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Hell: a discussion

Helcaraxë

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Hey, Thorin, I resent that! May I remind you that I started this thread? :D ;)

Eriol said:
I agree, completely. Check below.



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.
You say that according to the laws of Non-contradiction and identity, there is no mental reality? On the contrary! It is precisely because all of our concepts are indeed concepts, even the concept of materialism, that the idea ;) that there is no mental reality cannot be true.
Eriol said:
According to Kant, the mental and the external are completely disjointed -- completely disjointed -- and therefore there is no necessary relationship between them.
How are they disjointed? A perception is a cause; reality (physical or otherwise) is the cause. There has to be some relationship, because effects do not occur without causes.
Eriol said:
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.
Could you explain what you mean by this sentence? Your train of thought is confusing, and it's making it difficult to interpret your stance on these issues.
Eriol said:
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.
I would say that cause and effect is another of the fundamental principles. Non-contradiction, identity, and excluded middle are laws describing condition; cause-effect is a law (the fundamental law of this sort) that describes event, which is equally important. I'll expound on this a little later in the post. But cause and effect acts as the link between our reality and the external one. But what do you mean when you say that we take a metaphysical stance? The existence of the mental reality is proven via the three principles, and it's link with reality is proven by the fourth principle.
Eriol said:
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.

"More real than reality?" More precisely, they are reality, on it's most fundamental level.
Eriol said:
I agree.

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).
I would argue with this statement. The four laws themselves, of course, cannot be observed. Rather, the things they govern and the effects they produce can be observed. These laws are both metaphysical and physical. It can be justified like so, among other ways. The laws cannot be proven, however, by anything more basic than themselves, as there is nothing that is more basic than them.

Principle 1 (PNC): One cannot at the same time be and not be itself. Any attempt to contradict this principle would be non-sensical, as the denier is accpeting the principle as true, and cannot do otherwise

Principle 2 (Identity): Every object must have an identity, a quality. Otherwise you are left with nominals. One cannot deny this, because in arguing he is ascribing identity.

Principle 3 (Excluded Middle): Anything is either true or false, because otherwise it would violate the PNC.

Principle 4 (Cause-effect): Any attempt to deny this principle is falling into contradiction, because any attempt to refute it is using the cause-effect relationship; the person speaks or thinks, and because of this, has an argument or an idea; the person is accpeting the cause-effect order of events.
Eriol said:
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.

You sound like Galadriel. :D We will unite the Three, but if the One is destroyed the power of the Three will fade and leave Middle-Earth. :D But what do you mean by this statement?

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

Eriol

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Helcaraxë said:
You say that according to the laws of Non-contradiction and identity, there is no mental reality? On the contrary! It is precisely because all of our concepts are indeed concepts, even the concept of materialism, that the idea ;) that there is no mental reality cannot be true.
Hahaha...

1=Evolution
2=Materialism

Check my post which started this late sub-thread, Helcaraxë :). Post 96.

How are they disjointed? A perception is a cause; reality (physical or otherwise) is the cause. There has to be some relationship, because effects do not occur without causes.
Tell that to Kant ;). I agree with you, Helcaraxë, but Kant would raise a few questions. All that we "perceive" is a construct of our minds. We can't "perceive" the object-in-itself. Or that's what he would say.

Could you explain what you mean by this sentence? Your train of thought is confusing, and it's making it difficult to interpret your stance on these issues.
It should be easier to understand once you see that 1, 2, and 3 are not the "three axioms of thought", but rather Evolution, Materialism, and Kantism, the three most popular "contemporary philosophies" (only Kant can fully claim this name). It is according to these "philosophies" that the axioms of thought are mysterious.

I would say that cause and effect is another of the fundamental principles. Non-contradiction, identity, and excluded middle are laws describing condition; cause-effect is a law (the fundamental law of this sort) that describes event, which is equally important. I'll expound on this a little later in the post. But cause and effect acts as the link between our reality and the external one. But what do you mean when you say that we take a metaphysical stance? The existence of the mental reality is proven via the three principles, and it's link with reality is proven by the fourth principle.
I agree. Wow, we're agreeing a lot lately :D. But you can't prove cause and effect, since it is a fundamental law. It is an axiom just as the others. Axioms can't be proved. And this is why our stance is metaphysical. Other people (even in TTF) have doubted cause and effect. This is not "illogical", it is merely "insane" ;).

"More real than reality?" More precisely, they are reality, on it's most fundamental level.
Two ways to state the same thing. They are "reality on its most fundamental level", or they are "more real than reality as perceived by us". The Axioms are more real than stones and stars.

I would argue with this statement. The four laws themselves, of course, cannot be observed. Rather, the things they govern and the effects they produce can be observed. These laws are both metaphysical and physical. It can be justified like so, among other ways. The laws cannot be proven, however, by anything more basic than themselves, as there is nothing that is more basic than them.

Principle 1 (PNC): One cannot at the same time be and not be itself. Any attempt to contradict this principle would be non-sensical, as the denier is accpeting the principle as true, and cannot do otherwise

Principle 2 (Identity): Every object must have an identity, a quality. Otherwise you are left with nominals. One cannot deny this, because in arguing he is ascribing identity.

Principle 3 (Excluded Middle): Anything is either true or false, because otherwise it would violate the PNC.

Principle 4 (Cause-effect): Any attempt to deny this principle is falling into contradiction, because any attempt to refute it is using the cause-effect relationship; the person speaks or thinks, and because of this, has an argument or an idea; the person is accpeting the cause-effect order of events.
Perfect! Really very good. Now go discuss with philosophers elsewhere and you'll see what I mean by "insanity" ;). It is fashionable to say nowadays that Quantum Mechanics refutes Principle 4; that Principle 2 can't be proven; that Principle 3 is tautological with Principle 1; that Principle 1 can't be proven either; that all four principles are tautological and do not convey information, being therefore useless; etc.

These guys do not make the "leap of faith" that we make; that the Universe is ultimately logical. All of your words, being words, address only mental reality. But you and I ascribe logic to the workings of the Universe too. Some people don't. That's my point.

You sound like Galadriel. :D We will unite the Three, but if the One is destroyed the power of the Three will fade and leave Middle-Earth. :D But what do you mean by this statement?
I mean that the three principles are ideal and material, are rational and empirical, and any other pair of "isms" describing the Universe that we can imagine is fulfilled by them. They are above "isms". They are the fundamental reality.

I agree :D ;). I'm an overbidder when it comes to sanity.
 

Thorin

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Heelllloooooooooooo..........?

*Chirp, chirp, rustle, rustle*

The whole thing could take about three installments so by the time I'm done the last one, the first one might get forgotten. That's just why I thought you'd want to comment on it now.

Yes, you are right concerning the quote about no consciousness in Sheol. I don't know what I was thinking when I responded to that, but there is a problem. The contradiction is that he links Sheol and Hades together (rightly so) says that there is no consciousness in Sheol (rightly so) but then tries to make Hades the current belief of 'hell' and that there is torment. How can unconscious beings be tormented?

As far as proof, I can show scholarly input concerning the nature of the words and their meanings, I will show bible texts that I feel support my view (but most of those you've seen and discarded on the trash heap of interpretation anyway :D )

At the moment, I have to ask myself "Is this the best Catholics can give?" Considering that Catholics created the market on this doctrine (heh heh), I find it strange that I've seen more support (be it mostly argumentative) and zeal from the Protestant point of view. I guess Protestants didn't think the view was midieval enough. :D At the same time, I find the limits of logic, reasonability, morality and justice are stretched further to the limit as well by Protestant arguments.
 

Eriol

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Thorin said:
At the moment, I have to ask myself "Is this the best Catholics can give?" Considering that Catholics created the market on this doctrine (heh heh), I find it strange that I've seen more support (be it mostly argumentative) and zeal from the Protestant point of view. I guess Protestants didn't think the view was midieval enough. :D At the same time, I find the limits of logic, reasonability, morality and justice are stretched further to the limit as well by Protestant arguments.
Surely this is not the best Catholics have to give. Also, I hope that your arguments are not the best Annihilationists have to give :D. I plead ignorant to most of the technical issues here. I can't read the Bible in Greek or in whatever language was used in OT (old Hebrew?). I'm just tagging along you and finding places in which your arguments do not have full authority (such as when you consider your own idea of a just God as binding on others). I'm just here to annoy you, in a sense, not to offer any constructive argument for the Traditional Hell. After all, it is Traditional :). That is a mighty good argument on its own.

I'll tell you what. I'll look for passages by my favorite theologians (St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas) about Hell and I'll try to come up with something closer to "the best Catholics can give". Only don't wait for quick results ;). And meanwhile I'll keep on playing Devil's Advocate to your arguments, all in good will :).
 

Helcaraxë

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Eriol said:
Hahaha...

1=Evolution
2=Materialism

Check my post which started this late sub-thread, Helcaraxë :). Post 96.
Hehe. I missed that part. :eek:
Eriol said:
Tell that to Kant ;). I agree with you, Helcaraxë, but Kant would raise a few questions. All that we "perceive" is a construct of our minds. We can't "perceive" the object-in-itself. Or that's what he would say.
I'll strike it up with him when I'm dead, capeesh? Actually, you'll probably get there before me (you've got a good twenty years on me), so hold up on the discussions till I get there. ;) Wouldn't want to miss out.
Eriol said:
It should be easier to understand once you see that 1, 2, and 3 are not the "three axioms of thought", but rather Evolution, Materialism, and Kantism, the three most popular "contemporary philosophies" (only Kant can fully claim this name). It is according to these "philosophies" that the axioms of thought are mysterious.
Ahhh, I see. Hehe. :D But according to us "Sanitists" the four axioms are far clearer and more apparent than anything else.
Eriol said:
I agree. Wow, we're agreeing a lot lately. But you can't prove cause and effect, since it is a fundamental law. It is an axiom just as the others. Axioms can't be proved. And this is why our stance is metaphysical. Other people (even in TTF) have doubted cause and effect. This is not "illogical", it is merely "insane" ;).
Of course you can't "prove" axioms logically. That's what axioms are. But you cannot disprove them. And it is impossible to argue with them without contradiction. And it is impossible to conceive of them not existing; in addition, any perception (or anything else) fundamentally verifies these principles. Axioms are strange entities. Although they are more fundamental than entities.
Eriol said:
Two ways to state the same thing. They are "reality on its most fundamental level", or they are "more real than reality as perceived by us". The Axioms are more real than stones and stars.

Perfect! Really very good. Now go discuss with philosophers elsewhere and you'll see what I mean by "insanity" ;). It is fashionable to say nowadays that Quantum Mechanics refutes Principle 4; that Principle 2 can't be proven; that Principle 3 is tautological with Principle 1; that Principle 1 can't be proven either; that all four principles are tautological and do not convey information, being therefore useless; etc.
Thank you. :)

It may be fashionable, but it is hardly provable. They do not understand that the principles cannot be denied. They are the most fundamental things.

Perhaps the best way to describe them is to say that they merely are.
Eriol said:
These guys do not make the "leap of faith" that we make; that the Universe is ultimately logical. All of your words, being words, address only mental reality. But you and I ascribe logic to the workings of the Universe too. Some people don't. That's my point.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, back up a bit. "Logical universe?" Didn't we agree that logic is fundamentally a thing of the mind, a thought process? The Four axioms are not logical, they are pre-logical. They cannot be proven by logic, they are the basis for logic, and they exist in the world as well as our minds. They cannot be described logically.
Eriol said:
I mean that the three principles are ideal and material, are rational and empirical, and any other pair of "isms" describing the Universe that we can imagine is fulfilled by them. They are above "isms". They are the fundamental reality.
Yes, I thought that the "three" meant the three (four!) principles, but you mean materialism, evolution, and Kantism.
Eriol said:
I agree :D. I'm an overbidder when it comes to sanity.
Shall we raise the stakes? I'm all in!

Oh, wait! You're a bridge player! In that case, I bid Seven no trump! I've got the aces up my sleeve. :D
 

Eriol

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Helcaraxë said:
Whoa, whoa, whoa, back up a bit. "Logical universe?" Didn't we agree that logic is fundamentally a thing of the mind, a thought process? The Four axioms are not logical, they are pre-logical. They cannot be proven by logic, they are the basis for logic, and they exist in the world as well as our minds. They cannot be described logically.
The axioms can't be described by logic, but the Universe can; when we use the axioms. I'm still stuck in that mode of thinking in which I call the axioms "the laws of logic" ;). But what I meant is that we assume that the axioms, so useful to describe our thought, are also useful in describing the Universe; we think they are axioms for the Universe too.

The axioms are not a thing of the mind, or a thing of the Universe. They are THE thing. They belong to both, or both belong to them, or whatever :D.
 

Thorin

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Hell link review - Part II

Here we go...

IV. IMPENITENCE OF THE DAMNED

The damned are confirmed in evil; every act of their will is evil and inspired by hatred of God.....The damned, then, can never choose between acting out of love of God and virtue, and acting out of hatred of God. Hatred is the only motive in their power; and they have no other choice than that of showing their hatred of God by one evil action in preference to another. The last and the real cause of their impenitence is the state of sin which they freely chose as their portion on earth and in which they passed, unconverted, into the next life and into that state of permanence (status termini) by nature due to rational creatures, and to an unchangeable attitude of mind.
What this is saying that it is not in the nature of the sinner to repent but that the nature of sin was carried over and became permanently fixed. Hmm. We had sinful natures before and were able to ask for repentance. Why would the wicked not be able to choose that? What we are basically saying if their will is fixed by carrying it to the afterlife, is that they do not have free will anymore. I don't care how sinful you are, if you are being tormented by fire due to your sinful acts, you'd be repenting and begging for a second chance.

Again, IMO, this is merely reasoning to do away with the thought of anyone suffering in hell willingly. The fact that there is no redemption or mercy in hell forces one to make the wicked an evil, unwilling, unrepentant sinner in their punishment. The only alternative is to believe that while the wicked are begging for mercy, God turns His back on their pleas.
But if the damned are impenitent, how can Scripture say they repent of their sin? They deplore with the utmost intensity the punishment, but not the malice of sin; to this they cling more tenaciously than ever. Had they an opportunity, they would commit the sin again, not indeed for the sake of its gratification, which they found illusive, but out of sheer hatred of God. They are ashamed of their folly which led them to seek happiness in sin, but not of the malice of sin itself
Amazing speculation. When God allows them to suffer without end instead of putting them out of their misery, can you blame them for cursing Him? Ultimately such punishment will reduce even the hardest soul to beg for mercy. "Choosing the same sin again if they had the chance" is another necessity to allow such reprehensible conduct on God's behalf to continue. We HAVE to find some way to justify eternal torment so we speculate that the wicked show no remorse and would choose to remain in their torment if given the chance. Highly unlikely.

V. POENA DAMNI
The utter void of the soul made for the enjoyment of infinite truth and infinite goodness causes the reprobate immeasurable anguish. Their consciousness that God, on Whom they entirely depend, is their enemy forever is overwhelming. Their consciousness of having by their own deliberate folly forfeited the highest blessings for transitory and delusive pleasures humiliates and depresses them beyond measure. The desire for happiness inherent in their very nature, wholly unsatisfied and no longer able to find any compensation for the loss of God in delusive pleasure, renders them utterly miserable.
Hey, like burning fire isn't enough! God can't impress on them ENOUGH misery, let's throw mental anguish on top of it as well! How someone burning can reflect on their mental state is beyond me.

I'll have to look at the rest but I am amazingly disturbed at the lengths that taken to place God's character in such a horrid light. All to reconcile ambiguous theology from the scriptures to match such a midieval concept.

*shudder*
 
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Thorin

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Hell link review - Part III

This is the last installment.
VI. POENA SENSUS
The poena sensus, or pain of sense, consists in the torment of fire so frequently mentioned in the Holy Bible. According to the greater number of theologians the term fire denotes a material fire, and so a real fire. We hold to this teaching as absolutely true and correct. However, we must not forget two things: from Catharinus (d. 1553) to our times there have never been wanting theologians who interpret the Scriptural term fire metaphorically, as denoting an incorporeal fire; and secondly, thus far the Church has not censured their opinion....Some few of the Fathers also thought of a metaphorical explanation. Nevertheless, Scripture and tradition speak again and again of the fire of hell, and there is no sufficient reason for taking the term as a mere metaphor.
So basically, the church believes in literal fire though not negating other possibilities. Hence we are talking about literal fire here. Because both body and "soul" suffer this fire for eternity, we have a scientific impossibility. Hence God is directly involved with changing constant laws by making the fire burn forever, and something tangible (body with soul) to continue burning. Therefore, He must be held responsible in some way for this hell.

It is urged: How can a material fire torment demons, or human souls before the resurrection of the body? But, if our soul is so joined to the body as to be keenly sensitive to the pain of fire, why should the omnipotent God be unable to bind even pure spirits to some material substance in such a manner that they suffer a torment more or less similar to the pain of fire which the soul can feel on earth? The reply indicates, as far as possible, how we may form an idea of the pain of fire which the demons suffer.
And here is where the error lies. Because it is believed that the demons are being tormented by fire and are considered 'spirits', then it is feasible for 'souls' to be tormented without the body. The problem lies in two areas:

1) The lack of support that disembodied souls are suffering now
2) The demons are in this suffering hell

The bible makes it plain that after the resurrection, the whole man will be cast into the fire. Not at death, and not as a disembodied soul (see Revelation 20). There is no support that souls are united with the body for the righteous, nevermind the wicked.

It is quite superfluous to add that the nature of hell-fire is different from that of our ordinary fire; for instance, it continues to burn without the need of a continually renewed supply of fuel. How are we to form a conception of that fire in detail remains quite undetermined; we merely know that it is corporeal. The demons suffer the torment of fire, even when, by Divine permission, they leave the confines of hell and roam about on earth. In what manner this happens is uncertain. We may assume that they remain fettered inseparably to a portion of that fire.
Again, see the assumption with the demon 'spirits' above. This concept is so void of biblical support that it is almost laughable. The demons are not suffering the torment of fire now. This conclusion can only be reached by assuming that Tartarus is the same as Gehenna. This gentleman is completely influenced by the english word for 'hell'.

The demons are in Tartarus. They are not in Hades and are not experiencing Gehenna (not until the end of time - see Revelation 20 again). Because Tartarus is used only once in the scriptures and only to denote the realm of the demons, we cannot speculate that this is 'hell' as in the hell we hear Christ speak about because this occurs at the end, but rather just a dimension beyond our own senses. Satan and the demons are free to roam the earth until the end of time where they will receive their punishment. They are not confined to some 'pit' where they get tormented a bit and then are allowed out. Such a concept is so hideous it defies reasonable explanation.

With the traditional Catholic view, human beings are in torment right now without respite or relief. Yet God allows the demons to go out to the earth on occasion?? Do you see the illogical reasoning here? When we make an unbiblical speculation like the demons are in tormenting hell, we then have to try and reconcile that with the biblical view that Satan is 'a roaring lion roaming the earth seeking whom he may devour". What we have is deviation from the truth that requires more and more assumption to explain it.

Not long ago Mivart advocated the opinion that the pains of the damned would decrease with time and that in the end their lot would not be so extremely sad; that they would finally reach a certain kind of happiness and would prefer existence to annihilation; and although they would still continue to suffer a punishment symbolically described as a fire by the Bible, yet they would hate God no longer, and the most unfortunate among them be happier than many a pauper in this life. It is quite obvious that all this is opposed to Scripture and the teaching of the Church.
IMO, pretty much everything in this article is opposed to scripture. When man spins a story with ambiguous proof such as eternal hell, he must create more and more speculative assumptions to describe and explain the original concepts. None of these can be proven, not too many make sense and anything goes as far as I'm concerned. IMO, this Mivart could be right as far as the traditional view goes because NO ONE KNOWS.

Ultimately, the whole ludicrous attempt to explain 'hell' breaks down at these levels:

1) The misunderstanding and mistranslation of the soul and spirit
2) The neglect of the wholistic, not dualistic, view of man espoused throughout the bible
3) The misunderstanding of the words erroneously translated as 'hell'
4) The neglect of numerous scriptures citing the annihilation of the wicked and the misinterpretation of a few ambiguous, metaphorical bible texts

Thankfully, more and more theologians are abandoning the midieval concept of hell that is promoted in this article and many more are realizing the fallacy and illogical inconsistencies in the traditional view of hell.
 

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