For God so loved the world, He never created it?

I reverted back to faith after about seven years of being an atheist. I’m starting to have serious doubts again. A lot of it has to do with the doctrine of Hell.

I wish that God never created anyone. I don’t think any amount of people going to heaven makes up for even one human/angelic being going to Hell. Most people go to Hell, but even if it were a small number, I still think it’s a repulsive, disgusting idea. Why couldn’t God just annihilate the soul? If the soul/spirit is indestructible (for some inexplicable reason), then if I were God, I would just stay alone. God is loving. If He never created, then no one would have to miserable forever. No one would be happy forever either, but it’s not like they’re losing out, because they don’t exist. (As an atheist, I was also an antinatalist. I thought it was unempathetic to bring children into a world where they will suffer, and likely horribly).

Because of how I feel about Hell, I honestly want atheism to be true. If I could know that God weren’t real, it would relieve a lot of inner tension. No one has to suffer forever! I think Christianity, if true, is horrible.

Assuming Christianity is true…Is it God that I hate? Or do I just have a problem with the way reality works? Why did reality have to be such that if you don’t make certain choice(s), you have to suffer forever? I hate it. Reality is corrupt down to its core. Is it a sin to think like this?

I’m also having doubts about free will. I don’t feel like I have it. Did I choose my last thought? And the one before that? They just seem to pop up, leave, etc. Satan supposedly rebelled out of pride, but…where did that pride come from? Did it just pop out of nowhere?

You misunderstand hell. Nobody in hell wants to be in heaven. Heaven is where God is, and they want no part of it. They have rejected God.

It would be a torment for them to be forced to be in heaven.

People in hell are exactly where they CHOSE to be. They would much rather be in hell than in heaven.

Hating God and your fellow man is sinful.

You should accept that God is ultimate good and as such that his will is for good.

It is not inexplicable that the soul cannot be destroyed or uncreated. God cannot destroy the soul because it would violate his will, which was to create the soul so that it may spend eternity with him. The person may chose to violate God’s will, but God could never violate his own will. As such, the person can chose to reject God, but God cannot reject the person.

Hell is not just about “Not making certain choices.” Hell is the definitive decision to reject God. Because God respects our free will, he allows people to say that don’t want to be with him. Ultimately, that is what Hell is, the complete absence of God. God will not force himself on someone who has rejected him, so it’s necessary that there be a place for those people.

Not to be mean, but I do think it’s just that you’re unwilling to accept reality. The reality it, God has created each and every person to spend eternity with Him. He has also given everyone free will, because without it any act of love would be meaningless. As a result of free will, it is possible for people to reject Him. Since that is possible, and since he loves us enough to respect our wishes, it is necessary that there is a place / state which is devoid of God’s presence.

I heard an interesting thought from a Saint (can’t remember who, sorry), that for a person who has definitively rejected God, to be in His presence would be infinitely more painful than anything Hell could inflict.

As for free will, the fact taht you are able to switch beliefs as you have indicates that you have the capacity to chose. If you lacked free will, then any beliefs or ideals you have would be locked in place the moment they develop.

As for if these thoughts are sinful, no, I don’t think they are. If, however, you let them fester without seeking answers or furthering your understanding of what things are how they are, you could be considered culpable for whatever actions that brings about. I can’t really get into that subject much though, not my forte.

Read C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters for a better understanding of Hell. Heaven and Hell are not different places as much as different attitudes. Imagine the one person in the world who you might actually despise … then imagine being locked in a room with him/her . . forever. A lot of your friends would love it. And you’d sit there with your hands over your ears wanting to scream “Make her SHUT UP!!!”

It is often said too, that the Gates of Hell are barred from the inside . . .

That description has been widely used modernly to make Hell less fearsome, but it just doesn’t jibe with Scriptures on the subject of Hell, IMNAAHO.

ICXC NIKA

God created angels not robots.

God gave them all a choice and Lucifer (now called Satan) made his decision with full knowledge.

You need to read some good material on what hell is and what it isn’t, then. :slight_smile:

I wish that God never created anyone. I don’t think any amount of people going to heaven makes up for even one human/angelic being going to Hell. Most people go to Hell, but even if it were a small number, I still think it’s a repulsive, disgusting idea. Why couldn’t God just annihilate the soul? If the soul/spirit is indestructible (for some inexplicable reason), then if I were God, I would just stay alone. God is loving. If He never created, then no one would have to miserable forever. No one would be happy forever either, but it’s not like they’re losing out, because they don’t exist. (As an atheist, I was also an antinatalist. I thought it was unempathetic to bring children into a world where they will suffer, and likely horribly).

The thing is, no one needs to go to hell who doesn’t want to. It’s really that simple. The whole reason Jesus became one of us was to save us from hell. He said: Matt.7[7] "Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. [8] For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Does that sound like a God who wants to deny people entrance who seek for it? Hebrews 11:6c says: “he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” All who seek God will find him–all, even those who have never heard of Jesus because Jesus redeemed all men so that all who desire it can be saved. That puts the ball squarely in our court.

God created us out of love–because he loved so much he wanted creatures to share in his love–the angels and us. When Adam and Eve fell three consequences occured that make it harder for men to love God in return: Our nature was corrupted–wounded so that we do not neccesarily want what is best: our intellect was darkened so that we cannot understand God’s ways as he intended; and our will was weakened so that do not always do what we know we should do. All of these conditions are not insurmountable. God has given us his grace, and it is only by his grace that we can overcome these shortcomings, but it can be done. Many saints have proved it true.

Because of how I feel about Hell, I honestly want atheism to be true. If I could know that God weren’t real, it would relieve a lot of inner tension. No one has to suffer forever! I think Christianity, if true, is horrible.

Forever is not like the passage of time as we know it. Time is a part of the physical creation. When the universe ends, time ends, too. So what does forever mean? It means always present–always being what you are and never essentially changing. it’s why the saints in heaven can no longer sin and the souls in hell can no longer repent–not that they want to repent. If they’d wanted to repent while alive on earth they’d have done it.

Assuming Christianity is true…Is it God that I hate? Or do I just have a problem with the way reality works? Why did reality have to be such that if you don’t make certain choice(s), you have to suffer forever? I hate it. Reality is corrupt down to its core. Is it a sin to think like this?

Reality can be quite bad–when we see all the horrors perpetrated in the world, past and present, we know that reality can be bad as bad can be. But reality can also be better than we’d ever imagined it could be. Those who choose to be bad, and do not change, want to stay that way. We can harden our hearts to goodness or we can open our hearts to goodness. That is our choice. So, we’d better make the right one.

I’m also having doubts about free will. I don’t feel like I have it. Did I choose my last thought? And the one before that? They just seem to pop up, leave, etc. Satan supposedly rebelled out of pride, but…where did that pride come from? Did it just pop out of nowhere?

If there were no free will you would have no doubts–you’d be perfectly comfortable just being what and who you are. Do apes doubt their existence? Do dogs? No. Why? Because they don’t have free will as we understand it. God gave us this powerful gift–like fire it can be used to warm and cook or it can be used to destroy. How we use our free will is the question no whether or not we should have it. :slight_smile:

It is good to ask these questions instead of just ignoring them. You need to read a little more about what “evil” is. Only then can you begin to understand what “hell” is. Evil is not a substance like Good is. Good is tangible and real, evil is the absence of good or perversion of good. So when Satan sinned, it was not another “thing” that he chose, it was a twisting and purposely withdrawing from good/love/truth. A lot has been written by the early Church Fathers.

The other thing I see in what you have written is an unhealthy love for the creation over the creator. We are warned heavily by the Lord himself that we must hate our own families in comparison to loving God. He means that we develop unhealthy, idolatrous relationships with people and things. We have to undo this false love and love God. Once we love God far beyond anything or anyone else, the proper love for the creation will come. The love we have for the creation will actually grow and be stronger than the confused love we had for it before. So this means trying to trust God’s goodness, and not ever charging him with evil. This is the only way to ever really trust Him enough to die knowing that you will be with Him in Heaven.

You misunderstand hell. Nobody in hell wants to be in heaven. Heaven is where God is, and they want no part of it. They have rejected God.

It would be a torment for them to be forced to be in heaven.

People in hell are exactly where they CHOSE to be. They would much rather be in hell than in heaven.

This is of course quite false. Catholic teaching is that the souls in Hell are in agony. Dives, the rich man in scripture, cried out to lazarus for a drop of water from Hell. He was NOT where he wanted to be.

That was a parable. The rich man also loved his brothers, which would not be possible for a damned soul.

That the souls in Hell suffer greatly, does not preclude that they prefer that locale to being with their most hated enemy (God).

That the souls in Hell suffer greatly, does not preclude that they prefer that locale to being with their most hated enemy (God).

That’s modernism, that one has to consider God’s one’s most hated enemy to be damned.

Lots of heresy around here.

I didn’t say that.

The damned consider God their most hated enemy, even if they didn’t while alive.

The damned consider God their most hated enemy, even if they didn’t while alive.

Huh. Post the cite, I’ll start believing it. I’m always ready to be educated.

saints.sqpn.com/hell-questions-and-answers-by-father-francis-j-ripley/

To the OP:
You sound like you are in a lot of mental torment.
If you suffer from depression and anxiety generally, it would be a good idea to get that attended to.
Try not to sin; when you do remember confession.
God is love, life, beauty and truth. He wants all of us to spend eternity together with Him. If you believe that He and existence is anything else but good, you are wrong, plain and simple.
Do pray. It will help to focus on the simplicity of the present moment as it deepens your relationship with God.

Good points. :thumbsup: Our Lord told us:

Mt. 6[34] “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.”

If we obsess about what might happen to ourselves or to others we cannot focus what we should be doing today. We can only live in the present. And while it is good and right to prepare, as best we can, for the future, we cannot make things happen for/to others who are not willing. We can only really make sure we are being/doing good.

I don’t think the point is to make Hell less fearsome, but to free God from accusations of injustice or lack of love.

To say that the gates of Hell are locked from the inside is not to say that the damned are having a party in there and are quite pleased with their lot. The torment is exactly as bad as we’ve always believed, but it’s not a matter of God shutting away His children who are begging to be let out and given another chance. God would take Satan back if he repented. Out of pride, he does not. Nor do the human damned. They may regret and hate the conditions of Hell, but they do not regret or hate their sins, and they have no love for God.

Too many preachers like to picture the damned as suckers who’ve realized a second too late that they were in the wrong, and who would do everything differently if only the chance were extended – but God has closed His ears to them. That makes God kind of look like a heartless jerk who cares more about arbitrary deadlines than about the souls He created to be with him for eternity. The “locked from the inside” idea is one way of explaining how Hell might be as terrible as we’ve always heard without making God into a bad parent. If the damned still refuse to turn from their sins, then that makes God not a sadistic father who inflicts suffering on His children with no remedial purpose but a tragic father who must watch His children undergo self-inflicted suffering because they just won’t accept His help. It is in that sense only – that they still cling to the very sins that damned them, not that Hell is some kind of party town – that we can say that the damned prefer Hell to Heaven. An adulterer may not want his wife to leave him, but if he insists on keeping his mistress even in the face of that reality, then he has made his choice, even if the consequences aren’t something he directly wanted.

Usagi

I’m curious Tank Girl. How is it that you are on these forums and yet you are banned? This seems very odd.

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