Comment: Arbitrary vs. Natural Consequence

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Arbitrary vs. Natural Consequence

The literal image of Hell sounds arbitrary, as a place set aside for sinners for simply being disobedient. But this isn't what really happens.

Hell is a state of being that comes about naturally. It is the natural guilt of conscience or regret, and comes from knowing that you've done horrible things, or did not stand up for your principles, or know you did NOT do your best. In this case, God's commandments are a blessing: they teach us how to improve our personal characters, improve our spirits as well as our daily lives.

How can someone stand to be in God's presence when they know they've lied, gossiped, enjoyed dirty jokes and mocking the pure and holy, and were mean and dishonest and cowardly and compromised principles. They'll stand before God their Father, with a perfect knowledge of all of the things they've done wrong and have not tried to fix, and they would rather be anywhere else except be with such a perfect, pure being, no matter how loving. They would rather go away into darkness away from God's glory on their own, keeping company with other people just as dirty and guilty as themselves. And they would still remember that they could have been better, they could have been closer to God, if only they made different choices.

So, no, Hell is not an arbitrary punishment. It might be more merciful than forced association with a pure being they cannot feel comfortable with.

"Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice." -- Thomas Paine