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  #1  
Old Feb 23, '12, 9:27 am
LovePatience LovePatience is offline
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Default Better to exist unhappily than not exist at all?

Love wants the best for its beloved. God knows all and knows some will rebel. So a God that creates souls knowing that some will rebel must think it is better for rebellious souls to exist than for them not to have ever existed.

Why is it better for Satan to exist and be unhappy than to not exist at all (other than showing the glory of God through demonstrating the perfection of God's justice)? It seems good for God for Satan to demonstrate the perfection of God's justice. But how is it good for Satan to exist for this reason?

What is so great about existence?
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  #2  
Old Feb 23, '12, 10:10 am
Splagchnizomai Splagchnizomai is offline
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Default Re: Better to exist unhappily than not exist at all?

An unhappy existent being can become happy.
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  #3  
Old Feb 23, '12, 10:21 am
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nickybr38 nickybr38 is offline
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Default Re: Better to exist unhappily than not exist at all?

I would rather exist miserable then not exist at all. Even if I am unhappy at least I am aware. Even if I am unhappy at least I can learn and grow.

Satan is a different situation and I believe not a good example or model to hold up beside humans. We are different then he. Infinitely so.

He had his choice. His choice was fully informed. He chose the misery he now exists in. He is not some poor suffering lamb who was led to the slaughter by the one who created him.

It seems to me our God is a God who values freedom. A God who knows what choices we will make, good and bad, and yet lets us make those choices. Clearly He feels to have existed miserably is better then to not have existed at all and I have to trust that decision.

He knows more then I ever will. So I have to trust that this existence is better then none.
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  #4  
Old Feb 24, '12, 5:22 pm
mrbillw mrbillw is offline
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Default Re: Better to exist unhappily than not exist at all?

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Originally Posted by nickybr38 View Post
... God ... feels to have existed miserably is better then to not have existed at all and I have to trust that decision.
Could you elaborate on your understanding of God's "feel"ing?

Also could there be any number of beings that did not exist because God decided otherwise?
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  #5  
Old Feb 23, '12, 10:25 am
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ChibiViolet ChibiViolet is offline
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Default Re: Better to exist unhappily than not exist at all?

Well, demons and dammned human souls cannot become happy so I see LovePatience's point. I know I would rather not excist than go to Hell. How exactly is an excistence in Hell better than no excistence at all? Jeus said of Judas, whom He knew was going to Hell that it would have been better if he had never been born.
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  #6  
Old Feb 23, '12, 10:40 am
Splagchnizomai Splagchnizomai is offline
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Default Re: Better to exist unhappily than not exist at all?

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Well, demons and dammned human souls cannot become happy so I see LovePatience's point. I know I would rather not excist than go to Hell. How exactly is an excistence in Hell better than no excistence at all? Jeus said of Judas, whom He knew was going to Hell that it would have been better if he had never been born.
Good point.

Vexing question!
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  #7  
Old Feb 23, '12, 9:39 pm
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Katholish Katholish is offline
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Default Re: Better to exist unhappily than not exist at all?

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Originally Posted by ChibiViolet View Post
Well, demons and dammned human souls cannot become happy so I see LovePatience's point. I know I would rather not excist than go to Hell. How exactly is an excistence in Hell better than no excistence at all? Jeus said of Judas, whom He knew was going to Hell that it would have been better if he had never been born.
There is actually a nuance in the Scripture verse which is important. The term is "born". It would have been better for Judas to have died in his mother's womb... it doesn't necessarily say it is better for Judas never to have existed. That distinction is actually very important.

It is better to exist in Hell than not to exist at all. Existence is a good in an of itself and is always and everywhere preferrable to its opposite, i.e. non-existence, as least as far as the existing thing is concerned. (There are definition some people in this world I wish didn't exist.)

This is at least true of intellectual beings. I haven't really considered whether it would be true of sentient non-intelligent beings.
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  #8  
Old Feb 23, '12, 9:53 pm
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Simpleton Simpleton is offline
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Default Re: Better to exist unhappily than not exist at all?

What if Satan would rather exist than not exist?

What if Satan is just fine with being miserable?

Why is everyone pleading for demons and damned souls as if they're victims?

What if misery loves company?

What if we could build a factory and make misery?
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  #9  
Old Feb 23, '12, 9:48 pm
Qoeleth Qoeleth is offline
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Default Re: Better to exist unhappily than not exist at all?

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Originally Posted by LovePatience View Post
Love wants the best for its beloved. God knows all and knows some will rebel. So a God that creates souls knowing that some will rebel must think it is better for rebellious souls to exist than for them not to have ever existed.

Why is it better for Satan to exist and be unhappy than to not exist at all (other than showing the glory of God through demonstrating the perfection of God's justice)? It seems good for God for Satan to demonstrate the perfection of God's justice. But how is it good for Satan to exist for this reason?

What is so great about existence?
'Existence' is, in fact, the original the sin of humanity, we are bound to suffer because of "the sin of existing" (Satre). Marius Victorius describes God as non-existent. Heaven is the same as being released from existence, back to the eternal blessed peace of non-existence.

As Scripture says, "The dead are happier than the living. But happier yet is he who has never been born." (Ecclesiastes)
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  #10  
Old Feb 23, '12, 9:54 pm
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Katholish Katholish is offline
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Default Re: Better to exist unhappily than not exist at all?

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Originally Posted by Qoeleth View Post
'Existence' is, in fact, the original the sin of humanity, we are bound to suffer because of "the sin of existing" (Satre). Marius Victorius describes God as non-existent. Heaven is the same as being released from existence, back to the eternal blessed peace of non-existence.

As Scripture says, "The dead are happier than the living. But happier yet is he who has never been born." (Ecclesiastes)
What?! I have never heard a more anti-Christian statement in my life. God is Existence Itself (de fide teaching of the Church). Our existence is a free gift from God (de fide). Heaven is in fact the perception of the Beatific Vision, where we can behold God in His Essence, and as such is man's perfection and highest form of existence.

Don't try to proof-text Ecclesiastes. There is a lot of poetic license.
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  #11  
Old Feb 23, '12, 10:07 pm
Qoeleth Qoeleth is offline
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Default Re: Better to exist unhappily than not exist at all?

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Originally Posted by Katholish View Post
What?! I have never heard a more anti-Christian statement in my life. God is Existence Itself (de fide teaching of the Church). Our existence is a free gift from God (de fide). Heaven is in fact the perception of the Beatific Vision, where we can behold God in His Essence, and as such is man's perfection and highest form of existence.

Don't try to proof-text Ecclesiastes. There is a lot of poetic license.
Well, since you are a theologian- talking Thomistically, God's existence is only analogically like our 'existence'. So when we say God exists, what is meant is only analogically comparable to the sense in which 'existence' is being used in the present discussion (which is refering to normal, mundane existence).

I refer you again to Marius Victorinus, who said that God is non-existent. Also, Kierkegaard said that "God does not exist". Also Blessed Jacapone da Todi said "the name of Heaven is non-existence."

If God's EXISTENCE is different from our existence, it is true to say that in Heaven we cease to exist, and instead we EXIST (which here means something different, and what ever is different from existence [in the mundane sense] is non-existence [in the mundane sense]).

Since the discussion deals with existence in the 'normal' sense, my comment is, I believe, perfectly orthodox.

Or, do you understand existence to be a predicate applied univocally to God and to creation?
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  #12  
Old Feb 24, '12, 4:20 am
LovePatience LovePatience is offline
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Default Re: Better to exist unhappily than not exist at all?

Here's a few thoughts. God created a finite number of souls that were formed in his own image, immortal such as himself. God knows what will happen to each soul and that they can or cannot reject him. This is the same thing that is true of God. God also has the capacity to reject himself, and that is why Satan tempted Christ - to get him to reject himself, commit suicide.

Has anyone read the Problem of Hell by Kvanvig?
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Jonathan L. Kvanvig
Summary: The doctrine of hell presents the most intractable version of the problem of evil, for though it might be argued that ordinary pain and evil can somehow be compensated for by the course of future experience, the pain and suffering of hell leads nowhere. This work develops an understanding of hell that is common to a broad variety of religious perspectives, and argues that the usual understandings of hell are incapable of solving the problem of hell. Kvanvig first argues that the traditional understanding of hell found in Christianity suffers from moral and epistemological inadequacies. Historically, these shortcomings lead to alternatives to the traditional doctrine of hell, such as universalism, annihilationism, or the second chance doctrine. Kvanvig shows, however, that the typical alternatives to the traditional understanding are inadequate as well. He argues that both the traditional understanding and the typical alternatives fail to solve the problem of hell because they share the common flaw of being constructed on a retributive model of hell. Kvanvig then develops a philosophical account of hell which does not depend on a retributive model and argues that it is adequate on both philosophical and theological grounds...........

Amazon.com reader's review......
This is an impressive book on the nature of hell. Kvanvig argues that a strong retributivist view of hell is false, and argues instead for an issuant conception of hell, where hell exists because of God's love for us. Kvanvig's basic view is that God values our freedom, and while God could force those who reject God to be in heaven, God would have to violate their freedom to do so. Instead, hell exists for those whose characters are such that they've chosen not to be with God.
So God allowed hell, not created it. God hadn't thought of Hell because God didn't want a single soul to reject him. Each and every soul that goes to Hell chooses it as an act of suicide, which makes less sense in the afterlife (you had the knowing choice to go to God and be happy suffering Purgatory for your sins but committing to be a perfect soul) as it does on Earth (hope might always return). Yet, we would generally say that it is better that a person on Earth who kills themself has existed even though this person thinks otherwise. In the same way, a person who is in Hell is still an immortal soul, beautiful, and wonderful so there existence is justified even if they are unhappy, and since they chose to be unhappy then love demands that they not be forced to be happy and justice demands that they suffer since they are emating hatred of others that would cause them to suffer so they must suffer themselves - otherwise, how could you say that you loved someone and not punish the people who harm them?....

Interview with an Exorcist by Fr. Gabriel Amorth, Vatican's Chief Exorcist.
Quote:
One day Father Candido was expelling a demon. Toward the end of the exorcism, he turned to the evil spirit and sarcastically told him, “Get out of here. The Lord has already prepared a nice, well-heated house for you!” At this, the demon answered, “You do not know anything! It wasn’t he [God] who made hell. It was us. He had not even thought about it.” Similarly, on another occasion, while I was questioning a demon to know whether he had contributed to the creation of hell, I received this answer: “All of us cooperated.”

Christ's statement in St. Bridget of Sweden in Revelations.
Quote:
Book 5: Interrogation II, #3
The Judge answered: ”Friend, human pride is so long endured as to exalt humility and show forth my goodness. And since pride was not created by me but invented by the devil, it must be shunned, because it leads to hell. But humility must be kept, because it leads to heaven. I, God, taught this by my word and example.”
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  #13  
Old Feb 24, '12, 6:00 am
LovePatience LovePatience is offline
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Default Re: Better to exist unhappily than not exist at all?

People who go to Hell love hate more than they hate suffering so being in Hell is uniting them with their true love.
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Old Feb 24, '12, 3:00 pm
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Katholish Katholish is offline
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Default Re: Better to exist unhappily than not exist at all?

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Originally Posted by Qoeleth View Post
Well, since you are a theologian- talking Thomistically, God's existence is only analogically like our 'existence'. So when we say God exists, what is meant is only analogically comparable to the sense in which 'existence' is being used in the present discussion (which is refering to normal, mundane existence).
Analogically, yes, insofar as God is Existence Itself and we merely participate or "have" existence. For created beings, existence is something other than their essense, but for God existence is His Essence. I refer you to St. Thomas's De Ente et Essentia, starting at section 89.

Quote:
I refer you again to Marius Victorinus, who said that God is non-existent. Also, Kierkegaard said that "God does not exist". Also Blessed Jacapone da Todi said "the name of Heaven is non-existence."
Victorinus is no authority on the matter, and it seems fairly clear and obvious that the Church has categorically rejected his Neo-Platonist-inspired position. Neither is Kierkegaard an authority. I am not very familiar with Bl. Jacopone, but I do know that the Church has explicitly rejected the notion of Heaven as non-existence.

Quote:
If God's EXISTENCE is different from our existence, it is true to say that in Heaven we cease to exist, and instead we EXIST (which here means something different, and what ever is different from existence [in the mundane sense] is non-existence [in the mundane sense]).
There are a couple of problems here. For one thing, you seem to be claiming that if one concede's that in talking about God's Existence and our own existence we use the term existence analogically someone implies that they are opposing terms. The terms are very much related (we are speaking analogically, not equivocally afterall), and the analogical relationship is extremely close.

Secondly, there seems to be an implicit assumption on your part that when we go to Heaven, we forfeit our own act of existence. I don't know where that notion comes from, but it is not correct. We retain our independent existence. While being united with God in a very real way, we do not "merge" into Him and lose our distinction. Our souls are immortal and shall retain their existence (not used analogically) for all time.

Quote:
Since the discussion deals with existence in the 'normal' sense, my comment is, I believe, perfectly orthodox.
There is no sense - according to any definition of existence - in which your statement would not be heretical and explicitly contrary to the de fide teaching of the Church. I don't mean to be overly blunt, but I will admit that I am truly astonished.
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  #15  
Old Feb 24, '12, 6:35 pm
Qoeleth Qoeleth is offline
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Default Re: Better to exist unhappily than not exist at all?

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Originally Posted by Katholish View Post
There are a couple of problems here. For one thing, you seem to be claiming that if one concede's that in talking about God's Existence and our own existence we use the term existence analogically someone implies that they are opposing terms. The terms are very much related (we are speaking analogically, not equivocally afterall), and the analogical relationship is extremely close.

Secondly, there seems to be an implicit assumption on your part that when we go to Heaven, we forfeit our own act of existence. I don't know where that notion comes from, but it is not correct. We retain our independent existence. While being united with God in a very real way, we do not "merge" into Him and lose our distinction. Our souls are immortal and shall retain their existence (not used analogically) for all time.
Surely, the idea of the cessation or annihilation of the self in union with God's 'existence' quite an orthodox and traditional one- cf. St. John of the Cross. Any remaining selfhood is a separation from the Godhead. Hence Christ tells us to "deny thyself".

It is an interesting point about the idea of analogy and opposition. I would argue that whatever is not existence (in a mundane sense) is non-existence (in a mundane sense), or at least beyond existence. I refer you to Levinas' essay, "Other than being, or beyond essence."

Without wanting to be critical of your ideas (which quite a few people share), the notion of 'Heaven' in which we still exist as ourselves seems to spring from remants of attachment to self, the very thing which Christ (and Buddha) calls us to renounce.
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