Choosing hell


Could anyone address what the Church teaches regarding the proposition that someone may might freely choose to do a serious sin without freely choosing the consequence of eternal damnation?
In other words, The sinner knows a sin is serious, and chooses to commit it, but does not think he will be damned because he presumes upon the mercy of God?

There are plenty of people in prison who chose to do a serious crime, but were not necessarily choosing the punishment. Is the same true in the economy of salvation? What are the official church teaching about this?


Criminals, in the “humanosphere,” pretty much **never **choose, per se, to undergo justice and punishment. They expect to get away with it. Someone who thought out and said, “OK, I’ll steal this car and then do five years in prison” would not be thinking sanely.

(An exception would be a would-be suicide who murders in order to be executed: this has happened a number of times, usually in Britain; we would consider such a person insane.)

With regard to Hell, consider that the afterlife remains a total unknown in our minds, which makes it easy to factor out of the thought process.



Nobody desires hell. If they did, it wouldn’t be hell.

When we say, “a person chooses Hell”, they mean that they made the choices that led them to separation from God. In this sense it is similar to a prison or courtroom on Earth.




Very true! This is why it is so easy for people to disregard anything concerning God.

The CCC (2091) refers to this presumption as a sin against hope.


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