Friday, June 21, 2013

Hell According to Eleonore Stump

A brief summary of Eleonore Stump's view of Hell.

A loving relationship requires two people, both willingly entering into that relationship. You've had this happen in high school. You really liked somebody, but they didn't like you back. They rejected your love (or high school lust, rather, but you get the picture). So God and creature requires similar. God wills a loving relationship, but he cannot force the other person to love him back. That person needs to willingly choose to love God of his own volition.

Now, a person in Hell might say "Holy shit! It's hot! I changed my mind! I want a loving relationship with God after all!" But that person is acting out of self-interest. They are not any more interested in a loving relationship now than they were before; they just want out of Hell.


  1. Well if you want to be technical when a person dies in mortal sin there will is fixed so they can't even desire to change their mind an love God.

  2. Sure, but I was just summarizing the video. I like to give tl;drs of philosophy! :)

  3. The cruelty of the idea that failing to love God results in everlasting pain and torment with no hope of escape cannot be overstated. This is one of the many reasons why I cannot take Christianity seriously - if the Christian God is supposed to be infinitely good, hell shouldn't exist. My view is that, if even one person is condemned to everlasting torment with no hope of escape, God does not exist (or at least is infinitely evil, which means that He isn't really God at all). What disturbs me even more is that people can believe that God allows people to be tormented forever in Hell, and still call God "good" and worship Him without any moral reservations - that, to me, is a sign of malignant brainwashing and absolute moral corruption.

  4. I'm inclined to agree with you, but watch the video. It's very short. She brings up C. S. Lewis' idea of a bus from Hell to Heaven. If there were a bus line that would take you out of Hell and into Heaven, then anyone who takes the bus wasn't really in Hell in the first place. I.e., the only people that are really in Hell are those who wouldn't even take the bus line even if it existed.

    Another idea is Hell as annihilation. That is, conditional immortality. The "bad" people will simply cease to exist. This lines up better with Thomism anyway, seeing as God is the sustainer of all that exists and hence separation from God would mean non-existence. And "Hell" in the NT is Gehenna, a garbage dump outside Jerusalem, and so this lends further support to the idea of annihilation. The "everlasting fire" is always there, ready to annihilate anyone who hates the Good.

    At least there are some ideas that add more nuance to this idea of Hell.

  5. 277@ingx24: I recommend you read C.S. Lewis's 'The Problem of Pain' for illumination on this topic.

    My mother seemed to think that ultimate Good meant ultimate benevolvence, but even from our own experiences here on Earth we can see that to let a bad man off of his punishment is unjust. If a game is to be played, it must be possible to lose.

    Anyway, Lewis explains it far better than I ever could. The idea, as you say, is cruel. But if that idea is false - merely an idea of what some of us personally think God should be like - then your assertion that Christianity cannot be taken seriously is also false.

    And Lewis makes the case that it IS false.

    Does it bother you that people can grow up in a cruel world and still think that its Creator is good, and desires our good? Maybe what should bother you is the idea that you assign, without hesitation, the descriptives 'malignant brainwashing" (apparently some brainwashing is benign) and "absolute moral corruption".

    You have at once established yourself as (1) smarter than those "people" and (2) morally superior to those people.

    Those are claims typically made by an individual filled with their ego. I would suggest that you probably don't realize how you appear to others, but the truth is that at this point, you really don't care. You've never actually met any Christians and sat down to talk with them, have you? If you did, you would realize they DO have reservations, moral and otherwise.

    Of course, that would not fit the preconceived notion you have of such people, so you would not take their claims of doubt 'seriously'.

    And that for me is as far as I can take your post 'seriously'. You're just another atheist blowhard, as far as I am concerned. God have mercy on you.