The Justice of Hell
EDITOR: Okay, one last post about the afterlife debate before we lay it to rest. Having published two arguably unorthodox views, it’s only fair that I publish an argument for the traditional view, which in Christian circles is too often assumed and rarely argued for.
While I think there are rebuttals to be made in this situation, such as the problem with Daniel Rubio’s argument (3) (sometimes free-will choices cannot be taken back, e.g. once you jump off a cliff you cannot go back), I want to focus on the reason for proposing an Annihilationist or Universalist viewpoint.
Although some who do not believe in an eternal Hell have philosophical or theological arguments for their position, I believe they ultimately reject the doctrine of Hell because they find it to be unfair. This certainly is a question that needs attention: does the punishment fit the crime? I argue yes.
God is a God of all perfections, including justice and virtue. If God’s infinite character defines what is right or wrong, then what we do wrong (our sin) is ultimately a slam against God (Psalms 51:4 claims David’s sin was against God even though he had slept with another man’s wife and had him killed). Then we should be able to say this:
God’s infinite character defines right and wrong (lying is wrong because God is Truth.)
(1) Everything we do wrong is a slam against God
(2) Wrongs are a slam against God’s infinite character
(3) Therefore, every wrong action, no matter how miniscule, is infinitely wrong.
(4) God is infinitely just (God is Justice)
(5) Therefore, God must infinitely punish our infinite crimes against Him.
Therefore we must conclude that Hell is not only justified, but an infinite punishment is necessary in the face of God’s infinite justice.
The good news is that God could also punish an infinite being (Himself in the form of Christ) in order to satisfy the infinite punishment criteria. This Divine justice is then applied to us and we no longer have to endure the infinite punishment. Therefore, God is just in sending all of us to Hell for our infinite crimes, but He is also graceful in supplying an alternative infinite punishment, one that He took on Himself. The choice is up to each individual which punishment to accept.