A Bizarre Teaching
There are those that say Hell must exist because there has to be a place where evil people who escape justice in this life, need to go. Others express themselves differently saying they don’t want to live in a world where evil people can escape justice and avoid punishment. Sadly, at this stage there is no other world for them to live in so, despite their wishes they don’t have a huge choice. However, for those that hold this view let me paraphrase Matt Dillahunty from the Athiest Experience.
Matt says that the kind of world such people want to live in, has no bearing on the kind of world we do live in. Life isn’t fair. Evil acts go unpunished. You may not like it. I don’t either, but that is the nature of our world. If you want to invent some security blanket to avoid being mired in depression on this issue, that is okay, you can do that if it makes you feel better. However, some of us actually prefer to face reality. Some of us are willing to accept that the world in which we live is indifferent to our existence and our perceptions of good and evil. Some of us recognise that dealing with reality is the only way to make improvements in our lives and those of others. Life isn’t fair. If it was that would imply that you actually deserve the bad things that happen to you.
Matt says that this idea of a heavenly god-styled justice is irresponsible and incredibly selfish. This Christian worldview that has us born guilty before we have taken our first breath makes us deserving of punishment for things we have never done. Yet it offers instant and undeserved forgiveness for outrageous crimes. The only crime it will not forgive is dis-belief. Is that just? Is that the hallmark of goodness? Yes, our system does allow evil acts to go unpunished. That is why we try to uphold and reward goodness when we see it. Do people who believe in this Hell doctrine ever question that this teaching allows instant forgiveness of the most heinous crimes and follows that by granting the contrite evil doer eternal paradise; that the evil doers who escape justice here, can also escape ultimate justice simply by expressing contrition. Do they realise that Hitler may well have expressed true remorse moments before he blew his brains out? Do they not see that buying into such a belief doesn’t alleviate the problem of evil; it simply alleviates the problem, for them. It is an utterly selfish justification that shows no regard for real justice.