Either God isn't powerful enough to abolish hell, or hell doesn't exist, or God is cruel by my standards. And I'm an *******.

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Its a separation fro God, since a person has free will to willingly choose God or reject him in the after life those who reject God must be separated on some way from Him, to be in his presence would be the worst torture imaginable. Why do people suffer on hell its there own regret, everyone in Knows knows they deserve it and knows they had a path to choose and willingly choose the wrong path. Because there is eternal justice there has to be a Hell.

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Because without something to threaten people with, Christianity was without a draw. An eternity of non-existence, which was the original Jewish belief of what came after death, was far less frightening than a pit of eternal suffering filled with fire and ice and never-ending pain. Hell is one of Christianity's most brilliant inventions to get butts in the seats.

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Pointing out major flaws in the logic of religion usually gets you a, "It is God's will."<br />
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Either way it will not get you invited to Christmas dinner.

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It can't. In Gods position it's impossible to be loving and merciful. You can only be merciful if you're the one creating the suffering which cannot be squared with the actions of a loving being. God can only be one or the other not both.<br />
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Anyone who's read even a tiny amount of philosophy knows that justice cannot be met by causing harm because evil is invariably a failed attempt to do good or the product of insanity so the justice argument is a non<x>starter. <br />
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Also the justice argument cannot be squared with a loving God because a loving God would seek to educate the creatures he love so that they were no longer evil; hell is not educational.<br />
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Cf. Bodhisatvas and Buddhas in Buddhism who are depicted in art and talked about crying for the people in the various Buddhist hells and from this finding motivation to teach beings how to escape hell and how not to fall into hell in their next birth. Although powerful, Buddhas and Bodhisatvas are only human, albeit perfected or nearly perfected and they apparently are more caring than a being that describes itself as loving and merciful.<br />
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Even in the bible there's nowhere where God actually is loving and merciful. The Jesus story is often cited as an example but really? You kill yourself to appease yourself so that you don't have to throw everyone into hell and cause them eternal torment knowing that you'll be alive again and worshiped three days later. Cf. that to a parent going without food on a regular basis so that their child has enough to eat; that's love. Compare any of the acts of atheists who have willingly laid down their lives with no thought of life after death; that's love. <br />
Dying when you know you'll be ressurected isn't love especially when it's to save only the people who believe in you from your own act which even God doesn't like otherwise he wouldn't have killed himself in a vain attempt to stop himself doing it.<br />
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The Abrahamic God is not a loving one. He thinks he is, he tells us he is but his actions indicate that he's kinda emotionally retarded. He's not capable of experiencing love in the deep all encompassing "I'll die for you knowing it's the end of me" way humans are.

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Because along with being a loving/merciful god, God is also just! We as human beings demand justice! We have courts, police, jails, etc. Well, God also demands justice. Sure He’s merciful, but eventually that mercy will be exhausted. If we have not done as He said, then He will punish us. His “jail”, so to speak, is hell. But unlike our justice, God’s justice will be complete and fair.

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desperate times need desperate measures. i'm a mom of two boys. i love them endlessly, utterly. in time of despaire i often seek desperate measures: i tell them that police will know they're misbehaving and put mommy and daddy in jail. awfull but efficient. that does not mean it is true. just works. hence desperate measures. no one is perfect. including god

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