is the response of a man who is truly unaware of his own depravity. I answered your question, and you complain about it because my answer holds you and I as guilty as the hypothetical rapist. We humans have a wonderful moral system. God has a slightly different system. He starts with his own perfection, compares that to his rebellious, treasonous creation, and withdraws from us because he does not want to destroy us utterly.

Well, many cultures have had some variant on that. It does. But I am saying that, in the scheme of things, our day-to-day evil is not unique — rather, it demonstrates and confirms that we really are cosmically evil. Then he is immoral for doing so. This is precisely what you would expect if there was no god determining outcomes. Your responses to 2,3 and 5 carry no weight whatsoever. If I say that fairies boil water, and you say that giants blowing bubbles boil water, showing that the water boils proves nothing either way, since we already agree on that.

If you want to argue for a moral system which will affirm the goodness of man, the floor is yours. Then why does the Christian god interfere with free will in the Bible, and why do Christians pray in a way that would interfere with the free will of the person being prayed for? Christians argue that their god values free will above the well being if his creation.

My argument was pointing out that such a god evidently places the free will of the offender above that of the victim as well. Take it up with Him. Hugh7, Three objections occur to me: First, It is not clear that the need for free will on the part perpetrators should supersede the need to prevent unjust suffering on the part of their victims—always, sometimes, or as often as seems to be the case. Second, according to the Bible, God DOES occasionally intervene in the lives of his creations and thus implicitly deny their free will.

Third, Believers are constantly praying precisely that God will intervene in the lives of His creations, thus implicitly denying the free will of agents in those cases where prayers are supposedly answered in a positive way. How can you have it both ways? It is not me who needs to explain those things, but you. That is interesting. I do believe God is quite the interventionist. God intervened in the life of His creation not only when He created us but when He saved us creating the way to be right with Him.

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. And yet he chooses not to intervene to stop child rapists, or to save starving children, or prevent tsunamis or earthquakes or hurricanes…. Thanks for your reply. As to C. Basically, any being that would allow such things when it vould easily stop them is malevolent.

Original sin

No, your crabbed and hidebound viewpoint is that any being that allows any evil to happen is malevolent. This is entirely your own opinion, based on you limiting yourself to the earthly, human effects of any action. There are lots of people who claim,that in an odd way, getting cancer was the best thing that ever happened to them.

There are people who suffered unimaginably yet say it was the best thing that ever happened to them. Your reasoning is shallow. I disagree, Tyler. What was the thing gained by the child that was raped? What was the big lesson formthe millions of children that starve to desth or die from horrible diseases every year? What was the big lesson for a quarter million people swept away by a tsunami?

That God is supreme. And has divine authority and he can allow evil to touch us if we refuse to turn to him. Explain that to a child that is starveng to death or to infants and todlers killed in the catastrophe your god chose to allow. You assume that the only thing that matters is what happens here on earth. This is the atheist self referential loop. If you want to argue with religion then you must take it as it is, not cut out parts of it. If compatibilism is correct, then God could determine everyone to enter heaven freely, by first causing them to desire heaven enough to repent.

Therefore, in claiming that God cannot both 1 give creatures genuine freedom and 2 guarantee that all will be saved , the free will view relies on incompatibilism, which is a very controversial view. Even if an incompatibilist notion of freedom is taken for granted, it is not clear that the desire to honor human free choices would provide God with a morally sufficient reason to allow damnation.

To see why, consider an analogous human situation. But as the degree of self-harm increases, it becomes less and less clear that non-intervention is the loving parental policy. If the child were very young, or did not clearly understand the nature or consequences of her choice, then it would seem clearly wrong for the parent not to do everything in her power to stop the suicide. Those who see humans as more like infants in relation to God — because of the vast gap between divine and human power — will probably not be persuaded by the free will view.

Another possible objection to the free will view concerns the relationship between freedom and rationality. Free choices, if they are to have any real value, must be more than simply random or uncaused events—they must be explicable in terms of reasons. Free action must be a species of rational action. But there seems to be no reason to choose eternal suffering or non-existence over an eternity of bliss. The choice to remain in hell would be utterly irrational, and so could not count as a genuinely free choice.

Defenders of the free will view would likely counter this objection by distinguishing between objective and subjective reasons. If people amass enough false beliefs, then what is in fact bad or harmful can seem good or beneficial to them. Even if this line of defense is successful, it leaves open questions about the value of freedom in such cases: is it really a good thing for agents to have the power to act in ways that bring about their own objective ruin? Although the freedom view does not rule out the traditional picture of hell as eternal existence apart from God, some would argue that it requires openness to other possibilities as well.

What would happen, for example, if the damned hated God to such an extent that they would prefer non-existence to retaining even the slightest dependence on God? It would seem that God as depicted in the free will view would out of respect for the freedom of the damned give them what they wished for, unless there were a good reason not to. Thus, in the freedom view it would seem possible that the damned may end in annihilation.

Hell would then be disjunctive: it could involve eternal conscious suffering or annihilation. Here are four possible responses. First, some suggest that souls, once created, are intrinsically immortal, and cannot be destroyed even by God. Most theists would not find this suggestion plausible, however, because it seems to do away with divine omnipotence. Since annihilating a damned soul would decrease being without a compensating increase in being elsewhere in the universe, God is morally bound not to do it.

Third, God might refuse to annihilate the damned because it is better for them regardless of global considerations to go on existing, because existence itself is a significant good for those who enjoy it. Therefore, if the sufferings of hell are serious enough, they could make continued existence there even worse for the damned than non-existence.

So whether we consider this third suggestion that eternal conscious separation from God is better for the damned than annihilation to be plausible will depend on how bad we consider non-existence to be, and how bad we consider the felt quality of hell to be. Fourth, God might refuse to annihilate the damned out of hope. This claim could be endorsed even by those who believe that an eternity of conscious separation from God would be worse than non-existence.

We would think it right to interfere in the attempted suicide of a young person with temporary depression, because of her hope for a brighter future. Similarly, it would seem right for God to keep the damned in existence even if this existence is temporarily worse than non-existence for them if there were some hope that they might repent.

Out of respect for freedom, God would not unilaterally alter the character of the damned so as to cause their repentance, but out of love and hope God would refuse to allow the damned to extinguish the possibility of reconciliation. If God allows the damned to continue in their suffering only out of hope that they may repent, then no one not even God can be certain that the damned will go on suffering eternally.

For if God knew through middle knowledge that the damned would never freely repent, then God would have no reason to prolong their suffering. For those who favor the fourth explanation over the first three, the freedom view faces a dilemma regarding the eternity of hell. On the one hand, if there is no hope that the damned will repent, God would seem to have no reason not to honor their possible choice for annihilation, thus rendering hell understood as a state of conscious suffering possibly temporary. On the other hand, if there is hope that a person in hell will repent, then while God would not honor a choice for annihilation, there is still the possibility for hell to be temporary, since a person who fully repented would eventually go to heaven.

On this latter, hopeful, scenario, hell becomes not a place of everlasting retributive punishment, but a place of indefinitely long therapeutic punishment, aimed at the ultimate reconciliation of sinners with God.


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While it remains possible that some people will in fact hold out against God forever, on the freedom view the functional role of hell is very similar to that of purgatory in Roman Catholic theology: a state of being aimed at leading a person to heaven, through the removal of character flaws that would prevent her from enjoying beatific intimacy with God. The main difference is that the inhabitants of purgatory are certainly destined to join with God in heaven, while the inhabitants of hell face an uncertain future.

Ragland Email: raglandc slu. Hell In philosophy and theology, the word "hell," in its most general sense, refers to some kind of bad post-mortem state. The felt quality of hell: is it a state of consciousness, or lack of consciousness? If the former, what is it like to be in hell? The purpose of hell: why do some people go there? The Nature of Hell a. The Literal View In the harshest version — which takes much of the scriptural imagery literally — hell involves extreme forms of both mental and physical suffering. Psychological Views Some traditionalists object that the literal view of hell, as a place of physical torment, presents God as sadistic.

Free Will View The free will view is primarily a thesis about the purpose of hell. Universalism Strictly speaking, universalism is not a view of what hell is like, but it is nevertheless an important view relevant to any discussion of hell. The problem of hell is a version of the logical problem of evil, and can be stated thus: 1 An omniperfect God would not damn anyone to hell without having a morally sufficient reason that is, a very good reason based on moral considerations to do so. Hell and Justice Many defenders of the traditional view of hell claim that though God is loving, God is also just, and justice demands the eternal punishment of those who sin against God.

Hell and Freedom Because the traditional view of hell understands the purpose of damnation to be retribution for sin, it would seem to stand or fall with the infinite seriousness argument. Stump ed. An explanation of the problem of hell, advocating for universalism. Augustine, City of God , Book Articulates and defends a literal version of the traditional Christian view of hell. Crockett, William, ed.

Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co. Advocates of the literal view, the psychological view, annihilationism, and purgatory take turns explaining their own views and responding to the views of the others. Kvanvig, Jonathan L. New York: Oxford University Press. An extremely thorough study of philosophical issues surrounding the problem of hell; argues at length against a retributive model of hell and in favor of love as the divine motivation for hell.

Leibniz, G. Lewis, C. London: MacMillan. A psychologically astute fictional story about heaven and hell; it assumes something like the free will view. Alfred J. An articulation and defense of the free will view highlighting the importance of character formation; considers annihilation as well as eternal existence as possibilities for the damned. Talbott, Thomas B. Universal Publishers.

An extended argument for universalism.