Do you believe there is a real hell? Poll


I most certainly have offered explanations concerning the eternal punishments of Hell. You simply choose to ignore them or dismiss them out of hand as irrelevant. I explained how many Saints of the Church have said that the degree of punishment in Hell, is proportionate to the degree and number of the sins committed by a soul. God is always merciful in His Judgement of souls.

I have also explained that the souls who go to Hell are never sent there by God, but freely choose to go there because they do not want to be with God. They believe Heaven is repulsive. They would suffer more in Heaven than they ever would in Hell. God loves them, but if they choose to separate themselves from Him, and prefer to spend all eternity in Hell, then He will not force them to be with Him in Heaven.

But, you simply refuse to give up your belief that God would have to be a horrible ogre if the punishments of Hell were eternal. You make God out to be the bad guy. You like to think you are the only one that really knows the mind of God, because you really want to believe that Hell is only temporary and God will make it all go away in the end. Do you know who really wants you to believe that more than anyone else in the world? Lucifer. If he can convince people that he doesn’t exist, then he’s free to roam around and entice more people to sin. Because, if they don’t believe he’s real, they won’t protect themselves. And, if that doesn’t work, he tries to convince them that Hell is only temporary, so nothing they could ever do will keep them from eventually getting to Heaven… someday. That reminds me of something… Wasn’t it Cinderella who sang, “Someday, my Prince will come!”? Get it? Cinder-ella? Fire? Someday…? “Prince”… of Darkness? No? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

You insist on calling me an “infernalist”, but I think that title might just fit you much better than it does me. In the end, spreading your ideas will be much more likely to cause people to spend all eternity in Hell than mine ever will. That would make you the real “infernalist”, wouldn’t it?


There is no action you can do, which would be infinite in nature or extent. Just flip the coin over and consider it from the other direction, and you’ll see the flaw in the thinking. So, for example, when you love God are you loving him infinitely because he’s an infinite being? Obviously not. You love him in the very limited way in which your finite self is able.

God could be infinitely offended, but that’s to consider the result of the act from His perspective. It cannot make your action infinite nor deserving of an infinite consequence.


No @Telstar .

It was Snow White . :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


BS. Take some advice: The more you overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up drain. You, Sir, are overthinking the plumbing.


Right! Cinderella sang ‘In My Own Little Corner’(Rodgers and Hammerstein, far preferable to Disney, IMHO). Here is Julie Andrews, who will always be Cinderella for me.


That is not about hell.


That means the Church was teaching lies for a long time.


You’re right! I sit corrected! :astonished:

Oh… the shame! :flushed:

A pox upon me! :mask:




Exactly. It also means that he believes the Church can actually change established Doctrines or Dogmas of the Faith, by somehow “evolving” past them. What makes even less sense to me, is that while he admits that Purgatory and Hell “make a lot of sense”, he claims there are no good reasons to believe either of them could exist for an infinite period of time. I certainly agree that Purgatory will eventually be empty, after the Resurrection, but there is absolutely no reason to think that Jesus would consistently preach about the eternal nature of damnation, if it wasn’t true. In essence, he is in fact calling Jesus a liar.

Mark 9: [43]Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished.

Matthew 13: [40] Even as cockle therefore is gathered up, and burnt with fire: so shall it be at the end of the world. [41] The Son of man shall send his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all scandals, and them that work iniquity. [42] And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Oh, I forgot… he doesn’t want me to refer to the Bible for arguments that might prove my point.


Yes, well, you have to remember that for people who are drinking the Modernist Kool-Ade, Jesus didn’t actually say what the Bible says he said :roll_eyes:


Hi Telstar,

Let’s see, would the breaking of a leg in that case be cruel and unusual punishment? No. No more than, say, chemotherapy (which is excruciating to many). At times, the physician will need to apply a normative round of treatment for the patient that would lead towards healing. But, that the physician. And the parable is about a shepherd. In both cases, we are talking about someone who is not a spurned lover or a vindictive judge. Infernalism as a punishment (and Matt 25 most certainly makes it a punishment) bears no analogy to the caring physician or shepherd.

What else…? You state, " The position of the ‘state’ (i.e. any government) is far from a proper comparison to our spiritual existence, or eternal life. Its only concern is in dealing with the temporal existence of its subjects and meting out justice for the crimes they commit."
I’m well aware of the disanalogous nature of these comparisons. That is, in fact, the entire point behind my rebuttal of Haydock. There simply is no comparing finite punishments for finite crimes (the business of the State) with infinite punishments for finite crimes (the business of the god of infernalism). A more improper analogy, one could not find.

You state, “I explained how many Saints of the Church have said that the degree of punishment in Hell, is proportionate to the degree and number of the sins committed by a soul.”

That is not an answer to the fundamental disproportionality of an neverending punishment for finite offenses. To state that various sins are variously grave (a la Dante) is to state something all Catholics agree with. And to state that hell would be a place of punishment proportional to the offenses committed here on Earth is also something no Catholic disagrees with.
However, you are not addressing the fundamental fact that infernalism stretches indefinitely into the future. There is plainly no finite offense (or series of offenses) that could warrant indefinite punishment. To be just is to render to each one what is due him. To render an infinite punishment is the essence of injustice because no human is capable of offenses that are infinite in nature. That is the disproportionality argument that you have not addressed. Not that I expect you to. I cannot even imagine a decent response to the disproportionality charge.


You state, “I have also explained that the souls who go to Hell are never sent there by God, but freely choose to go there because they do not want to be with God.” You vacillate. I get it. You are trying to defend a position that is very difficult to defend. However, the Haydock quote that you used as support for your belief states, " ***Let no one be found to argue hence against the goodness and mercy of God, for punishing sins committed in time with punishments that are eternal.***" If hell is a punishment, and if Matt 25 is read literally as a future end-times judgment, then people are most certainly sent there by God. The word punishment itself carries the implication of a punisher.
If you want to advocate the position of CS Lewis, then I totally support you! “The door to hell is locked from the inside.” That is a rational belief, but it does not entail neverending suffering/punishment/torment from which there is no escape. If I’m in the room of hell and the door is locked from the inside, that means I can unlock it and proceed out through the door. Now THAT’S a reasonable position regarding hell.

The “infernalist” name comes from von Balthasar. It’s so apropos that I cannot help using it. Again, a rational Catholic will always look for the position that takes into account all of the data.

To reiterate, this von Balthasar position of hope is not apokatastasis (there are reasons for believing that fallen angels cannot change their minds)
It is not a rejection of a belief in hell.
It is not a rejection of a belief in the punitive nature of hell.
It does admit that there could be human occupants in hell.
It rejects the infernalist position ( everlasting punishment/torment/suffering for the human)
It rejects libertarian views of free will because the greatest minds of the Church have also rejected that position (e.g., Sts Augustine, Aquinas, etc).
It is a position more compatible with our common sense of justice (a punishment is proportionate to the crime).
It accepts that Christ died for all.
It accepts that God is love.
It accepts that God desires all to be saved.

You write, “But, you simply refuse to give up your belief that God would have to be a horrible ogre if the punishments of Hell were eternal. You make God out to be the bad guy.” No, I was an infernalist too once. I advocated a position similar to what you’ve been arguing for here. I never did it comfortably, of course. The God of love punishing someone to unending torment/suffering is, if not contradictory, certainly a tense and difficult position to hold.

My mind is no where near as deep and sophisticated as that of von Balthasar. But, I get the logical entailments of the beliefs that (1) God is love and (2) the sacrifice of Christ took him all the way to the limits of godforsakeness and (3) God desires that all would be saved. I hold that infernalism is not compatible with those three propositions. The God who saves, loves all the way down and neverendingly. He IS love.


It needs to be re-thought. The infernalism I’m arguing against is probably false and definitely embarrassing.


An untruth is not the same as a lie. One does not accidentally lie, though one could accidentally teach an untruth.





That’s not much better and it invalidates the Church’s credibility.



^^^^^ It’s a heresy, folks :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Dei Verbum teaches, "(4) Now what was handed on by the Apostles includes everything which contributes toward the holiness of life and increase in faith of the peoples of God; and so the Church, in her teaching, life and worship, perpetuates and hands on to all generations all that she herself is, all that she believes.

This tradition which comes from the Apostles develops in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. (5) For there is a growth in the understanding of the realities and the words which have been handed down. This happens through the contemplation and study made by believers, who treasure these things in their hearts (see Luke, 2:19, 51) through a penetrating understanding of the spiritual realities which they experience, and through the preaching of those who have received through Episcopal succession the sure gift of truth. For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her."

The development of doctrine is an undeniable reality of the Church. If you don’t know this, you’re not paying close enough attention. There is a “growth in the understanding,” which happens through contemplation and study as the Church “constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth.” Plainly, the Church of today is of much more fullness of understanding than the early Church (or the middle ages or the modern era). This ever-progressing in understanding that the Church does in no way invalidates her credibility. If anything, it shows her maturation.

Also, the Church has never, not even one time, engaged in what might be called reverse-canonization. The Church regularly declares that souls are in Heaven (canonization). She has not ever (again, not even once) stated that there is someone in Hell (reverse-canonization). So, you overstate your confidence in some sort of consistent message of the Church regarding infernalism.


It is not a development, but a contradiction of what was previously taught.

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