I recently came across a book that speculated that there were no human souls in hell. My uncle told me that this couldn’t be true because, if it were, everything Jesus threatened about hell would be a fraud. He said that when we’re in heaven, we have to be able to look down at the tortures of hell being applied to humans to know that God meant business. Is this what we’re supposed to believe? It makes it sound like some people have to go to hell for heaven to work right.
Nobody has to go to hell. Every human person could rightly use his free will to choose friendship and union with God. The possibility that there are no humans in hell though is all but non-existent, given Jesus’ warnings that some would abuse their free will and choose to go there. Your uncle’s idea that the saved “need” to see the damned suffering in hell says more about his own understanding of authority than it does to any “need” of God’s to “prove” himself to humans.