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Saturday, July 25, 2020

Against the Idea of Eternal Hell Based on Free Will

By Charles Feldman (Prana)

Vedanta says that we are all divine. This makes sense, but I sometimes wonder: What if we are making a mistake, and those who say that if we don't belong to their creed, we are going to eternal hell, are right?

The argument that Christians usually give for suffering and eternal hell is that we have free will, and in order to bless people with free will, God allows suffering.

I have read two Christian versions of what happens in eternal hell. One version says that those in hell regret what they have done, but it is too late to change things by that time. The other version says that those in hell never change, and they eternally continue to reject God.

In the first version, if there is free will, why is it limited to one lifetime? If there is free will, there should be free will in hell, too, so those who come to love God would then go to heaven.

In the second version, how can you know that those in hell will reject God eternally? If they have free will, then they might always be subject to change to the point where they love God.

I conclude that there is no valid argument for eternal hell based on the idea of free will. And, if there is no free will, which I think is the case, because our genes and environment determine in large part what we do, then there is no valid argument for a just God to send anyone to eternal hell.

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