Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why doesn't God destroy the Devil? Why would he allow people to go to Hell?

question Why doesn't God just wipe out the Devil? Is he powerless to do so? Or does he want him kicking around? Why does Hell exist? If you can believe that something as complicated as God can exist without being caused, then why can't you believe that something much simpler, the universe, could?

I don't know the technical answer to this, but here's an interesting thought- which actually addresses all of the questions above. (These questions were taken from the comments on previous posts.)

I believe the fact that God is existence makes sense of this. When asked His name, God said "I AM". Basically, He is existence. This is the problem with asking things like "Does God exist" and "How can God exist without being Created". Existence can't not exist, and existence can't be brought into existence by something else- that's just the nature of existence. People could argue that existence does not have the qualities otherwise attributed to God, but that would be a pretty convoluted debate. For the sake of moving forward, God is existence.

Now God is also love. Out of Love, God brings things into existence. Above all He brings immortal creatures into existence. Because He loves them, He creates them immortal- so they share in his nature and never die or cease to exist. This is unique in that it is only true of spiritual beings- humans and angels, essentially.

Once God creates them immortal, though, this becomes their nature. So for them to cease to exist would require a willfull act on His part. But He is existence, and He is love. So for them to cease to exist, He would have to stop loving them- which He cannot do! (When people say God is all powerful, He is still bound by His nature. He cannot cease existing, contradict himself, or stop loving.)

However, even while God creates us such that we exist forever, he does not force us to be in a relationship with Him. He only invites us to. Force would not be love. We may not realize when we reject Him what we are doing, but we effectively do choose Hell, because Hell is eternal existence apart from He that is everything good. Theoretically it is always possible for us to choose God- even after death, but our twisted nature prevents us from doing so. Like people who refuse to forgive or accept forgiveness- the one preventing them is themselves, not others, not God.

It would be more pleasant not to believe in Hell, but that's backwards reasoning. People often refute the idea of God by saying 'If there was a God, God would be thus. God is not thus, therefore there is no God.' I find the evidence for God too strong, so I go the other way. "God exists. God is not thus. Therefore, I must be worng about what I expect God to be."

One other note on this. We expect God to be like a really saintly human. We emphasize his Goodness and Mercy. These traits are real, and we humans only have them in so far as we participate in the nature of God. However, we should not forget fear of the Lord. This was emphasized hugely in both the Old and New Testament, and in the Early Church and throughout history. We have forgotten that God is Justice, and we must fear and respect Him. Muslims and Jews fault us for calling God Father, and overemphasizing his compassion, without recognizing that He is God.

We mustn't create God in our own images!

1 comment:

  1. God = existence

    Gods brings all things into existence, therefore

    Gods brings all things into god

    God = existence + love

    God brings immortal creatures into existence, therefore

    God brings immortal creatures into god

    Why would I choose eternal existence apart from s/he/it that is? My twisted nature.

    But god created us into god, so god’s nature is twisted?


    This is gobiligook. You can’t just define God into existence.

    Every single statement commits the logical fallacy of making naked assertions. Where is the evidence that God = existence? Or that God = existence + love? Or that God brings all things into existence? You can’t just assume the answer to the very question we’re asking.

    Father George Coyne, a Catholic priest, says that “God is not a god of explanation” and that “God is superfluous” when it comes to understanding our physical universe (see

    Stephen Hawking believes, based on scientific evidence, that “because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing”. It may well be the case that the universe is an inevitability. I am no cosmologist, but what we call nothing is actually anything but – in fact, what they call “dark matter” permeates the universe and particles spontaneously create in empty space.

    I’m not saying you should take it on Hawking or Lawrence Krauss or Father George Coyne’s authority alone –- investigate it for yourself. And if you are like me, and don’t really understand all the physics involved, don’t just jump to conclusions about things you can’t possibly know.

    Please don’t give me this nonsense about our “twisted nature”. If God created us, our nature is exactly the nature s/he/it knew it would be. If there is a single person in “hell” then that is 100% entirely God’s fault in your theology, there is no getting around it. S/he/it created this universe, created the beings within it (including Satan for some reason), and would have to have known beforehand that people would choose eternity in hell separated from she/he/it.

    In fact, your deity would have had to created, or at least allowed the creation of hell in the first place! Free-will and free-love are an illusion at best if God is all-knowing and all-powerful.

    “We mustn't create God in our own images!”

    Why create God at all?

    "Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked. If God can abolish evil, and God really wants to do it, why is there evil in the world?" — Epicurus, as quoted in 2000 Years of Disbelief

    Epicurus, long before the supposed time of Jesus – laid it out very plainly. God is either impotent, wicked, or does not exist. Take your pick.