Hell is the single worst thing you can possibly imagine. An infinite punishment for finite crimes. Ultimately God's work. And God is love?
I’ve been thinking a lot about heaven and hell lately, which is weird for an atheist, perhaps. There’s just none of that sweet reward and all that horrible punishment without believing in God. I guess I’ve gotten caught up in the long grass of biblical exegesis, of thinking about resurrection this or nativity that for a long time.
Sometimes, you miss the wood for the trees.
Recently, I wrote about how the Bible can be jettisoned on slavery alone. We need give it no more serious thought. If an all-knowing God knew that the countenancing of slavery in this holy book revelation would be used for 1900 of the last 2000 years to justify the heinous act, but allowed the book to continue to do so, then this is not a god, or a book, we need to give credence.
But there is another more serious matter than that.
Hell is the biggest stick known in human conception. There is nothing worse than hell that we can imagine with all our wildest creative imagination. Because whatever the worst thing is that we could imagine, it would be hell.
Hell is the worst.
And it’s not just bad for a bit. Or even a really long time. It’s bad—the worst you can imagine—forever. Ever and ever and ever. Eternally. Infinitely.
And yet it is infinite punishment for finite crimes. This is one of the arguments I provide in my recent collection of problems for God: 30 Arguments Against the Existence of “God”, Heaven, Hell, Satan, and Divine Design.
Hell is a morally abhorrent idea, especially when you realize that God knew who would be condemned to hell and why in advance of designing and creating them such that they would go to hell. In other words (since humans have no say in their own creation), God creates all humans that go to hell knowingly such that they go to hell.
To simplify, God is responsible for people going to hell.
What gets me is that people not only continue to claim that “God is love” (and to be more accurate, God is infinite love), but they spend every Sunday worshiping him, praising him daily, and witnessing for such… a brute.
Anyone who believes in this moral monster, who believes in this kind of eternal retributive hell, is a moral reprobate themselves. There are no two ways about it. This may sound harsh, and stating this truth may be counterproductive, but this is how it is.
God is love and forgiveness being the same God that creates a procession of individuals who are condemned to hell before they are even created, eternally and without forgiveness, is best summed up with this magnificent meme:
This all-loving God is responsible for the worst horror we can imagine.
Turns out, God himself is the worst horror we can imagine.