Punish good people?

If I do only actions in my life which you (anyone answering) consider good and Christian, yet I die with the absolute conviction that there is no god, do I go to heaven? Realize that ANY actions (as distinct from un-communicated thoughts) are not necessarily predicated on one belief or another.

If not, then the posited god would be an evil deity, correct?

Your guess is worth as much as anyone else’s including mine.:slight_smile:

He would be like the image of the master in the parable about the talents according to the man who buried his talent. The one man hid his talent/coin and then told his master, when he had nothing to show for the responsibility given him, that the master was a “hard man” and expected to get back what he hadn’t given, to paraphrase the passage. You can guess what happened to that man.

God is fair and just. He sees the intentions of the human heart. He knows if we mean to do good out of love or out of self-interest and how much of each was involved, for who among us can say we always do good from the purest motives? :wink:

results thus far:
rwoehmke does not know if god is evil or not. Similar to my thinking. reoehmke is humble enough to not even guess.

Della uses a parable about a man who simply didn’t try to increase his wealth. Instead he protected it to break even. While this action was not the most fiscally responsible, it does not go very far in answering my question. Firstly, the money was a tangible thing that was given, while the knowledge of the existence of deities is intangible and faith-based. A more apt parable would be one about a person who hinted at the existence of a master who just might have some coinage. Della goes on to claim that god is fair and just, but still will not answer the question. I will rephrase:

Would a fair and just god let a devout atheist into heaven if said atheist did every action out of love and compassion and the result of of these actions was an increase of love and compassion in the world?

Show me such an atheist and I’ll say yes. But there ain’t any such creature on the planet earth. This is one of those hypothetical questions in which no answer can satisfy because the set up is unrealistic. Sorry, but that’s simply the truth.

Also, earthly appearances mean nothing. I may appear to others to be the most caring, giving, loving person anyone could possibly want to know. But, God sees the heart. That is what I was driving at. No one can “pull the wool” over God’s eyes. He knows the utter depths of each heart, each mind, each soul, each body.

What rwoehmke is alluding to is that we cannot know the particular judgment of any **individual **because we do not know the state of their soul at death. Only God does. You are stating your question as a concrete question about a particular person.

What we can tell you is what the Church teaches:

Each person is responsible for what they know. If they are in a state of invincible ingnorance, then God’s mercy allows us to *hope *that they can be saved. If they are in a state of mortal sin, they cannot be saved.

You want to know with certainty, and we cannot tell you because we are not God. At the moment of death God will judge their knowledge and their will.

So if a practising christian dies in a state of mortal sin do they go straight to hell? For instance, if a person was to miss mass on Sunday, and die the following day would this mean that they would not go to purgatory because their sin was mortal rather then venial?


Only the saved go through Purgatory.

This is where I really struggle to accept my faith.

Random House Dictionary
Devout: deeply devoted to divine worship or service.

A devout athiest is an oxymoron.

I have no intention of answering your question except to express my own belief. God knows the heart and intention of every soul. We can trust in the Divine Mercy of God.

(Edited) But I give you a chance to explain why. I am an atheist and I do good. Name a thing that you do that is good, and I bet that I have done or will do that thing. Really, your statements are illogical. (Edited)

(Edited) I asked if your god punishes pure-hearted atheists. I am a pure hearted atheist. I assure you that I have love and compassion. Are you saying that I don’t? Is this some kind of cruel joke? Are you saying that I don’t feel strongly about helping others in need? (Edited)

(Edited) How would you like it if I questioned your love and compassion? What If I said that mine was more pure because it is not predicated upon some cosmic reward/punishment system? At this point, I don’t even expect you to understand the questions I am asking. (Edited)

They would have to be culpable of mortal sin. And for that to happen one must know that it is a mortal sin, decide to do it anyway, and do it freely. I imagine most people who miss a Sunday Mass wouldn’t qualify, but those who do ought to be warned they are putting their souls in danger.

And to tie this into the topic, anyone who knows God exists, knows the truth about God and what he expects of us and thinks that just doing a bit of charity work will “bail” him out, has got the wrong idea. God cannot be fooled. He knows our intentions, what we know, and what we do of our own free will.

God doesn’t punish anyone. If you reject God, He will respect that choice. Therefore, you will find yourself eternally separated from God at death. That is what is commonly referred to as ‘Hell’. God would not want you to be eternally in his presence if you choose otherwise.

Goodness is not holiness.

You have an inaccurate view of God if you believe in a cosmic punishment and reward system. This, I believe, is the Eastern philosophy of “karma”.


It may be of great comfort to you for you to read the story of St. Faustina and study the concept of Divine Mercy.

We can not know the mind of God. There are those who will prefer hell rather than to acknowledge the presence of God. Pride and arrogance are great barriers in coming to a realization of the goodness of God.

(Edited) I said nothing about you personally or atheists in general. What I have written is that NO ONE is totally good–not atheists, not Christians, not anyone. As you will recall I used myself as the example, not you or any other atheist.

I’m sorry you got the impression I meant you have NO compassion, something else I did not say. If you reread what I wrote, not what you assume I meant, I think you will see the difference.

What about this: St. Faustina taught that at the moment of death Christ calls to the soul to come to Him. When you die and if Christ called to you, would you be able to cry out for Mercy or would you even then desire to remain separated from God?

If you discovered much to your dismay that your life had been on the wrong path would be be able to reject that path? Would pride be a problem for you?

(Edited) It said: “I said nothing about you personally {technically true} or atheists in general.” (Edited)

Della, (Edited)says that :“I’m sorry you got the impression I meant you have NO compassion…” You see what it is doing right there? It is implying that I don’t have ENOUGH compassion, when clearly my questions posits a scenario in which I have at least an equal amount of compassion that the believer has.

Pride would not be a problem. The problem lies in the limits of the human brain. Do you think that the human mind is capable of discerning a good supernatural being from a bad one? Don’t answer immediately. Think about this one. A benevolent deity would not put a human brain in the position of having to make such a decision. A benevolent deity would understand that there are certain humans that understand their own fallibility. Certain humans (like myself) understand that we wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell a devil from a god. In other words, when you die, you could live for eternity in the devils lair and think it was god’s lair.

There is no such atheist because there is no such person, atheist or otherwise on the planet. Sorry you misunderstood.


Della, (Edited) says that :“I’m sorry you got the impression I meant you have NO compassion…” You see what it is doing right there? It is implying that I don’t have ENOUGH compassion, when clearly my questions posits a scenario in which I have at least an equal amount of compassion that the believer has.

I was simply responding your idea that I thought you have no compassion. Of course you have compassion. I never implied or wrote otherwise.

Really, I think you wanted me to say that being good is one’s ticket to heaven. It isn’t. Grace is one’s ticket to heaven and it is a free gift of God. This is why no one can know the eternal fate of another, be that person an avowed atheist or an avowed Christian.


Anyway, what you posted was “If I do only actions in my life which you (anyone answering) consider good and Christian…” And Della correctly pointed out that nobody does only good actions.

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