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Hell: a discussion

Eriol

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Ireth Telrúnya said:
Hello, Eriol.

I'd like to comment on what you (and Jesus) said about Judas, that it had been better if he had never been born.

Don't you think it is a strange statement coming from One who is in fact the Almighty God Himself, since Jesus is (according to christology) said to have been 100 % God and 100 % man when He was on Earth. Not just a man.
Why does God himself regrets that Judas was born? Why did his "perfect" plan include inevitably that one man will perish?
In the Bible God assures us that He doesn't want anyone to perish, but inherit the everlasting life when we believe in His Son's work on the Cross.
Yet Jesus says it was better for Judas that he had not been born at all.
There is a slight matter about the precise words here. Jesus does not "regret" Judas' birth, he says that "it would have been better for Judas if he had not been born". In other words, Judas' birth is good "in the big picture", but it is not good "for Judas", in hindsight.

God does not want anyone to perish, as you say. Perishing is a result of free will. There is no free will without the possibility of evil, and if you say that God should be blamed for creating the possibility of evil, you are right. God created that. But God's judgment is that the possibility of evil is better than its absence; that free will is better than automata. When you "blame God" for that, you actually say that automata would be better...

That's a reasonable opinion. But God apparently disagrees :D.

Let me say that I've been what you can call a believer, but nowadays I'm more just questioning the things I've learned from the Bible in the past.
And those years trying to figure out the Bible and its controversial matters never gave the result I thought it would.
I've worshipped the Valar (no joke) when I was a teenager, then I became a general theist (probably more like a deist) just on a personal whim in my early twenties... I just became a Christian less than 3 years ago. So most of my notions about the Bible are very limited (as I'm sure Thorin will agree :D :D). Indeed, I should study the Bible more. But we are not Bible worshippers, Ireth... we worship Jesus. There is no problem within the Bible that can't be solved through reasoning and good will, because Jesus assured us of that, and this makes for a much more cheerful reading :).

If we don't like something in the Bible, we can always come back to the Rock, Christ, and remember that He said we should trust Him.

Helcaraxë, you take Hell to be a material place with material fire and material time. That is the only sense in which one can say that "God created Hell". I, on the other hand, think that there is no one place/time/fire that is "Hell", I think that Hell is absence of God. "Only God can truly create", you say. Very Tolkienish :D. But this addresses creation out of nothing, not the use of our freedom. Morgoth can't create, but he can make Orcs. We can't create, but we can reject God. It's a matter of freedom, not of creation.

Those in Hell freely chose to go there; they dug their own hole.
 

Ireth Telrúnya

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Eriol said:
There is a slight matter about the precise words here. Jesus does not "regret" Judas' birth, he says that "it would have been better for Judas if he had not been born". In other words, Judas' birth is good "in the big picture", but it is not good "for Judas", in hindsight.

God does not want anyone to perish, as you say. Perishing is a result of free will. There is no free will without the possibility of evil, and if you say that God should be blamed for creating the possibility of evil, you are right. God created that. But God's judgment is that the possibility of evil is better than its absence; that free will is better than automata. When you "blame God" for that, you actually say that automata would be better...

That's a reasonable opinion. But God apparently disagrees.
I agree you with that Judas's birth was good in the big picture, but my understanding of God's love is that even one soul was worth of His dying on the Cross. According to many, Jesus would have come to save just one soul.
In this light I don't see why his (God's) plan seemed to contradict His love.

I don't believe in free will anymore. There are places in the Bible that state God can do anything He wants to do here. He is Almighty and all-knowing and perfect in every way and He is able to guide of what happens in this world even though it seems we have free will.

John 6:44
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. "

The Bible says in this verse that no one can become a believer on their own, God has to draw them to him first.
So much for our free will.
If the Bible says, that it depends on God's will who will become saved then I don't see how can it be anyone's fault if they have not known God during their lifetime.
I know some say God calls everyone at least two or three times in their lifetime, they just don't answer the call.

I don't believe that either. And in fact I see this whole system as too weak a try if God really wants to save us all from this Hell He supposedly created for His renegade angel Lucifer and his fellow angels who all became demons and devils after the war in Heaven....the Bible says one third of the angels fell from Heaven with Lucifer...but it really doesn't say much about this quite essential thing in the beginning of time. There are just a couple of chapters in Ezekiel 27-28 that according to many, speak about this Fall in Heaven before Man was created. Lucifer is not mentioned directly. (Isaiah 14:12-17 is also a reference to Satan)

Have you ever thought about why on Earth God went and created Man after Lucifer was on the loose there and God knew His creation was inevitably going to be the main target of the evil???
Thinking this makes me do this conclusion: God created Man to see if He could beat Lucifer in the hunt after Man's eternal soul.
So it seems humankind is just like pieces on a huge gameboard where God is trying to solve a problem with his renegade angel.

All this that is the foundation of the New Testament, is just too much for me. I can't understand how I could have been believing in this for long fifteen years which is half of my life...and much of the time, I was so-called born-again Christian who concentrates on Jesus, and not really on the Scriptures. (though I've been through a two-year Bible School...well, don't regret it, Bible is the book which has had major influence on the development of our western civilization).

Anyway, everyone has to go through their own paths, and find their way of living on this planet.
Most important is to learn to understand others and yourself and see that this world is not so clear cut and black and white as many Christian preachers I've listened to seem to think. In fact I know it on the basis of my own experiences in my life.
 

Eriol

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I think God calls everybody, at every time, without ceasing. I am amazed at it, sometimes.

But you know more about it than I do, given your background :).

I also think that if you "refuse Jesus" out of honesty, and yet act according to his commandments, you are not really refusing Him. You are simply mistaken (assuming Christianity to be right). God is not bothered with mistakes. But that's how I see it. I think God knows what you believe in better than you do :).

Finally, to end up the chain of "I think" 's, I think that a honest skeptical is more liable to end up with God's grace than a dishonest "believer". I would venture (with Pascal) to guess that going through the motions of "believing" creates real faith, but I also think that there are many "believers" who will be shocked to find out that they are not so safe after all.

Why, Jesus himself said that :).
 

Thorin

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Eriol said:
Do you have any evidence that the proper reading is the one you defend here? Do you have any evidence to the effect that the thief did not die in that night? (As far as I know one does not survive crucifixion for a long time). No evidence, just interpretation. Not that I disagree with your interpretation, but it is just as valid as the more obvious one, that the thief will die in that night, and that he'll meet Jesus that night in paradise.
No, there is no proof that the thief didn't die that night. However, that doesn't change the fact that Christ didn't go to heaven at his death. He went down into Sheol and at the resurrection he plainly states to Mary not to touch Him for he had 'not ascended to the Father'. Then when He greets Thomas He says to touch Him. Somehow He got to heaven to present Himself to the Father after the resurrection. You believe (AGAIN) that your intepretation is true based on the assumption that man has an immortal soul. Nowhere can you prove this, therefore you cannot read that into the text, especially when Christ emphasised himself that:
1) He would rise after three days,
2) Acts 2 states he is in Sheol and along with 1 Corinthians 15 places Christ's life contingent on God resurrecting Him and our life contigent on that resurrection.
3) Christ was in the grave and was resurrected with a new BODY. You cannot prove any sort of body/soul reunification.

And BTW, it is far from interpretation to say that the Greek didn't have any punctuation. That is a fact. (Or were you being cheeky?)

Eriol said:
This is not a matter that can be proven right or wrong through Scriptures -- that would be too easy :). And we're talking about the most read book in History. If there were obvious mistakes of interpretation in the traditional reading, it wouldn't be the traditional reading.
When you take one bible text like you are doing and trying to wrap a theology around it, yes it could be all up to interpretation. When you step back and take all the theological evidence into consideration and see the picture of salvation history unfolding, we see a whole different story. Here is where traditionalist view falls apart and conditional/annihilation view stands solid. I can take Revelation 20 and twist it anyway I want. When I ignore numerous bible texts that say otherwise and ignore the metaphorical and allegorical language in those few texts, it is a recipe for theological disaster and that has been the state of the 'hell' doctrine for centuries.

Eriol said:
I think that your greatest problem with the traditional Hell is not scriptural, it is ethical. You don't like that God. I can't really blame you, but I must point out that immortality and eternity and free will and sin are all very delicately linked when we discuss Hell, and that what seems to you unfair may be quite fair. You don't KNOW eternity, and you don't KNOW that annihilation is to be preferred to eternal punishment. God does know all of that. He'll pick the best option.
Oh no, there is more than enough evidence in scripture to contradict 'eternal torment'. I find that the traditionalists are on seriously thin ice in intepretation, support and logic. Contradictions within the traditionalist camp abound (difference between Hades, Gehenna, Tartaros/when the wicked receive the punishment/whether it is a 'soul' or body that burns') because there is so much assumption based on assumption that is almost comical.

However, you are right. There is a moralist argument. God has created us in His image (of course, you thinking man evolved from pond slime wouldn't see this 'image' the same way ;)) and with a conscience that can distinguish between right and wrong. Our minds revolt at such a concept and we wouldn't even consider doing that to someone else because it would be called sin in God's eyes. Yet God can do it and it is not sin? It is perfectly alright? God's mercy knows no bounds and yet He, unlike ourselves (much lower beings) wouldn't even think to end the suffering of His children (that he loves even more than we do)? Arguments like the one you have put forth are kindling for the fires atheists and philosophers they like to set under the character of God. If I believed in such a view, I could not support God's character (man's free will or not), nor would I have decent ground to do so, to those people.

Eriol said:
I see no difference between your point (1) and the traditional doctrine. I could just as well say that the wicked dies and the very next thing will be to raised by Christ to NOT see his face, and to be punished.

Point 2 actually gives me ammo. Our flesh can't see God, yet Paul longs to see Him. It seems Paul believes that he can see God when he is "outside" this flesh -- i.e., dead.
No, because you can only assume that being 'absent from the body' means an immortal spirit to rise to heaven, of which there is no proof in this text or elsewhere. However, Paul makes it plain elsewhere that it is in with the immortal body we receive at the resurrection when we will see God. Paul is saying nothing about an immortal essence. He is basically stating that in this EARTHLY body we cannot see the face of God. He would rather it be that he can see God in his immortal flesh. There is another text that states that Paul wishes to be clothed in immortality and not be left 'naked' (i.e dead in the grave). It is very similar to this text but states the hope of the resurrected body. I can't remember which one it is and I don't have my Bible yet. And in the text in Timothy I stated earlier, Paul fully expects to get his reward at the day of resurrection. (You know, you have ignored many of my Bible texts...I forgive you)

Eriol said:
Interpretation! Unlike the other instances in which I consider your interpretation as good as the traditional (since it hangs on matters such as punctuation, that is non-existent in the original documents), here I would disagree, based on the word "own". "Own place". Whose place? Not that of new apostle, because this was spoken before the new apostle was chosen, and therefore it was not yet his "own" place. It is also not "Judas' own" place, since Judas is dead and the place does not belong to him anyway.

I think the word "own" makes your interpretation a stretch.
Not even close! To take the 'he' in these verses and make them apply to both the successor to Judas and Judas himself is the linguistic stretch. To do so is to totally incorporate a thought that linguistically doesn't belong. The phrase is 'that he MIGHT find his own place', not that he is in his own place already. As I said before, this 'place' is where this successor belongs in his role as a disciple. It is a much bigger stretch to make the use of 'he' as Judas and 'find his place' meaning go to his tormenting destiny.

Outside of the scriptures, I have never seen any traditionalist argument for the immortality of the soul or torment at death to use this verse. Doesn't that tell you that it is because I'm right?:D

Eriol said:
What is better, to be born and then to burn into annihilation, or not to be born at all? I gotta tell you, I prefer to be born. I like to think that if I am burned into annihilation, at least I'll have loved and laughed and lived.
But I also must admit that if the choice is not to be born or eternal punishment, then I prefer not to be born. The point is that annihilation and "non-birth" are equivalent. If Judas' ultimate destiny is non-existence, then it is not "worse" for him to be born, and I could make a case to the effect that it was better. After all, as you just said, he DID see Jesus face to face. Would it be better for him to not be born? I doubt it. I much prefer to be born, see Jesus, and then become annihilated than to not be born at all.
Judas was the one who directly betrayed Jesus. He was one of Christ's personally chosen disciples and I really don't think you can compare the disciples' experience with anyone else in Palestine.

I still believe this is talking about the circumstances of Judas' situation and not about the nature of his reward. The biggest issue is what the wicked will realize not what they will experience (and the reason why Judas more than anyone will realize the bitterness of it all). They will see their chance for eternal happiness gone. They will see where they had the chance to repent and where their doom lies. Not so much in the punishment but what they are going to miss. To me this is the greatest tragedy of 'wishing they had never been born' because they missed out on the true life not because of the nature of their punishment, whether it be eternal torment or annihilation.
 

Eriol

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Thorin said:
However, you are right. There is a moralist argument. God has created us in His image (of course, you thinking man evolved from pond slime wouldn't see this 'image' the same way ;)) and with a conscience that can distinguish between right and wrong. Our minds revolt at such a concept and we wouldn't even consider doing that to someone else because it would be called sin in God's eyes. Yet God can do it and it is not sin? It is perfectly alright? God's mercy knows no bounds and yet He, unlike ourselves (much lower beings) wouldn't even think to end the suffering of His children (that he loves even more than we do)? Arguments like the one you have put forth are kindling for the fires atheists and philosophers they like to set under the character of God. If I believed in such a view, I could not support God's character (man's free will or not), nor would I have decent ground to do so, to those people.
If to "end the suffering of his Children" is to destroy their free will, then God will not do it, period. I think it is quite explicit in the Bible (and in real life) that free will is more valuable in the eyes of God than "lack of suffering". And in fact most people agree with that once they think about it. Just give them a choice between:

a) life in a "virtual reality machine" with administration of drugs to insure that there will be no possibility of pain

OR

b) real life as we know it, with the possibility of good and evil

ALL people whom I have asked this preferred (b). In fact they considered (a) as a hideous science-fiction world, to be avoided at all costs. Yet this runs counter to your intuition about what is "against God's character". I can't see how, under your assumptions of a merciful God who destroy the sinner out of mercy, God simply does not destroy the sin and welcome the sinner, after a perfect rearrangement of his free will, into Heaven. Wouldn't this be "more charitable" than annihilation?

It is only when we realize the immense value of free will (something we usually take for granted) that we see that God prefers to preserve it rather than to destroy it. I see no difference between annihilation and "forced conversion", both are inimical to free will. The wicked did not "choose annihilation"; he chose existence away from God. To deny him that would be a breach of free will.

I see no substance in the moralist argument. I think there is more substance in the Scriptural argument, but I still think that it is the moralist argument that fuels your conceptions.

When you finish with that Hell link, I have another for you :D.
 

Thorin

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Eriol said:
I can't see how, under your assumptions of a merciful God who destroy the sinner out of mercy, God simply does not destroy the sin and welcome the sinner, after a perfect rearrangement of his free will, into Heaven. Wouldn't this be "more charitable" than annihilation?
We all know universalism is fundamentally flawed in terms of justice, free will and consequence. Once the choice has been made, the consequences are firm whether free will is involved or not. God respects the free will in as far as they have they have the right to choose whom they will serve. However, whether it be torment or annihilation, there are consequences.

Eriol said:
It is only when we realize the immense value of free will (something we usually take for granted) that we see that God prefers to preserve it rather than to destroy it. I see no difference between annihilation and "forced conversion", both are inimical to free will. The wicked did not "choose annihilation"; he chose existence away from God. To deny him that would be a breach of free will.
Free will is nothing more than a concept no longer applicable to humans at this time because they cannot exercise that free will. Hell is their choice but they no longer have the choice to get out of it, how is free will any good to them? There is a big difference between 'forced conversion' and annihilation because as I said before, like eternal torment, it involved a choice. There is no difference between free will in annihilation or eternal torment. In neither condition can man exercise that free will. What you are basically saying is that man having the concept of free will and allowing him to be tormented for trillions of years not only puts God in a better light but that it pleases Him more to do so then if He decided to put an end to sin and the sinner's misery. :confused: Preserving free will is not the issue in eternal torment, it is existing. Therefore the question must be asked. Why would God allow someone to exist in torment for eternity with no hope of exercising free will or redeeming themselves?

The issue here is NOT free will. That choice using the free will God respects has already been made, but with that choice comes consequence. The issue is crime and punishment and suffering or ending of misery. God's love would put an end to misery.

You see Eriol you just don't understand the biblical salvation history of sin and salvation. God has said plainly that sin brings death. God has made it clear that He wants to eradicate sin. God allows man to make his choice and sinners reject God. God must carry through with His plan to destroy sin. Sinners, all the while exercising their free will have chosen to stick with sin. Therefore, they will have to be destroyed along with sin because sin in any form cannot exist in the presence of God or in the new heavens and earth.

God destroyed free will in the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Egyptians in the Red Sea and other individual instances. Sin brings death, plain and simple. Nowhere in the scriptures, however, have I seen any place where God tortures sinners to allow free will to exist.
 

Eriol

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But my question is not Scriptural. It is simply, "if God annihilates the wicked out of mercy, wouldn't it be even more merciful to convert them and bring them into Heaven?"

The point is to bring up the limits of God's mercy. Intrinsic limits. God could convert everybody, but He doesn't (as you agree). That He doesn't is proof that He considers some values to be untouchable by Him. You think that free will is one of these values. I think that existence is another. You disagree as regards existence. But the question of free will shows that there are limits.

Once the idea of intrinsic limits to God's mercy is admitted, the moral argument against God is undone. God is not forced to be merciful by His nature (anymore than He is forced to be just). He set up some limits to His Mercy. Who are we to know which limits are these?
 

Thorin

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Eriol said:
The point is to bring up the limits of God's mercy. Intrinsic limits. God could convert everybody, but He doesn't (as you agree). That He doesn't is proof that He considers some values to be untouchable by Him.
I think free will to choose your destiny is definitely one of His values. However freedom to exist is contingent on what they choose. Choosing God brings life, choosing sin brings death. God's mercy is free for all to a certain point. God gives us the freedom to choose because there will come a time (whether burning forever or annihilation) when that freedom to choose is taken away.
Eriol said:
Once the idea of intrinsic limits to God's mercy is admitted, the moral argument against God is undone. God is not forced to be merciful by His nature (anymore than He is forced to be just). He set up some limits to His Mercy. Who are we to know which limits are these?
I guess it is how you define 'moral argument'. To me God is still moral when He puts sinners out of their misery rather than allow them to suffer eternally. I don't see 'moral argument' meaning God in His love wouldn't let anyone die or suffer even though they've decided they didn't want anything to do with them, I would have a problem with that idea of 'morality'. God going against that freedom of choice to save them anyway is negating that freedom of choice and therefore not 'moral'. That is different then their freedom of choice to choose death. One is their own choosing. The other is God forcing them.

Is it just me or do you think we shouldn't be wasting time on this thread with our discussion. It's not like we have a great amount of participation here (Truly unfortunate. I would like to hear Merry's and Mrs. Maggot's take on this). Perhaps we should just PM each other?
 

Eriol

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Thorin said:
Is it just me or do you think we shouldn't be wasting time on this thread with our discussion. It's not like we have a great amount of participation here (Truly unfortunate. I would like to hear Merry's and Mrs. Maggot's take on this). Perhaps we should just PM each other?
Yep, it's unfortunate. We scare people away :eek: :D.

I don't think we should PM this, though, there is always someone that finds this interesting. What we could do is take a break... I'd welcome that :). Don't rush in your analysis of that Hell link; let's "slow down".
 

Thorin

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Eriol said:
What we could do is take a break... I'd welcome that :). Don't rush in your analysis of that Hell link; let's "slow down".
Well, what I've read so far has me rolling my eyes if that gives you any indication of how I feel so far. I will give credit where credit is due even while I slash it apart! :D

I'll have a link for you as well. It is rather long and extensive but it is good. I don't endorse everything mentioned there but it is well researched and thought out. I have to get it later and let you cogitate on it while I delve into the Catholic Encylopedia link.
 

Eriol

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Ok. I must remind you that I do not endorse every view in the CE article; but I like that the author is usually forthright when he separates his own opinion from the Catholic belief.
 

Thorin

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Here is my start of the analysis of this link given by Eriol. As my time is limited, I will cover it in segments.

Hell (infernus) in theological usage is a place of punishment after death. Theologians distinguish four meanings of the term hell:


* hell in the strict sense, or the place of punishment for the damned, be they demons or men;
* the limbo of infants (limbus parvulorum), where those who die in original sin alone, and without personal mortal sin, are confined and undergo some kind of punishment;
* the limbo of the Fathers (limbus patrum), in which the souls of the just who died before Christ awaited their admission to heaven; for in the meantime heaven was closed against them in punishment for the sin of Adam;
* purgatory, where the just, who die in venial sin or who still owe a debt of temporal punishment for sin, are cleansed by suffering before their admission to heaven.
Here we have a problem. The problem is that he has taken the meaning of the english 'hell' and applied all the uses of it in the scriptures to encompass all its meanings. Hell as in the punishment of the damned is not Hades or Sheol or Tartaros, it is gehenna. The demons are not being punished right now and the thought of infants being 'punished' for any length of time is repugnant and puts God in a terrible light. The 'limbo' of the fathers who have died before Christ are in Sheol as is everyone else: the grave. They are still there (as Acts 2 says of David) and will be resurrected at the end.
The Latin infernus (inferum, inferi), the Greek Hades, and the Hebrew sheol correspond to the word hell. Infernus is derived from the root in; hence it designates hell as a place within and below the earth. Haides, formed from the root fid, to see, and a privative, denotes an invisible, hidden, and dark place; thus it is similar to the term hell.
That Hades and Sheol are equivalents is correct. The problem here is that Hades and Sheol are not places of punishment but merely the 'abode of the dead'.
The uses of the Sheol prove that those in Sheol good and bad are unaware of their surroundings but in a state of 'unconsciousness'. The derivation of sheol is doubtful. It is generally supposed to come from the Hebrew root meaning, "to be sunk in, to be hollow"; accordingly it denotes a cave or a place under the earth. In the Old Testament (Sept. hades; Vulg. infernus) sheol is used quite in general to designate the kingdom of the dead, of the good (Gen., xxxvii, 35) as well as of the bad (Num., xvi, 30); it means hell in the strict sense of the term, as well as the limbo of the Fathers.
This is true but the assumption that there is consciousness and punishment in both places is false. Ecclesiastes, Job and Psalms continually state that there is no consciousness in Sheol. Nor does the NT state (other than Luke 16) that there is also consciousness in Hades. He also assumes that the 'Fathers' all went up to heaven at Christ's resurrection (as in the next quote). Not only is there no biblical support but, again, Acts 2 contradicts it.
But, as the limbo of the Fathers ended at the time of Christ's Ascension, hades (Vulg. infernus) in the New Testament always designates the hell of the damned. Since Christ's Ascension the just no longer go down to the lower world, but they dwell in heaven (II Cor., v 1).
Again, merely speculation. The only place in the scriptures that gives this view is Luke 16 with the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. The Greek Hades was the only term to describe the Hebrew Sheol. The dead are still dead. The assumption that righteous man goes to heaven after Christ is based on the immortality of the soul. Christ, in John 6:40,44 however, states that Christ will give eternal life to all who believe and that they will never die, but that life is only at the resurrection.
However, in the New Testament the term Gehenna is used more frequently in preference to hades, as a name for the place of punishment of the damned. Gehenna is the Hebrew gê-hinnom (Neh., xi, 30), or the longer form gê-ben-hinnom (Jos., xv, 8), and gê-benê-hinnom (IV Kings, xxiii, 10) "valley of the sons of Hinnom". Hinnom seems to be the name of a person not otherwise known. The Valley of Hinnom is south of Jerusalem and is now called Wadi er-rababi. It was notorious as the scene, in earlier days, of the horrible worship of Moloch. For this reason it was defiled by Josias (IV Kings, xxiii, 10), cursed by Jeremias (Jer., vii, 31-33), and held in abomination by the Jews, who, accordingly, used the name of this valley to designate the abode of the damned (Targ. Jon., Gen., iii, 24; Henoch, c. xxvi).
Though his explanation of where the term gehenna derived from is true, you cannot linguistically or theologically say that gehenna is used in place of hades. Both are used specifically not interchangeably. Again more false assumptions to have the dead be punished at death rather than at the end of time. With its obvious earthly reference of the Valley of Hinnom to the NT Jewish Christians, gehenna was always used to designate the ultimate end time fate of the wicked as it was used for the 'end' of a criminal's life. Gehenna is not the same as Hades. Gehenna is only used at the end of time. Hades is the abode of the dead. Gehenna is plainly used in scripture to denote the end time punishment. You cannot make the abode of the dead the end time punishment. You cannot make Hades Gehenna.

And Christ adopted this usage of the term. Besides Hades and Gehenna, we find in the New Testament many other names for the abode of the damned. It is called "lower hell" (Vulg. tartarus) (II Peter, ii, 4), "abyss" (Luke, viii, 31 and elsewhere), "place of torments" (Luke, xvi, 28), "pool of fire" (Apoc., xix, 20 and elsewhere), "furnace of fire" (Matt., xiii, 42, 50), "unquenchable fire" (Matt., iii, 12, and elsewhere), "everlasting fire" (Matt., xviii, 8; xxv, 41; Jude, 7), "exterior darkness" (Matt., vii, 12; xxii, 13; xxv, 30), "mist" or "storm of darkness" (II Peter, ii, 17; Jude, 13). The state of the damned is called "destruction" (apoleia, Phil., iii, 19, and elsewhere), "perdition" (olethros, I Tim., vi, 9), "eternal destruction" (olethros aionios, II Thess., i, 9), "corruption" (phthora, Gal., vi, 8), "death" (Rom., vi, 21), "second death" (Apoc., ii, 11 and elsewhere).
All these terms describe three different places. Tartarus is not the same as Gehenna or Hades and is only used once to apply to Satan and his demons. This writer is unduly influenced by the English word 'hell' and not the original language. If the writers thought that the demons were in the abode of the dead along with the wicked, Hades would have been used. When they are suffering the punishment at the end, Gehenna applies to them the same as the wicked. The bible plainly states that Satan is roaming the earth seeking whom he may devour. He is not cast into the fire until the end. Hence, Tatarus cannot be a place of torment, nor can it be the 'abode of the dead' where humans are.

I have to go so I will look at the rest later.
 
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Helcaraxë

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Eriol said:
A matter of definition, perhaps, when you say "Reason, but not logic". But every step, from the identification of a keyboard to the movement of the fingers towards the keys to the typing of words -- every step -- agrees with the fundamental laws of logic (Identity, Non-contradiction, Excluded Middle...). We can't be non-logical. Even our attempts to be non-logical are logical ;).
Our perception agrees with the laws of logic? Or the laws of logic agree with the perception? Logic is a very specific way of thinking. It is an analytical way of thinking. There are other ways of thinking aside from reason and logic. You can analyze other ways of thinking using logic, but those ways of thinking are not inherently logical, just as perception is not inherently logical. Our attempts to be illogical can be considered logically, but they are fundamentally different than logic. Here's a dictionary definition of logic:
The study of the principles of reasoning, especially of the structure of propositions as distinguished from their content and of method and validity in deductive reasoning.
So you see? Logic is a way of thinking that involves deriving conclusions.

Now let's define "reason":

The capacity for logical, rational, and analytic thought; intelligence.
Since this is merely the capacity for logical thought, it cannot encompass all of our thought processes.

By the way, those fundamental laws you mentioned are more fundamental even than logic because they presuppose logic.

Eriol said:
As you see, I don't take logic to be "deduction based on premises", that to me is a particular application of logic -- a deductive syllogism. I take logic to be the axioms of thought (those fundamental laws I mentioned). Even when we write poetry we're following those laws.
Well, that's not a regular definition, but let's examine it. Logic is not an inherent quality in the mind. It is a particular process of the mind. As I said earlier, you can apply the rules of logic to thinking, but it is not inherently present in thinking; rather it is a particular state of thinking. The same can be said of the world. Is logic inherent in the world? Nonsense! But we can apply logical rules to the world in order to think logically about the world. Hence, we can logically apply logic to our thought processes, but they are not themselves "logical."
 

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Helcaraxë said:
Hence, we can logically apply logic to our thought processes, but they are not themselves "logical."
Different definitions of the word. You saw that my definition is "the axioms of thought": Identity, Non-Contradiction, Excluded Middle...

According to that definition of "logic", all thought processes are logical. If you don't like the word "logical" let's pick another. But that's what I mean -- they follow the axioms of thought (which you call "pre-logical", I'm not sure why).

All thought processes use concepts. Conceptualization follows these axioms. Even dreams follow these axioms.
 

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Eriol said:
Different definitions of the word. You saw that my definition is "the axioms of thought": Identity, Non-Contradiction, Excluded Middle...

But axioms of thought are very different from thought processes. By "axioms of thought" I am assuming you mean the fundamental principles that govern how we think. But logic is not a fundamental principle. Logic is a particular process of the mind, a way of analyzing things. Anyway, these axioms you posit are far more fundamental than thought. These axioms apply to the world as well. Non-contradiction, identity, excluded middle, all of these are inherently laws of the world as well as our minds. And since logic is only a thing of the mind, these fundamental axioms must be independent of logic. Logic may rely on them, but they themselves are not laws of logic.
Eriol said:
According to that definition of "logic", all thought processes are logical. If you don't like the word "logical" let's pick another. But that's what I mean -- they follow the axioms of thought (which you call "pre-logical", I'm not sure why).

According to that definition (which, as I demonstrated above does not desribe logic) only says that thought follows the fundamental laws of the universe. They are "pre-logical" because they underly logic, they precede it and are present in things other than the mind.
Eriol said:
All thought processes use concepts. Conceptualization follows these axioms. Even dreams follow these axioms.
All thought processes use concepts. This is precisely why materialism is a self-contradictory doctrine, because even the concept of the neuron as the cause of a thought is itself a thought, a conception. So one cannot really disagree with the concept of an independent idea. I've decided I like Rothbard's statement. ;) Anyway, I'm rambling.
 

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Helcaraxë said:
But axioms of thought are very different from thought processes. By "axioms of thought" I am assuming you mean the fundamental principles that govern how we think. But logic is not a fundamental principle. Logic is a particular process of the mind, a way of analyzing things. Anyway, these axioms you posit are far more fundamental than thought. These axioms apply to the world as well. Non-contradiction, identity, excluded middle, all of these are inherently laws of the world as well as our minds. And since logic is only a thing of the mind, these fundamental axioms must be independent of logic. Logic may rely on them, but they themselves are not laws of logic.
I googled on "laws of logic" and found only sites talking about these three principles :). The most didactic one was this:

http://atheism.about.com/library/glossary/general/bldef_lawsoflogic.htm

But anyway, you know what I'm talking about when I speak of "the laws of logic", and that's what matters.

You say that the laws of logic are laws of the world. I agree. But isn't this a leap of faith? Why are these the laws of the world, and why do they agree with the laws of our thought? This is a point I have made in many threads here and there (though I think this is the first time I make it to you Helcaraxë) -- what is the relationship between mental truth and "truth out there"? Why is there such a relationship? According to evolution, materialism, and even Kant, there should be no access between the two. Whether the laws of (mental) logic are:

1) products of natural selection;
2) the result of particle crashes;
3) completely "a priori" and without any connection with the world "out there"

none of these hypotheses explain the truth of our mental truths. Why is it that we can reach truth with certainty? Why is it that when we say "1+1=2" we are speaking with absolute, 100% certainty about reality and not merely about our mental states?

I make this leap of faith and agree that the three principles describe reality. But we can't do without the leap of faith.

That the axioms of thought are different from the thought processes is clear. I never said that all we think about is "A=A" :D. But these principles are the link between our thoughts and reality, and anyone who thinks about this (or at least anyone who has talked with me about it or written a book that I've read) must agree that the "truth value" of these principles is rooted in metaphysics, not reality (or logic). Good old Aristotle already said it.

According to that definition (which, as I demonstrated above does not desribe logic) only says that thought follows the fundamental laws of the universe. They are "pre-logical" because they underly logic, they precede it and are present in things other than the mind.

All thought processes use concepts. This is precisely why materialism is a self-contradictory doctrine, because even the concept of the neuron as the cause of a thought is itself a thought, a conception. So one cannot really disagree with the concept of an independent idea. I've decided I like Rothbard's statement. ;) Anyway, I'm rambling.
And I agree with all that you said above. A good ramble :).
 

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Eriol said:
I googled on "laws of logic" and found only sites talking about these three principles :). The most didactic one was this:

http://atheism.about.com/library/glossary/general/bldef_lawsoflogic.htm

But anyway, you know what I'm talking about when I speak of "the laws of logic", and that's what matters.

Yes, but I think that is a confusing definition of logic. Those laws are more fundamental than logic.
Eriol said:
You say that the laws of logic are laws of the world. I agree. But isn't this a leap of faith? Why are these the laws of the world, and why do they agree with the laws of our thought? This is a point I have made in many threads here and there (though I think this is the first time I make it to you Helcaraxë) -- what is the relationship between mental truth and "truth out there"? Why is there such a relationship?

I believe this is a repeat of the objectivity vs. subjectivity debate we were having earlier. Why do the laws of the world agree with laws of though? Because they are universal laws, and apply to everything. In some cases there is no difference between the external truth and the mental truth.
Eriol said:
According to evolution, materialism, and even Kant, there should be no access between the two. Whether the laws of (mental) logic are:

1) products of natural selection;
2) the result of particle crashes;
3) completely "a priori" and without any connection with the world "out there"

none of these hypotheses explain the truth of our mental truths. Why is it that we can reach truth with certainty? Why is it that when we say "1+1=2" we are speaking with absolute, 100% certainty about reality and not merely about our mental states?
What are you getting at? There is "access" between mental truth and external truth, in more ways than one. Universal laws, for one. And for all concepts that have a corresponding element in reality, there is a cause-effect relationship.
Eriol said:
I make this leap of faith and agree that the three principles describe reality. But we can't do without the leap of faith.

That the axioms of thought are different from the thought processes is clear. I never said that all we think about is "A=A" :D. But these principles are the link between our thoughts and reality, and anyone who thinks about this (or at least anyone who has talked with me about it or written a book that I've read) must agree that the "truth value" of these principles is rooted in metaphysics, not reality (or logic). Good old Aristotle already said it.
These principles are more than the operative link between thought and reality, they are inherent in though and reality.

"Truth value"? The truth of these principles is universal; it is not inherent merely in metaphysics. Anyway, what do you mean by "rooted in metaphysics?"
 

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Helcaraxë said:
I believe this is a repeat of the objectivity vs. subjectivity debate we were having earlier. Why do the laws of the world agree with laws of though? Because they are universal laws, and apply to everything. In some cases there is no difference between the external truth and the mental truth.
I agree, completely. Check below.

What are you getting at? There is "access" between mental truth and external truth, in more ways than one. Universal laws, for one. And for all concepts that have a corresponding element in reality, there is a cause-effect relationship.
According to 1 and 2, there is no "mental truth", for there is no "mental reality" -- materialism denies that there is a mind with non-material properties, and natural selection can't account for it either. According to Kant, the mental and the external are completely disjointed -- completely disjointed -- and therefore there is no necessary relationship between them.

If you posit either the absence of a mental world or the full disconnect between the mental and the external, the agreement between them (revealed in the axioms of thought) is quite mysterious.

That's what I'm getting at. When you (and I) postulate that the mental world (a) exists and (b) is linked to reality through the three axioms, we are holding a distinctive metaphysical stance that (unfortunately) is in the minority among contemporary philosophers. They are mostly materialists or Kantians.

These principles are more than the operative link between thought and reality, they are inherent in though and reality.
And this would give them an ontological status higher than anything else we know. They are "more real" than all of our thoughts; they are "more real" than reality.

I agree.

"Truth value"? The truth of these principles is universal; it is not inherent merely in metaphysics. Anyway, what do you mean by "rooted in metaphysics?"
I hope it is quite clear by now... but what I mean is that our commitment to the truth of the three principles in reality is a metaphysical leap of faith (it can't be justified either by observation -- empiricism -- or by the unaided use of logic). Rationalism and Empiricism, Idealism and Materialism, most "isms" take one of the members of the pair and ignores or "debunks" the other. We unite them in the Three Principles.

Our position could receive the name of "sanity" :D.
 

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Hey, nice discussion on logic!

RELEVANCE TO THE THREAD?????
* crickets chirping, wind rustling through the trees*
(hint, hint - start another thread on the definitions and meanings of logic)

A few comments on my analyzation so far on the 'hell' link you gave me, Eriol?
 

Eriol

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Thorin said:
Hey, nice discussion on logic!

RELEVANCE TO THE THREAD?????
* crickets chirping, wind rustling through the trees*
(hint, hint - start another thread on the definitions and meanings of logic)

A few comments on my analyzation so far on the 'hell' link you gave me, Eriol?
:D

spoilsport...

Well, I was waiting for the rest of it... you said you'd "come back later with more". But if you want my opinion so far, you accuse the guy of assumptions while considering your own views as accurate. You may be right, but you haven't provided evidence. Also, you accused him of "assuming consciousness" in Sheol right after a quote in which he said that there was no consciousness in Sheol!

:confused:

All in all, I'm waiting for the rest. I know you'll do a good job and I don't want to rush it ;).
 

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