Christian idea if Heaven and Hell is immoral


#1

I came across this post on a Protestant alplogetics forum, and I would like to know what the Catholic response would be. Thank you in advance.

I recently viewed a debate on YouTube between Christopher Hitchens and four Christian apologists, which included William Lane Craig. Here is the link: youtube.com/watch?v=2j3VU1T8ALU

At 37:00 Hitchen invokes an Austrian woman named fraulein Friesel who was locked up in a basement for 24 years where she didn’t see daylight and was raped and sodomized by her father at his will. Sometimes in front of other children (her siblings?). Hitchens points out how she likely begged god to save her while he stood there idle and watched and did nothing. How could such a thing be part of his plan. When Rick Warren spoke he said that she will get justice and that under Hitchens’ worldview there is no justice. Hitchens could have come back with the following which I would love to hear a Christian provide a satisfactory answer to:

Let’s suppose that her father eventually got caught and received a life sentence of jail for his crimes (which may have actually happened, I am not familiar with the details of the story). If he would have reflected upon his past actions and turned to the Bible and Jesus, seeking forgiveness while repenting, he would be absolved of his sins and would be allowed in heaven. So where is the justice? There is none. But wait it gets worse. If fraulein Friessel, after being tormented for years and having her prayers go unanswered many, many times, grew angry, cursed and denounced Jesus and/or God, she would end up going to hell for eternal torment in fire.

Throughout history there must have been many, many evil doers who have ended up in heaven while their victims ended up in hell. You don’t even have to denounce god to go to hell, you just need to have heard of Christianity and not accept it. Meanwhile the most evil person could get into heaven by repenting his/her sins after a lifetime of evil actions.

Christian doctrine is bankrupt of moral responsibility and in many, many cases justice.


#2

If he would have reflected upon his past actions and turned to the Bible and Jesus, seeking forgiveness while repenting, he would be absolved of his sins and would be allowed in heaven. So where is the justice? There is none.

That can’t be known for certain.

Also, in bold is just an opinion, not a logical argument.

If fraulein Friessel, after being tormented for years and having her prayers go unanswered many, many times, grew angry, cursed and denounced Jesus and/or God, she would end up going to hell for eternal torment in fire.

Also can’t be known.


#3

I would say:

  1. Forgiveness does not mean divine justice has been satisfied. This man, even if reconciled and died in God’s grace, must still satisfy divine justice in purgatory.

  2. God gives sufficient grace to all souls to find him and accept salvation. If the woman later refuses salvation, then it will be despite sufficient grace to do so.

  3. The parable of the prodigal son describes exactly how we are supposed to react to the situation where a person we see as less worthy returns to God to seek forgiveness. It’s a radical form of charity that I really don’t very often see atheists quite grasping.


#4

Divine Mercy awaits all that repents. Our God is an awesome God.


#5

Another reason why the protestant idea of no purgatory is nonsensical. Even if we repent for our sins and change our ways we all must do penance for our sins, whether it is in this life or the next. Anyway, the first response to the OP is pretty much the best response one can give.


#6

The first is not an absolute truth. If the sinner obtained a plenary indulgence and died in a state of grace, purgatory could be, no matter how unlikely we might think, avoided.


#7

Unless someone dies a martyr I do not believe that anyone goes straight to Heaven. We all sin and fall short. I agree that some spend less time than others.


#8

In John 5:17 Jesus says “My Father is working still, and I am working.”

God is not stagnant.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

273 Only faith can embrace the mysterious ways of God’s almighty power. This faith glories in its weaknesses in order to draw to itself Christ’s power.113 The Virgin Mary is the supreme model of this faith, for she believed that “nothing will be impossible with God”, and was able to magnify the Lord: "For he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name."114

301 With creation, God does not abandon his creatures to themselves. He not only gives them being and existence, but also, and at every moment, upholds and sustains them in being, enables them to act and brings them to their final end. Recognizing this utter dependence with respect to the Creator is a source of wisdom and freedom, of joy and confidence:

For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made; for you would not have made anything if you had hated it. How would anything have endured, if you had not willed it? Or how would anything not called forth by you have been preserved? You spare all things, for they are yours, O Lord, you who love the living.160

So where is the justice?

2487 Every offense committed against justice and truth entails the duty of reparation, even if its author has been forgiven. When it is impossible publicly to make reparation for a wrong, it must be made secretly. If someone who has suffered harm cannot be directly compensated, he must be given moral satisfaction in the name of charity. This duty of reparation also concerns offenses against another’s reputation. This reparation, moral and sometimes material, must be evaluated in terms of the extent of the damage inflicted. It obliges in conscience.

Hell

1033 We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him…

1035… The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God…

1037 God predestines no one to go to hell;618 for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end…

moral responsibility

1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.

1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man “takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.”59 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits. (1704)

1792 Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to one’s passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church’s authority and her teaching, lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct. (133)


#9

Why did God allow this to happen in the first place? Why didn’t he do something to stop it?


#10

divinemercysunday.com/vision.htm


#11

1730 God created man a rational being, conferring on him the dignity of a person who can initiate and control his own actions…

(Sirach 15:14 God made man from the beginning, and left him in the hand of his own counsel.)

1730…Man is rational and therefore like God; he is created with free will and is master over his acts.27 (27 St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4, 4, 3: PG 7/1, 983.)

1731 Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility. By free will one shapes one’s own life…

1732 As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfection or of failing and sinning. This freedom characterizes properly human acts. It is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach.

Why didn’t he do something to stop it?

314 We firmly believe that God is master of the world and of its history. But the ways of his providence are often unknown to us. Only at the end, when our partial knowledge ceases, when we see God “face to face”,184 will we fully know the ways by which - even through the dramas of evil and sin - God has guided his creation to that definitive sabbath rest185 for which he created heaven and earth.


#12

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