Christians: How does eternal punishment for "sins" of a lifetime of less than 100 years?

make any sense? Yes I know you will probably just say that an infinite God needs infinite punishment for "crimes" against them but this still makes no sense and it's a very weak argument for eternal punishment if you ask me. I mean your God "created" humans to live for a finite amount of time so why can't they dish out punishments which only last a finite amount of time?

Any just being would punish people with appropriate punishments which fit the crime, are for an appropriate amount of time and would allow for rehabilitation and redemption.


@Black With a White Mama - Why should "sins" deserve a finite punishment???? Erm maybe because eternal punishment is a sick concept and beyond cruel. Why would you worship such a being?

Update 2:

@Black With a White Mama - "Sins" against your God are cruel? Really now? I wasn't aware your God was so weak!

12 Answers

  • 8 years ago

    "I mean your God "created" humans to live for a finite amount of time. . ."

    No, He didn't. The human body was originally meant to live forever. But sin entered the picture.

    You didn't explain why sins against an infinite God deserving an infinite punishment is an argument that makes no sense. You can't just say "oh, that's a weak argument" without explaining WHY it is a weak argument. I actually think the argument makes perfect sense. God is not restricted by time. So everything He does has an eternal perspective. If He operated on a time frame and hell is not eternal, it would be logical to assume HEAVEN would not be eternal either. Why can heaven be eternal, but hell cannot? Why should sins against an infinite God deserve a FINITE punishment? Your answer should address these questions in a logical way, not just dismiss them because you don't like the questions

    EDIT: Sins against God are cruel. So the "punishments fits the crime".

    Source(s): BWAWM
  • 8 years ago

    It's not a punishment. God loves all of us and earnestly desires all to be saved. At worst, it could be seen as a design flaw in human nature, and that is quite a serious one of course. God has created us because he loves us and with free will, so we can close ourselves off from him. However, we need him, so that screws us up. It's a form of entropy, and entropy is a statistical phenomenon so it's bound to happen in the sense that however God arranged the Universe the problem would creep in somewhere.

  • John S
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    So as typical.. there are a couple of issues with the question, as stated and the base line assumptions that go along with it.

    1) Who is best to decide what is "appropriate" -- Appropriate to me may not be appropriate to you.

    So from the onset.. the use of such terminology like "appropriate" is problematic at the very least.

    One may need to take a step back and define what appropriate is, FIRST and agree upon that.

    However, ultimately, ANY definition of 'appropriateness' is bound to be subjective even if agreed upon by both of us or a majority, even, and begs the very question that it seems to answer: "By who's standard?"

    Let's both agree that IF there is a supreme God..that it would be better for HIM to decide what is appropriate then us.


    2) Should the guilty be the ones which decide the punishment? - Do we, as a society, let the convicted decide their own punishment? Do parents let their children decide the consequences?

    Therefore, even if we don't like it... would it be "appropriate" for us to decide if our own sins merit the consequences that they receive?

    So... going forward, whatever that level of 'appropriate' punishment is.. we should be able to agree that we, as mankind... shouldn't be the one's setting it.. RIGHT?

    3) Viewing Hell as an eternal 'punishment' is itself problematic. It shows a certain spiritual immaturity and lack of acknowledgement of the exact nature of our own sins. Do we consider incarceration of prisoners a 'punishment' -- Perhaps some do. However, for society.. locking away criminals is not merely a punishment, but a means to protect society from these individuals. Secondly, a more mature view it that 'it' is actually a consequence of their chosen action.

    4) God is viewed as not MERELY the most just or the most good...but those VERY things themselves. That is.. he IS justice..itself. He IS goodness itself. In other words.. philosophically, these things are not external to him..but he is the very essence of those things. He is justice, love, goodness, etc. themselves.

    IF he was merely the most good or the most just..then these properties and concepts would be external to him..IF they are external to him..then there exists a possibility that there is something MORE just or MORE good then he..which would mean he is then not God.

    This is an IMPORTANT concept...because it means these things can not exist OUTSIDE of God. They can not exist where he is not.


    This last concept is the KEY to understanding why our sins can cause us an eternity of discomfort and pain.

    Logically.. IF God is the very property of love, justice, etc. -- A rejection of him is also a rejection of love, justice and goodness, ITSELF!

    If one rejects God..they are not merely rejecting a single being.. like not wanting to be around your Cousin Vinny -- It is rejecting what he IS... and in this case, that is Justice, Love, Charity, etc. - everything that is good.

    What is left is very unpleasant.. he call it "Hell" Therefore Hell is the separation from God which the soul feels for an eternity as pain and discomfort.

    The human analogy typically used is a 'burning'

    Atheists re-interpret this as 'torture'

    But the concept is the same. Absent from God... the soul feels profound pain.


    Atheists make the mistake of externalizing goodness. Making God and goodness as two separate things. Therefore they can't understand why they can't be happy in the afterlife but yet be separated from God.

    This leads them to incorrectly assume that it is God whom subjects them to pain and 'torture' as an external and unnecessary punishment.


    The last facet of this issue is the idea of 'choice' -- implicit in every choice we make is a point at which the choice is FINAL and can not be undone.

    For some choices.. changes can be made for a very long time. Others only have a very short window of time.

    What I eat for lunch on next Wednesday comes to an end, next Wednesday, when I take my lunch break, drive to a location and pay for and then consume that food.

    If I will follow God or not..comes to the end when I die. God gives us some 80 or so years to make that determination. BUT... at the end of our life, he looks back on it and makes a judgement. Our choices leading up to that and the state that we die in, determines the outcome. In the end, we either choose goodness.. or something else.

    We call that something else "Hell"

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    That is what I keep telling Hellfire believers. Hellfire is not scriptural. Do you really think God would be that cruel? He wouldn't subject people to fire for even one day let alone eternally. Fire symbolizes eternal destruction in the Bible.

    God is loving and merciful. Somebody that would torture people would be more like Satan.

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  • 4 years ago

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    It's not about it making any sense, obviously.

    To them its about demonizing anyone who denies them the "reality" of them talking to their imaginary friend. Hence the rage and hate from kind, loving christianity, or islam for that matter.

    -atheist American

  • 8 years ago

    It doesn't make sense. Hell was invented by the RCC author Dante, and is now carried on by the fundies to make them feel good about judging others.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    It doesn't make sense, and it isn't even in the Bible. Catholics invented it to scare people into submission.

  • 8 years ago

    I've already answered this before. instead of copying and pasting, here's the link:;_ylt=AsgN9...

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Lol god sends people to hell for not accepting him, even though if he truly wanted them to love him, he could give them proof.

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