How to respond to "your God is terrible" critique?

I am often encountered with the claim that the Christian God is terrible because He (will) send many humans to Hell. “How could He design a universe where only (good) Catholics go Heaven? What about the rest (majority of the population) which happened not to be born catholic?” Etc.

I find hard to find an answer to this which “satisfies me”. Can you point me out to some key arguments, and if possible, to some books or theologians or Doctor of the Church or the like, where I can read about this?

Thanks. God bless.

But we don’t know how many will go to Hell. And those that do have made those choices themselves.

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This is a straw man logical fallacy. You first have to correct them. The church does not teach this.

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I have gone that route in a few occasions, and we end up in the conundrum that those who do not have faith or were born in a different religion are not to blame for it (e.g. “if you were born in a muslim family, you would be muslim”). I also remember from church and sermons and other sources that faith is a gift from God. I found an article in Summa Theologiae about it (part 2, question 6, point 1; cannot add links here). Not sure if this is Orthodoxy or not, but still.

One should not ask, why would a loving God send someone to hell? One should ask, why would we choose hell over a loving God?


Non-Catholics can still go to Heaven. As long as they lead a good life, and do what they morally believe to be right.
Only bad people go to hell. If you’re bad, you deserve to go to hell.

I don’t think that approach truly engages with the critique.

Is your critique alleging that only good Catholics go to heaven, allegedly from the Church’s standpoint?

Doesn’t this open a complete set of further questions, like why would you then be Catholic? Let people live their faith, whichever it is, non-Catholic Christians, or even atheists. Where goes the concept of mission then?

I would simply remind there is only ONE God.
If they are worshipping other, false gods they are going to be really surprised on the last day.



Also, if you are continually with these types of people or trying to convert them, I’m sure you will receive all kinds of counterarguments. You’re not even on the same playing field as a Christian.

Dust off your sandals and pray for them.

I am not fully aware which is the Orthodox view. You cannot deny that in the past, the view of “there is only salvation within the Catholic Church” was literally to mean that. E.g. crusades and etc. Not sure which is the interpretation now, but our history has not helped us to offer a more “tolerant” view of salvation open to Non-Catholics too.

Does this article help with anything?

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People have a duty to become Catholic if they have heard about the Faith, but, for instance, if someone was living on a completely isolated island, and they’ve never heard of such things, they still have a chance of going to Heaven.

Are you not contradicting yourself? You said previously “Non-Catholics can still go to Heaven. As long as they lead a good life, and do what they morally believe to be right.
Only bad people go to hell. If you’re bad, you deserve to go to hell.” And now you have narrowed the window.

Fascinating! Let me digest it and will come back. Thanks!

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Consult the Catechism.

You can’t engage with the critique because it is based on faulty reasoning and a misunderstanding of the actual teachings of the church.

The only response is that the church does not teach that.

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Bad is a vague term.

I just said that so I wouldn’t have to take 100 years writing.
You know what I mean…

Some people don’t know any better though and might fit into the invincible ignorance department.

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