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Can infinite punishment for finite crimes be justified as moral?

  1. JMcFarland profile image87
    JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago

    Can infinite punishment for finite crimes be justified as moral?

    For example - say that technology existed to sustain or reanimate life.  Would it be moral to sentences a convicted murderer to be set on fire every day yet live for 100 years?  1000 years?  Let alone eternity.  I was told recently by an apologist that eternal punishment for finite sins is NOT moral, but people sentenced to hell continue to sin while under torture.  Do you find this plausible?  I see no theological or Biblical sources for this assertion, but I'm interested in your thoughts.

  2. Snøwman profile image61
    Snøwmanposted 3 years ago

    God has not revealed everything in the Bible. He has revealed much of his word in the bible, but not all. That's why we all have questions like this that can't be answered by the Bible. Do you believe in modern revelation?

    In the doctrine and covenants 19:6-12 (a book of scripture written by modern prophets) it says:
    "6 Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment.

    7 Again, it is written eternal damnation; wherefore it is more express than other scriptures, that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men, altogether for my name’s glory.

    8 Wherefore, I will explain unto you this mystery, for it is meet unto you to know even as mine apostles.

    9 I speak unto you that are chosen in this thing, even as one, that you may enter into my rest.

    10 For, behold, the mystery of godliness, how great is it! For, behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Wherefore—

    11 Eternal punishment is God’s punishment.

    12 Endless punishment is God’s punishment."

    Endless is Gods name. So Endless punishment means God's punishment, not punishment with no end.

  3. jlpark profile image86
    jlparkposted 3 years ago

    It doesn't seem plausible, or moral to me.
    Even thoses sentenced to life have a finite punishment for an finite crime, AND they aren't tortured, regardless of what they did to their victim/s.

    Sounds like scaremongering, particularly if it's not even written anywhere in the Bible, or other theological sources, that people continue to sin. I think the whole theory of Hell is a little bit of scaremongering anyway.

    I thought sin was a 'living' thing - once you have departed, you are not bound to the flesh which is inherently sinful. Otherwise, Hell would be full anyway - we are ALL sinners, are we not?

    Besides - isn't Hell supposed to be eternity away from Gods love and presence, not the old "Fire and Brimstone" thing? At least that's what we're told.

    Anyway, I'm not sure you wanted some Agnostic views, but there you have it.

    1. JMcFarland profile image87
      JMcFarlandposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Always appreciated jlpark.

  4. bethperry profile image92
    bethperryposted 3 years ago

    Any god would have to take diabolical pleasure in subjecting any creature to an eternity of torture. Not my god, not by a long-shot.

  5. gmwilliams profile image85
    gmwilliamsposted 3 years ago


    An overwhelming part of religious doctrine and dogma is fantastical and is not based upon inductive and deductive logic.  A thinking person can aptly state that much of religious doctrine and dogma is pure conjecture.  The purpose of religious doctrine and dogma is to instill fear, guilt, and powerlessness to the masses. 

    The doctrine of hell has been the biggest scarfest of all of humanity. Christianity has cleverly used the doctrine of hell to increase church hegemony and power by winning the largest possible converts.  This was done mostly by fear.  It was believed by church authorities that people would see Christianity as the only religion in their lives if the dire consequences of hell is mentioned.  Fear was the main means to convert so-called pagans in order for the church to have and exercise their power.

    Hell is one of the main psychological tactics used by Christians to get people to go on the straight and narrow from the inception of the Dark Ages.  The negative inculcation of hell was routinely used to brainwash the masses throughout Medieval times.   The inculcation regarding hell become more negative and frightful with the purpose of "bringing people closer to God."  Hell was viewed as something quite bleak, abysmal........and permanent.  It was believed that once one was condemned to hell, he/she would be there for eternity.   

    Many religionists believe that when souls in hell have devolved into a lower, more bestial level of consciousness.  They contend that the soul upon entrance to hell have become baser.  Being in hell is seen as the diametrical opposite of redemption.  In hell, only those at the lowest state of development exist.  It is believed that such souls will act in the most abominable ways possible.  In hell, everything will be negativity personified as there will be absence of any type of positivity and goodness.   Everything will be horrific and vile.  There will be no love and forgiveness in hell but only punishment and recrimination of cruelest kind.

  6. Robert the Bruce profile image60
    Robert the Bruceposted 3 years ago

    Hello, JM. This a pertinent question and one that most Christians will not/cannot answer.

    For my opinion on this subject, please refer to the question I asked two months ago: http://robertthebruce.hubpages.com/ques … ite-crimes

    You will find that most of the Christian answers I received were poorly supported and that the morality issue was totally ignored.

  7. aguasilver profile image82
    aguasilverposted 3 years ago

    I think we tend to judge God by our limited human understanding, after all we are made in Gods 'image', we are not equals or even clones, just copies of the original, and like all copies marginally different, i.e. we have a tendency to degrade the copy with each new version made.

    It would be good if we improved the copy each time we generated a new one, and in the theory of evolution that is the objective, however evidence seems to suggest it's not the fact.

    Instead of becoming more civilized and humane, we have invented better ways to kill more effectively, sin more copiously and rebel without conscience.

    Hell..... mostly misinterpreted by the dark ages Catholics to ensure control over a simplified peasantry, but biblicly secure in scripture.

    God MUST create a place where He will undertake not to exercise His authority, for and over those who reject His authority (rebels) and.... in that place He will choose to NEVER again intervene in the affairs of those who choose to be there by rejecting Him.

    Scripture tells me that it will contain:.... the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars.... so that's the company those who reject God choose to keep for eternity.

    But it's a choice, and it's widely publicized and possibly the ONLY defense would be to be able to honestly state you never KNEW that this was the choice you were making.

    We may not think that's fair, that God, having told us plainly what the consequences of our words, deeds, actions, thoughts and choices are, and how they could affect us,.......we may think God is being unreasonable when He creates a special 'null and void' space secured from His eternity for eternity.

    But I cannot agree with you if you feel that, for when one has been clearly told of the eternal reactions to our temporal actions, and when God has tried specifically hard to make us aware of our choices and consequences, and when we have deliberately chosen to rebel and reject His love and protection under His authority..... we are 100% to blame for what happens when we end this 'soul school' and return home to collect our results upon death.

    Nobody forces separation from God on us (though the enemy tries to deceive us into choosing it) it is always OUR personal choice, it is always OUR personal responsibility to face the consequences of our choices.

    Think on this, and you will see it's the truth.

  8. profile image0
    christiananrkistposted 3 years ago

    i think the bible speaks of hell being eternal torment , not eternal punishment. although people will be punished according to their sins, the eternal torment comes from being away from god's grace. even if eternal punishment were the case, i think although harsh could see how sin could require eternal punishment. smaller crimes require smaller punishments, bigger crimes require bigger one. a direct offence to the creator of the everything could require some harsh punishment.

    1. Hendrika profile image81
      Hendrikaposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      I cannot quite agree. Sin is sin, no matter how big or small. We all have to be punished if it was not for Jesus

    2. profile image0
      christiananrkistposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      i agree that sin is sin, in the sense that it separates us from God's perfection. but there are sins worse than others. Revelation 20:12-13 says the dead are judged according to what they have done. other versus also suggest degrees of punishment