Monday, May 9, 2011

Written Mar '10: Who's the Nicest Guy in Hell?

I don’t even roughly know how many people have lived since Jesus died, but for the sake of argument I’ll use a nice big even number: 100 billion. I see a difficult problem with God deciding the eternal fates of 100 billion unique people. Every human characteristic can be found in varying degrees in each different individual, whether it’s extremely pronounced, non-existent, or anywhere in between. Take the characteristic of generosity for example; some hoard every penny for themselves, others are so generous they give everything and live in poverty, and then there’s every possible level of generosity in between. With 100 billion people there are 100 billion levels of generosity. Picture a generosity spectrum that’s black on one end, white on the other, and almost 100 billion shades of grey in between. The same generally applies to all human characteristics, including our idea of who/what Jesus is and our response to that. Regardless of what characteristic(s) God uses to decide who goes to Heaven or Hell, He will be faced with the task of drawing the cut-off line somewhere in the 100 billion shades of grey. There will inevitably be someone in Heaven who was the worst of all the people who got into Heaven, and someone is Hell who was the best of all the people who got sent to Hell. What’s the difference between these two people whose eternal fates were polar opposite? One 100 billionth of a shade of grey. No matter where God draws the cutoff line, this will be the case. Human character is just not black or white, so the idea of God sorting us into black or white afterlives seems rather terrible.

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