It is not a development, but a contradiction of what was previously taught.
How about calling the everlasting part of the teaching of hell “inadmissible?” But, you get to keep all of your other infernalist beliefs. Maybe then you could sleep better.
Here, you hit the nail smack dab on the head. You backhandedly call me (and anyone else who follows Church teaching on the subject) an irrational Catholic because I (we) happen to believe what the Church has been teaching for 2000 years. Yet, there you sit in your ivory tower and look down on me (us), because you apparently have the vast knowledge of the Gnostics, and clearly know and understand “all of the data”. I hate to break this to you, but the only One Who has “all of the data” is God, Himself.
So, unless He died and left you in charge, I think He’s still the only One that has the sole right to pass Judgement on any of us. He created us and He can do with us whatever pleases Him. I for one am willing to trust His Judgement over that of anyone else, especially if they choose to dismiss and defy everything Jesus taught in the Gospels, as well as throughout the past 2000 years of teachings from His Church. The same Church that He promised the Holy Spirit would guide to all Truth until the day He returned in Triumph.
There is a world of difference between the true development of Doctrine over time, in order to more fully explain its meaning, and the complete jettison of that Doctrine which has been consistently taught for 2000 years. They are two completely different things.
I notice the phrase ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ appears quite a lot in this thread, and I would like to remind everyone that, in a Catholic context, this particular phrase and the concept to which it refers are meaningless. The phrase originates in English common law, and was taken over into the eighth amendment of the constitution of the USA, which is the source from which most Americans are familiar with it. The concept does not exist in Catholic theology. There are only just punishment, purification and reparation for sins. At no point does the idea of cruel and unusual punishment enter in.
That’s still a contradiction. I don’t see how you can know better than the Church.
I don’t look down on you Telstar. I’m engaging you in repeated exchanges. If I thought lowly of you, I wouldn’t bother to reply. I simply choose to believe in the infinite mercy and love of God, and that love is a higher good than justice. Throughout the scriptures, God’s grace regularly trumps (or overrides) his judgment. To forgive at all is to have mercy override justice.
I haven’t claimed knowledge. It’s a dare to hope that all would be saved. And who is the Church? YOU are the Church. I am the Church. Believers are the Church. The Church includes the Magisterium but is not reducible to it. Dei Verbum states that “believers” are the ones who contemplate and ponder these things in their hearts. I only have asked that you all ponder God’s infinite love, Christ’s sacrifice for all (and all that that would entail).
Kill, when I first used the phrase above, I explicitly noted its place in the US constitution and originating from the US founding fathers. It doesn’t matter to me what phrase you use to describe something that is grossly unjust (i.e., when the punishment doesn’t at all fit the crime). Just use the word “unjust,” if you like.
And if there are only just punishments in Catholic theology, then ipso facto hell is not everlasting. There is no way to rationally explain how a punishment infinite in duration is proportionate to a finite offense. So far, not one of my interlocutors here has even attempted to reasonably explain that disproportionality.
I am afraid you are begging the question here. Everlasting punishment is not unjust merely because you maintain that it is.
I maintain that no rational system of justice would ever apply a neverending punishment to a human, no matter how dire the crime. This is hardly a controversial opinion. Justice is as Plato said it is—rendering to each one what is due him.
And I don’t maintain that everlasting punishment is merely unjust. I maintain that it is among the highest injustices imaginable. It would be cruel and unusual to the nth degree—an overwhelming injustice.
You can assert I’m begging the question all you want. In response, I’ll merely phrase the (as yet unanswered) challenge again. Explain how a punishment infinite in duration (neverending suffering/torment) is proportionate to a finite offense.
It has already been explained to you, by myself and others, that sins against an infinite Being are necessarily infinite in character. You may maintain they are finite all you like; that doesn’t make it so. And sins against an infinite Being merit infinite punishment.
As noted above, when you love God you do not do so infinitely (at least no one would think so). But you want to maintain that when you offend God, you somehow do so infinitely. You have merely asserted, without explanation.
Yes. “The Hell There Is!” … => song:
As fallen creation are abilities to do things for God are corrupted and our actions are undeserving of merit. The good angels enjoy everlasting happiness presumably because their faithfulness to God.
You have never once taken my earlier adjuration to try and see things from God’s viewpoint seriously. Had you done so, you might have saved yourself much time and effort.
God is infinite in scope, in character, in love, in His very essence. On this much we can agree, I trust. Thus, ANY offense against Him necessarily affects Him infinitely, and is thus infinite in character. I agree that, from our human, finite, blinkered frame of reference, we see our actions as finite. That is because we see ourselves as finite, and thus our actions as finite. But they are not, where God is concerned. They are not even finite where we ourselves are concerned. Each deed we commit, for good or for ill, each thought, each word, has an effect that ripples far out beyond our ken, much like that of a stone cast into a tranquil pond. There is nothing in human experience of which we can say that it is truly and irreversibly finite in nature. So it is for our relation to the Most High.
The way you point to the fact that “all of the data” must be taken into account in order to fully understand your position on the impossibility of Hell being eternal, seems to me to indicate that you believe you already possess that knowledge. I’m sure we would all like to hope that everyone could go to Heaven, but it’s extremely difficult to ignore the many times that Jesus says the opposite is true. I just don’t buy it.
In the past (when I was very young and naive), I used to want to believe it, too. In fact, I used to pray that Judas could be saved, and even the fallen angels could somehow be converted. Some people that were very dear to me tried to explain that it was not possible, but I’ve always been pretty stubborn. So, I wouldn’t give up on that hope. Then, I had a very profound spiritual experience that quickly changed my mind. When I think about it now, 40+ years later, it still scares the Hell out of me (so to speak). That’s why you will never convince me that Hell is not eternal, or that those who choose to go there will ever change their minds and want to go to Heaven.
I am very well aware of Who the Church is. The Catholic Church is the Bride of Christ, and He is the Head of the Church. We are only the individual members of the Body of Christ.
Jesus left the Apostles and their successors to be His representatives, along with Peter (the Pope) as His Vicar on earth, until He returns. Together, they make up the Magisterium. They are protected by the Holy Spirit from teaching any error. Individual Priests, Bishops, Cardinals and even the Pope, can make errors in judgement and say things that are incorrect.
As I’ve said before, all of the formal heresies of the past 2000 years have been started by members of the clergy, who got strange ideas in their heads and decided that they were right and everyone else, including the Pope, was wrong. It’s nothing new for a Bishop to teach horse hockey. Just sayin’.
One more thing to ponder:
Isaias 55: Seek ye the Lord, while he may be found: call upon him, while he is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unjust man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God: for he is bountiful to forgive.  For my thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are my ways exalted above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts.
You keep harping on this idea that we are “finite” creatures, who are therefore incapable of committing an “infinite” act against God. While I will certainly concede to you that human beings are not infinite creatures, but neither are we finite. Sure, our bodies are finite, but our souls are immortal. We are not like other creatures of God. Our souls will continue to live, forever, in the next life. So, if you’re looking for an answer to that argument, then that’s it. From the time we were created in our mothers’ wombs, we were born to live on into eternity. Therefore, our sins are also eternal in nature, because they will remain forever if we do not ask for God’s forgiveness before we “die the death”.