How can we find happiness in heaven if someone we love goes to hell?

Full Question

How can we find happiness in heaven if someone we love/know goes to hell? Some people say we will be satisfied with God’s justice, but this sounds rather cruel and cold.


You are thinking very much inside the box. You can’t do that when you think of heaven. It’s not just another earth-like human situation with clouds and pastel cherubs added. What you need to do is to ask yourself if you really think heaven is for God’s sake. I mean this literally. It’s all about God. God is infinite goodness, goodness without limit, pure unlimited love. This is something beyond any experience we are capable of imagining at this time.



  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    Dear questioner. Did you notice that no real attempt was made to answer your question? It’s an excellent question, and I think it comes down to free will (which itself is probably an illusion).

    Anyway, as the way the story goes, we have no free will in heaven. “…thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” So making you “happy” that your friend is being continuously deep fried in boiling brimstone, is relatively simple. You’ll have no free will. You will be a zombie. You will have no ability to comprehend what evil is being done to your friend because you won’t care. You’ll be a robot, a zombie, a drugged out dude experiencing bliss. What does that mean? It means that “you” won’t be “you” anymore. So, you might ask, why should I care about getting to heaven if whatever it is that gets there won’t be “me” since “I” won’t have free will any longer? Good question! Think about what it would mean to have no free will. Even if the free will we have now is an illusion, at least it’s our illusion. In heaven there will be no free will; only Bible God’s will, and you won’t care about your friend. If you had free will, you would go insane at the horror of what Bible God is doing to your friend, and might as well be there yourself, where you know who you are, and where, at a minimum, you would be morally superior to the being that sent you there.

    I do have good news for your friend though. There is no literal Hell. It was created out of mistranslating the words (a) Sheol – a place of permanent unconsciousness with no punishment, (b) Gehenna, the Jerusalem town dump that Jesus referred to allegorically – the dump was closed long ago, (c) Hades – clearly pagan given that Hades is brother of Zeus and Poseidon – but basically a Greek version of Hades that was later turned into a place of punishment with help from Milton and Dante, and finally (d) Tartarus – the lowest level of Hades, that many theologists say is reserved for Satan and his angel buddies. All these words were translated by the Church to “Hell” a word that refers to the pagan Norse underworld. Hell is a pagan concept. If you don’t believe in Zeus – don’t worry about it. What we think of as Hell today was manufactured by the Church. They owe the world an apology for all the needless fear they instilled in defenseless children.

    1. Clara-Christy (@MradClara) Reply

      If you really love this person, why don’t you pray for his salvation before the hour of his death comes?! Nothing is impossible to God! If you truly believe in this, God will work to save this person from the eternal burning fire with our help! Eventually, God’s Love for us is bigger than we can ever imagine and he surely doesn’t want anyone of us to go to hell, unless we continually deny his presence 🙁 if you are sad for your loved ones, think about how sad he is when he sees his children are going by their own free will to hell, and he can’t do anything to help them because they don’t want him, though he tried all the ways to make them come back… But again never lose hope on someone no matter how hard the situation is…

  2. Lisa Reply

    Good luck with that when your burning in that imaginary hell of your’s. Go away you idiotic troll!!!

    1. Lance Reply

      To start, I would read the visions of Fatima. The idea that there is no literal hell is one of the first lies of Satan. You say that people in heaven will be like “Drugged out zombies” That sounds like a pretty bleak myopic cynical perspective for something that brilliant theologians have struggle to describe for centuries. Truth is, Paul tells us in Corinthians “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” That sounds to me like a pretty awesome promise, like that of a loving father who has a very special treat in store for His children. I would also recommend the book “Search for Lost Fathering” by James Schaller.
      Most people who have trouble envisioning a loving God had an absent or abusive father, Here, I speak from experience.

      1. Maria Reply

        beautiful reply, God bless you

      2. Patrick Gannon Reply

        Lance, have you looked up the four words that the RCC translated as “Hell”? Sheol, Gehenna, Hades and Tartarus- look them up. See if any of them resemble the picture at the top of this article. The catechism refers to Gehenna, but that was a real place – the Jerusalem dump. The “turning worm” of smoke that drifted through the valley came from the town refuse and burning of sacrificial remains. Jesus was clearly speaking allegorically, and you have to insist on making him a monster in order to take his words literally. The Jews living at the time, knew exactly what he meant. To be thrown in the dump without a normal burial was the ultimate insult for a Jew, but they knew it wasn’t a literal Hell. It took Catholics to invent Hell as we know it.
        As for heaven, the prayer is pretty clear: “thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” That’s “god’s will” not ours. How can we be who we are without our free will? Take that away, and the basic essence of who and what we are is gone. We are something else, other than what we were. If we are able to shut out the knowledge of the cruel, unmerciful, unproportionately eternal punishment of our loved ones, then we most certainly won’t be who we are now. As far as I’m concerned, you can call that whatever you want, but “zombie” seems to be a pretty good description
        You talk of envisioning a loving God. What “loving” dad would send their child to eternal torment, no matter what they did? .

  3. Allan Reply

    Dear Patrick, you haven’t a clue as to what you’re speaking about.. Sounds like you just like bashing Catholics for the sake of doing it… Otherwise, you wouldn’t have felt the need to even come on here and spew your ignorance. Educate yourself, and stop being a heathen.

  4. Chandan Reply

    Your Ans: Luke:21:27-40, Mathew:22:23-33 & Mark:12:18-27

    1. Patrick Gannon Reply

      I guess it’s too much work to look up those words, to see if I really am ignorant? I actually do have a clue as to what I’m talking about, and it’s easy enough for you to prove me wrong, if I’m wrong – so look it up for yourselves.

      Look up the words: Sheol, Gehenna, Hades and Tartarus – find out exactly where they are in the bible and who said them. Look up the original word and meaning for the Greek word that was translated as “eternal.” See how we’ve all been misled. Please try to prove me wrong. Look it up yourself. Priests in seminary school are almost certainly taught this information – but they choose not to share it with the rest of their flock. Why is that? They prefer to keep that fear of hell burning bright, even though they know it’s baseless, because it gives them power over the sheeple. Ask your priest to explain the ramifications of having translated those four words to the word “Hell” which refers to the imaginary, pagan Norse underworld. Ask your priest to tell you why the RCC misled us for centuries with those false and misleading translations.

      Remember – this is good news. It means there’s no Hell. This is only a disappointment if your idea of heaven is rejoicing at the eternal suffering of others. I suspect that this applies to “Christians” like “Lisa” above, who wishes that I would suffer eternal torment simply for sharing information that is readily available. So Christian. So typical. The questioner asked how we could have happiness in heaven if someone we knew went to Hell. The simple answer is that a decent human being could not find happiness in such a situation, so the only way it can work is if we lose our free will and become clueless zombies. What other way could it work? Either your idea of heaven is the suffering of others (Lisa?), or your mind is wiped so that you cannot know the suffering of your loved ones who may have simply failed to believe the right thing – a grievous penalty, given the total lack of objective, empirical evidence to support the belief in the first place. Hell is a monstrous idea and it’s not biblical.

      If you are a good human being, you will rejoice that no human is going to suffer eternal anguish, particularly if it’s infants and fetuses who, not having been baptized, and no longer having Limbo to go to – must now join the sinners in hellfire. All of that is out the window, and we should be relieved to learn that Bible God is not the worst monster ever conceived of.

      As for the discussion about heaven – is it not true that the the prayer says, “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”? God’s will prevails in heaven. We will have no free will. Can you be “you” without your free will? For those weak minded people without the ability to think and decide things for themselves, perhaps this will be no great loss. If I am to lose my free will, then I don’t see why anything matters once it’s gone, because it won’t be “me” any more. Please tell me what’s wrong with this logic, instead of just calling me names, if you are capable of reasoned debate, that is.

      1. Carmine Q Reply

        Dear Patrick, no name calling hear or anger with your remarks or beliefs, forget about the question for a moment.

        Try to read and understand scripture a little more, especially the Gospel’s and hear the words that Christ speaks to us all. You are not hated by me or wrong to think the way you do as so many others feel the same way as you do in todays crazy society, unfortunately. The “evil one” who we all know by name (I prefer not to call him by name) really tries to twist the truth to make us all believe in what he wants us to believe, which is a lot of what your thoughts and beliefs are. I won’t judge you but I will pray that you and many others that think the same way find the peace that I have found in Christ, its unbelievable! But you have to find it on your own in your journey of life. All I can tell you is try to seek Christ, truly seek Christ. If you do that, you will find him because he will come to you and you will find the truth about life and the next life.
        God Bless,


        Carmine Q

        1. Patrick Gannon Reply

          Thank you for your thoughtful words, Carmine. Please note that it was others calling me names; “idiotic troll,” and “heathen,” for example. This is standard fare for Christians these days, who have turned their faith into the religion of hostility to the other. It is driving many away from the religion.

          You say I should try and read and understand scripture a little more – but who gets to decide what “understand” means. I understand that there are no original copies of scripture. I understand that there are innumerable contradictions and errors. I understand that there are books written by people we would call “forgers” today – such as the author(s) of the Timothy epistles. I understand that the books of the NT are not in chronological order and that if you read them in order, the flavor of the story changes. I understand that there is no archaeological, historical or other evidence for the mass migration of 2 – 3 million people out of Egypt. I understand that there is no evidence for the conquest of Canaan. I understand that evolution does away with the fall from grace story, and hence with the concept of original sin. I understand a lot of things, I’m not sure others understand, because most Christians don’t know diddly squat about their own religion or its history.

          The kind of fear that can make one afraid to even use the words Lucifer, Satan, Beelzebub, Devil, Demon, etc. is almost always a product of childhood indoctrination before the child is capable of critical thinking. If they didn’t start teaching us religion till we were say 11 or 12 years old, religious membership would plummet. If you told a 12 year old kid about Santa for the first time at that age, they’d laugh in your face. If you want people to believe fanciful stuff, you have to start early

          What objective, empirical evidence do we have that gods, devils, of afterlives exist? NONE. And our brains know this. Yet we lie to our own brains, telling them that we believe in these things, even though the brain knows that it does not know. This internal conflict in our brains cannot be good for us. I think we need to all start by recognizing that we don’t know, and then see where that takes us. We’re learning more and more. It may turn out that consciousness (the soul) is definitively proven to be a product of the brain that cannot exist without it. Are we ready to deal with that when and if it turns out that way? I think we need to be open minded to all possibilities. Almost everything once assigned to God is now well understood by the laws of physics and nature. We still haven’t started life from nothing, we haven’t figured out consciousness, and we don’t know what happened beyond a certain point at the Big Bang. But we will, and then God will be out of a job.

  5. Alonso Reply

    My mercy does not want it but Justice demands..HELLO people did we forget. In Heaven God will not allow us to suffer by putting us in front of our earthly loved ones to see them suffer, we are made in the image of God on earth and in Heaven we will have a better understanding of Gods Big ETEAARNAL plan, our mission on earth is to love one another and STOP arguing or fighting, stop giving into Satan’s plan, instead lets pray for one another and pray that we all go to Heaven and so we pray for our loved ones to ensure a place in Heaven.. I hope this makes sense Yours Truly, 10Yr Old Alonso

    1. Patrick Gannon Reply

      Hello Alonso. If you are really 10 years old, it’s good that you are reading about these issues and putting your critical thinking skills to work. They will serve you well in the years to come.
      You said: “In Heaven God will not allow us to suffer by putting us in front of our earthly loved ones to see them suffer.”
      So, you’re basically saying, “out of sight, out of mind.” If you can’t see them suffering it’s OK. It doesn’t matter if you actually know they are suffering for all of eternity, perhaps for something as simple as failing to be baptized Catholic or for not believing the right thing; what you’re saying is that you aren’t bothered by the pain of others as long as you don’t see it. Think about that and consider whether that’s a good way for us to behave – to just ignore all the suffering we can’t see.
      However, there’s a problem – according to the prayer, (thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven), the real reason you won’t worry about the suffering of others is that you will be a zombie. It’s not your will in heaven, it’s God’s will. You will not have any free will; you will not be able to think for yourself, you will not be aware of the suffering of others because you will be on some sort of bliss-drug that turns you into something very different from what you are now. I would imagine that now, you are a kind enough human being to be hurt by the suffering of others. If someone gave you a drug that made it so you weren’t aware of that suffering any longer, you would not be who you are now, would you? Those people would still be suffering, but you wouldn’t care because of the drug. Would that be a good thing – to be insensitive to the plight of others? Is it ever good for us to ignore the suffering of others? That’s apparently God’s plan. He is going to remove one of the things that make us good human beings when we get to heaven – the fact that we care about suffering.
      Heaven holds no attraction for me, because if I can’t be me – if I can’t have my free will, if I can’t care about the suffering of others, then whoever that is in heaven, won’t be “me,” so why should I care?

      1. Alonso Reply

        Dear Mr. Patrick Gannon,

        Thank you for sharing your comments, YES 10 yrs old, I recently started taking classes on preparing to do start my confirmation classes. While I appreciate your comments it also makes me sad to read that your believe in Heaven and God is not to your benefit. In view of your responses the only thing that my heart tells me is that while you sound like an intelligent man you lack FAITH. I say this respectfully but I feel need to remind you if you don’t already know that we us HUMANS were not build with the capacity to understand God’s divine plan, our puny little brains cannot fully understand, we live by faith, by loving one another as humans and believing that God loves us much greater than we can ever fathom. Its is NOT our jobs to question Gods plan or the life after, we are given the church, the 10 commandments, the 7 pillars, the sacraments and most of all everyone has a chance to go to Heaven. I believe that even those who do not know God who live far away God sees everything and knows everything, therefore God is the only one that can judge us at the end, but the church teaches us to be strong in FAITH and TRUST in Gods plan. No matter what you or anyone says I will never lose FAITH in my heart. It is better not to be born than to steal someone’s faith. Please be careful when speaking on something you know nothing about. I respect you for trying to make sense of it all, but you will never have all the answers. I will pray for you tonight when I go to sleep. Sorry for my typos I am not the best writer. I love you Mr. Patrick Gannon and will keep you and your faith in my prayers.
        Love and Peace

        1. Patrick Gannon Reply

          Alonso, I have met few 10 year olds who can write as well as you do. For someone with your obvious intelligence to waste it on beliefs is tragic. Intelligent minds ask for evidence. We all know that there is absolutely no objective, empirical evidence for gods or afterlives, otherwise we wouldn’t be debating it. I think that when you tell your brain you believe something that it knows it does not know – in other words when you lie to yourself – you create a conflict in your brain and I suspect that is not healthy and that it has a negative impact on how we live our lives. We tend to be angry, emotionally unstable, dysfunctional, etc. I suspect, because of that internal conflict. I am not a neurologist, but someone as smart as you, can grow up to be one and figure out once and for all how things really work. There are explanations for everything; we just don’t know them all yet. It’s an exciting time to grow up, given that the pace of new discovery is off the charts in most fields – particularly science.

          You have been well indoctrinated. If you had started learning about religion at this point in your life, instead of many years ago, you would probably have developed the critical thinking skills to make you a skeptic. If someone told you Santa Claus was real today, you would laugh at them – but Santa has just as much evidence as God does – none. People believe this stuff because the religionists get them while they are young, before they can think and reason for themselves.

          You said that you were going to pray for me. Why bother? You also said that God had a divine plan. What if God’s plans for me are different from your prayers? Why should God change His plans just for you – even though you think you’re helping me? If God knows all things, then He knew our final outcomes before He created us and there’s nothing we can do about it. You probably believe these things because you’ve been told that you will suffer eternal torment in Hell if you do not do so. Look up the original words in the bible that were translated to “Hell” (a word that refers to the pagan Norse underworld) and see if you think it’s the same Hell they use to scare you with: 1. Sheol, 2. Gehenna, 3. Hades, and 4. Tartarus. I could tell you what each of these are, but it would be better for you to look them up yourself.

          I was much like you once, but now I am deeply angered by the childhood indoctrination I received, which in my mind qualifies as psychological child abuse which I struggle with to this day. I think that if there really is a god, it will look with favor on those who used the talents (Matthew 25) they were given – like your obvious intelligence. I suspect that those who use their talents of intelligence, reasoning, critical thinking skills, etc. would be rewarded by a good God, even if it results in not believing in that God; while those who left their talents on the shelf would be punished. Read what happened to the guy who didn’t use the talents he was given. “30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

          Keep reading, keep studying, keep writing – develop your critical thinking skills. Embrace logic and reasoning, and perhaps 50 years from now, you’ll be writing what I write.

          1. Alonso

            Hi Patrick, I have never met a grown man to think that way that you do. Although you sound very smart, it still sadness me that for some obvious reason, some of the intelligence has been wasted on lack of faith and poor leadership skills when it comes to knowing our loving God. Intelligent minds will never have all the answers, we have to live strong in faith. For me there is no need for scientific evidence. If you fact check many stories of our Saints you will see how much evidence exist about the afterlife. This is precisely the reason why we are talking about and debating this topic today. There is no need to tell my brain to believe in something that goes against my FAITH. Please don’t take any insult to anything I write. I am not trying to attack you. I am just trying to enlighten you, but the truth of the matter is that you must face reality and realize that you have created conflict within your brain and I now understand better that you are not healthy in spirit and that you may be living in misery. I hope that at this point I have not stricken a nerve in your brain, but the truth is that when I read your response I sense a lot of anger, which I agree with you that it leads to an emotional, unstable, and dysfunctional state of mind. I too suspect that because of that internal conflict and lack in faith you may be going through something very difficult. I too am not a neurologist, but rather someone that cares about you as a human person. I strongly believe that God has a mission for you and me and when I sit here and read your response it only gives me a stronger drive to grow up and help the many that have little or no faith. I know I am only 10 (I will be elven soon) and I know that I still have a long way to go and so I pray that one day I will figure what works best for many unfaithful people. There are explanations for everything and it is grown men like you that motivate me to discover what causes the lack of faith. I can only imagine that science was your favorite subject when you were my age. Mine too, except that my faith plays a more significant role.

            By the way Patrick it sounds to me that your parents raised you to believe in Santa Claus, that perhaps is something that plays different in our lives. I was raised to believe in Jesus Christ and not in Santa Claus, Santa was a story told for fun. My parents never told me Santa was real.
            I will continue to pray for you. And I bother because I have FAITH. I trust in God’s divine plan. Because I know in my heart that God’s plan for me is different on earth than what it will be in Heaven. God has plans for all of us including you. God knew that you and I would cross paths.
            My mom and dad told me that God gives us free will and that God sees everything as a whole. I am still trying to understand what all this means but it makes sense. My parents never told me I would go to hell if I am a bad person, what they do is teach me right from wrong and the power of free will to choose my destination. But my dad tells me that until I am 18 years old my “free will” will be supervised by my parents, up until I can make grown-up decisions.

            Thank you for being nice and for letting me write to you, nothing you said will derail me from losing my faith because God is in control of my life and there is nothing more in this life or the life after that I want is to be in the presence of the Lord. We were made for God by God. Life is a gift from God, we are put in this world to love one another and that is why I don’t have difficulty saying to you that I love you as a Human person.
            I will also look further in to the words that you sent me which are Sheol, Gehenna, Hades, and Tartarus. I am not sure what they mean but I am very much interested. Thank you for that.

            I also believe that God brings people together for a reason and you and I meeting is not by coincidence. Reading your responses only increases my faith and love for God. Thank you for that too, you may not know that, but it’s what my heart tells me so. You say you were very much like me, but now you are deeply angered by the childhood indoctrination that you received, which qualifies as psychological child abuse which you have struggled with till today. I am sorry for that. I wish it was different for you so that you don’t have to sit in life and suffer. Nevertheless you still sound like a very smart man and I imagine deep down inside your heart you have good intentions, but because of all that you have encountered as a young person unfortunately it has brought you to a dark place in your life today. Please know that God has looked earnestly upon those who use their talents (Matthew 25) that we are given – like “our” obvious intelligence. If we use our talents of intelligence for reasoning, critical thinking skills, and include FAITH within the same ingredients YES Patrick we will be rewarded by God. Please don’t leave your talents on the shelf, just increase your faith and come back to the Church. God loves you Patrick, please believe me.

            I will keep reading, studying, and writing, so that I can further develop my critical thinking skills, the only difference is that I will not lose my faith in the mix of science. Perhaps 50 years from now, I will see you in Heaven.

            God bless you Patrick.

          2. Patrick Gannon

            Alonso, I’m a bit of a curmudgeon (look that word up) and I help teach karate. One thing we teach is respect. 10 year olds should show a little respect for their elders and not call them by their first name. No big deal, but something to think about as you deal with adults in the future.
            I’m afraid that you are incorrect in saying that there is evidence for the afterlife as a result of stories about “Saints.” There is not a shred of objective, empirical (look those words up) evidence for gods or afterlives. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is, and anyone who is honest will admit this. Choosing to believe something for which no evidence exists (like fairies and unicorns) is no different intellectually than choosing to believe some god exists. Hopefully you’ll realize this as you mature; but many people don’t, and it’s OK, as long as you live a good life and treat others well.
            You said, “There is no need to tell my brain to believe in something that goes against my FAITH.” This is not what I proposed. You’ve twisted my words a bit. I suggest that you know as well as I do that there’s no direct, objective evidence of God (hopefully you’ve looked those words up by now). Subjective evidence – what other people tell you, or what you tell yourself, doesn’t count. It’s not tangible, testable, observable – it’s just someone’s word, and by our very nature – that is unreliable. Ask two people to describe the same car accident, and both will come up with different descriptions. The human brain is not reliable at remembering, and does not always think clearly or logically. Again, this is just the way it is. What is needed is objective evidence – some sign from God that He is real; something unequivocal (look that up), something none of us would doubt or question. If I see a man in person walking on water, turning water into wine, rising from the dead and it’s all captured on video and proven beyond question not to be trickery – that’s objective evidence. We all know that this evidence does not exist today. It might have happened, but all we have is human accounts that they didn’t even start to be written down until 40 years after Jesus died – and there was no YouTube to record anything in those days. So we have no evidence that is reliable. Our brains know this. Yet we tell our brain we have belief anyway. We tell the brain we have faith. The brain does not have faith – the brain has knowledge, and what it knows is that it has no evidence it can rely on for gods or an afterlife – hence when we tell our brain we have faith – we are lying to our own brains. I submit that this is not healthy for us. If you tell your brain you think God might exist, then you are not lying to yourself. If you tell your brain God does exist, when there’s no evidence for it – then you are lying to yourself, because nobody knows for sure. Nobody. Not even the Pope. God does not come down and give him objective, empirical evidence, otherwise I’m sure he’d share it with us. The Pope is just as ignorant as to whether there really is a god or an afterlife as anyone else. He’s just a human being like the rest of us.
            I am chuckling at the idea of a 10 year old “enlightening” me. Again, a little respect for your elders, please. My parents didn’t raise me to believe in Santa Claus – they told the story and allowed us as kids to believe it as long as it would last. There are different theories about whether telling kids about Santa, conditions or predisposes them to believe in religions, or whether learning that it was just a story makes kids question whether God is just a story too. I guess we were told Santa was just pretend, but Jesus was for real; but I imagine that tiny seeds of doubt may have been planted in my brain at that time.
            You just said again that you will continue to pray for me, and that God has a divine plan. What if God’s divine plan does not include my salvation, no matter how much you pray? In fact, isn’t it as little presumptuous (look up that word) for you to assume that God would change His divine plan just because you prayed and asked Him to? If He’s already decided to send me to Hell, what can anyone do about it? Now you said your parents told you that we have free will, but ask them to tell you where it says that in the bible. Do some research about a man named John Calvin, and see what he says about free will. There is a lot of disagreement over whether the bible says we have free will – it appears not to. There are many examples of God exercising his will over humans, but very little mention, if any, of humans having free will. Whether we actually have free will, with or without any gods, is also debatable – it appears that we may not – it may be that free will is just an illusion. Scientists are working on this. Stay tuned.
            You said, ” My parents never told me I would go to hell if I am a bad person.” Did your priest tell you this? Do you understand that your religion says that if you do not believe, say and do the right things, that you will go to everlasting hellfire? Do you know that your religion says that you will be given a new body after you die so that you can experience pain? Do you know that even though it’s unlikely you’ll live to be more than 100 years old, if you end up in Hell, you will be there in pain and anguish for billions, trillions of endless years – even though the longest you could possibly sin is till you die in this short life. Does that sound very fair to you? Does it sound fair that people who never even heard of Jesus will be there in Hell for eternity? Does that sound “proportionate?” (look up that word). One of the lessons in the bible is about “proportionate justice.” That means you shouldn’t have to pay a bigger penalty than the harm you did; in other words, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, not a life for an eye or a tooth. Is it proportionate to punish someone for trillions of years, even though what they did could have lasted only as long as they lived here – and what if their only real sin was that they failed to believe the right thing? Is that fair, just and proportionate?
            I’m very glad that your parents did not frighten you with Hell. My Catholic upbringing most assuredly did so. Here’s how it has been described to me. Go and get a lighter from your parents. Light the flame and stick your hand in it and leave it there until it smokes and spits. You will be screaming by then. Now imagine that pain over your entire body. Forever. Now who could ever worship any being that could do such a thing? Fear this being, of course – it would be the most evil being ever imagined if this was true, right? Well this is what the Catholic Church told me about Hell. And it was all a lie. Now I want you to go and look up those words I mentioned in the last post: Sheol, Gehenna, Hades and Tartarus and see what Hell really is, and then ask if I am justified in being angry that they lied about Hell to impressionable children.
            If you are 10 years old, I hope that you will not be visiting heaven in only 50 years! If you don’t mind sharing – where are you from? What country? By the way, when you are 18 years old, I will no longer object if you wish to call me by my first name. Try calling a priest by his first name. Maybe one can do that today. Certainly not when I was a kid!

          3. Alonso

            Dear Mr. Gannon – Please accept my apology, it was not my intention to disrespect you in any way. I take great pride in how my parents are raising me and my older brother. my parents are both Criminal Defense Attorneys, except that my mothers job is different than my fathers job, her primary role as a criminal lawyer is to represent people that break the law in the criminal court system. Her job encompasses court arraignments, pretrial hearings, settlement conferences, trials and sentence hearings. She defends adults and juveniles at the federal, state and local level, she has even defended children my age. I love to hear their stories and what they do in their jobs, although I am not allowed to discuss in details anything about our personal lives, where we live exactly, and our full names. MY parents tell me there are limitations on what I can share, but what I can tell you is that I was born in Los Angeles California, my parents are both from San Jose Costa Rica and came to the US when they were children to live a better life. I love my parents because aside of how busy they are always have time for me and my older brother when he comes home in the summer. Both my parents tell me that in life we have to be mindful of peoples feelings. They are always reminding me and my older brother to never judge anyone, respect our elders, forgive those that hurt us and always put God above all the things that we do in our lives. I heard my dad say once that when you place God in the center of your life everything will be more fruitful and life gets better. My dad told me once that when he was a kid my age he wanted to be a Priest, I myself like to play the role of a Priest and sometimes I do with my cousins, although they think I’m funny.

            Thank your for sharing, but I still don’t comprehend how people in life cannot believe in God, the afterlife and in Gods divine plan. I try not to spend too much time understanding something that big and I believe my parents when they tell me to rely on faith and nothing more, that is sometimes enough for me. I continue to attend mass regularly, I go to confession, I take holy communion and now I’m preparing for the sacrament of confirmation. I love the church and the teachings. I love reading scripture and going to adoration to visit Christ. Every time that I visit the blessed sacrament I feel something that I cannot explain in words, it is beyond my comprehension. My parents tell me that this is how God communicates with us, when we give God time in silence, God speaks to us through our heart and not our minds. Maybe this is the disconnect with science. There is something magical that happens to me in adoration.

            My parents don’t want me to offend anyone and they have asked me to stop chatting on this website, they tell me that I am not mature enough to understand older people yet, you Mr. Gannon were in fact a topic of our conversation at the dinner table, while they both trust this website and allow me sometimes to interact and hear other peoples perspectives in life and religion believes, they would much better want me interacting with kids my age. I myself find kids my age really boring. They only want to run around the mall, and or play video games. I don’t care for any of that. I want to go grow up and travel the world. I also want to attend Harvard like my older brother. My parents want me to be a lawyer, but I would much rather do something that can help the poor. Sometimes I think about growing up and becoming a Priest to help save souls, but more importantly to consecrate the bread and the wine into the body of Christ.

            Sometimes I feel like I am growing up too fast and perhaps I should slow down a bit. I do like playing monopoly. My only reason to come on this website its because God tells me in my heart that it is ok to reach out to people and share my faith, nothing more. God tells me that I will never please the whole world and unless people open their hearts they will never understand his divine love and mercy.

            It was a pleasure chatting with you Mr. Gannon – God bless you and YES I will continue to pray for your soul.

            Love and Peace

          4. Patrick Gannon

            Hi Alonso. Apology accepted. It’s not a problem. I thought it might be helpful advice as you slowly enter the adult world, and I suspect your parents agree. I respect your parent’s suggestion that you pull back a little, and I trust and assume that they are monitoring your activity.
            I’ll just leave you with a couple thoughts:
            1. Enjoy being a kid. It doesn’t last forever, and when you’re my age you’ll wish you could still run around and play with your friends – especially outside. Skip the video games and TV. Get exercise. It helps you think better and makes you smarter.
            2. Just keep in mind that if you were born in Tehran, Iran you would be a Muslim and your faith in Islam would be every bit as strong as your faith in Christianity. If you were born in Delhi, India you would very likely be a devout Hindu. If you were born in Bangkok, Thailand, you would be a Buddhist. Nothing determines our faith more than our geography. If there is one and only one true God, one true religion; why did God provide for so many different options that all insist that theirs is the only one that is right? He provided nothing to help us confidently determine which, if any of them, is the right one. How can they all be right? Why would God set it up that way – intentionally pitting us against each other as a result of our religious beliefs. Does that make sense for a good God?

          5. Echezonachukwu Ohalehi

            patrick are you seriously saying all these? let me tell you the truth, God dosnt send people to hell, people send themselves to hell, the Bible said that no one goes to hell blindfolded, hell mean being alone without God, do you think that fire and other thing is what they suffer? no, there greatest suffering is the absense of the presence of God, God dont send people to hell but people make choices to be on there own without God. And when it comes to your reply of free will, am sorry but you are lost, everybody was created with free will, even angel, it is because of this free will that satan chose to go against God, it is because of this free will that man chooses to do evil, now let me make it clear to you, God wants us to be in heaven with him on our own free will, he dosnt force people to be in heaven that is why he gave us choice, so when you finally make choice to be with God in heaven then you will be with him forever, you are trying to make it look like God enjoys sending people to hell. if my friend or my family member does not want to be with God in heaven and goes to hell, why should i care, not that i dont care but it was his choice and not God choice, understand this, God doesnt make the choice for us to go to hell, we make the choice ourself by choosing not to be with God, so just know that GOD dosnt send us to hell, he loves us and that is why HE sent His only begotten son so that we will all believe in Him and chose Him yet some people chose not to choose Him. if you dont go to heaven then you go to hell, its just like a two end of a stick, you cant be in the middle, if not hell then heaven, if you choose to be with God then heaven but if you dont want to be with GOD then you will go to a place where the presence of God dosnt exist. My brother ask any christian around you, using myself as an example, if God is to remove my free will and take me to heaven i will be very happy, understand that free will dosnt make you, it is a gift to choose, if you choose GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART then you be with him eternally. All these things you are saying is misusing the gift of free will, i wish God will remove that free will from me so that i will not be tempted to chose hell, devil made his free will and the angels in heaven made there choices and now both are where they are eternally, God does not want you to be with Him in heaven when he knows that if you have a choice that you will not be with him there, just know that we have free will to choose between God and the devil, for me i choose to be with God and i wish God will even remove that free will so that i will be with Him eternally in bliss as i was created to be. why will i bother my self with people who made there own choices, it was there choice and not God’s choice, they chose not to be wit God and God respected there decision so why will i not be happy in heaven, please lets stop allowing the devil to confuse us, Hell is real and so is HEAVEN. it is also your free will that will make you chose to believe this truth i just told you or to throw it away, its your choice. GOD LOVES YOU

          6. Patrick Gannon

            Thank you for your thoughtful response Echezonachukwu, but I respectfully disagree with most of it. You started with one of the biggest absurdities told by believers: “God dosnt (sic) send people to hell, people send themselves to hell,” No sane, rational human being is going to “choose” to go to Hell, as most people understand it. That’s the most ridiculous assertion one could ever put forth, but Christians say this all the time. It’s ludicrous and non-believers laugh at your naivety. It’s like choosing to send myself to Middle Earth in the Shadow of Mordor. How do you send yourself to a place that you don’t think is real? It’s like choosing to believe or not believe in unicorns and fairies. The same amount of evidence exists for them, as exists for heavens and hells, gods and devils. NONE.
            How can I send myself to a place I have no reason to believe exists? If it turns out that this being and this place do exist, He can’t say that I chose to send myself to Hell, because I had no way whatsoever of knowing that this Hell thing was real – and besides, it isn’t what the RCC tells us it is, because their Hell in the Catechism is Gehenna, which they refer to as a place of punishment by fire. Gehenna, however was the Jerusalem town dump. It was a real place, but it’s long gone, and in any event, anyone with a half a wit could see that Jesus was speaking allegorically. If you learn a little about history, you learn that being thrown into Gehenna was the ultimate insult for a Jew, instead of getting a proper burial. They took it as the metaphor for destruction it was intended to be. Same with Hades (brother of Zeus and Poseidon). Hades was also translated to “hell” and it was a pagan place that was taken metaphorically by the people who lived at that time. Centuries later, Dante and Milton helped turn Hades into the Hell we think of today – the Hell represented in the images that they always use to accompany articles like this – people in fire. If you say there is no fire in Hell, why do the people who write these articles and supposedly represent the Church, always use pictures of people being roasted in fire?
            It seems you are rejecting the idea that Hell has anything to do with fire – read your catechism:
            “1034 Jesus often speaks of “Gehenna” of “the unquenchable fire” reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost.614 Jesus solemnly proclaims that he “will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,”615 and that he will pronounce the condemnation: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!”616

            1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.”617 The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.
            It’s become unfashionable for Christians to talk about fire in Hell, and a greater emphasis has been put on “separation.” Are you aware that psychologists say solitary confinement may be the worst torture we can inflict on human beings? If by “separation” it means I get to “sing with the sinners” and we’re all together to party and brag about our sins – then that’s cool. I don’t really like Bible God based on His actions in His book. Separation from a being that spitefully orders genocide and destruction willy nilly strikes me as a very good thing. I really don’t understand how anyone who has read the OT would want to spend eternity with the psychopathic killer, Yahweh.
            As for the free will discussion – we will have to wait for science to tell us whether free will is real or an illusion – just like consciousness. The evidence to date does not support either, as anything but a product of the brain. “You” and “I” may not really be communicating here; our brains might be, and they are, perhaps, giving themselves the illusion of the “you” and “I” that both of us experience. I can recommend books on this subject if you’re interested in learning real science rather than superstition. Whether free will is real or not, the fact that you would give it up so willingly, places you with serfs, slaves and chattel, rather than proud, bold, striving human beings. Enjoy life on your knees in servitude to celibate men in robes, if you choose, but recognize that you have already given them your free will. If some God exists and really created me, I’m going to do Him proud and be what I am and be it in style, and if He exists, I suspect He will prefer that to the subservient masses that refused to think for themselves, and who cowered instead in guilt, fear and shame.

        2. Francis Reply

          All the Best to you Alonso! This sinfull world needs a smart but “God Fearing” person like you.Hope you become a Priest someday and teach the children of tommorow make choices according to the Will of the Lord. Always remember that “Blessed are those who don’t see and yet Believe, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs”.

          1. Alonso

            Thank you Francis for your kind reply. My faith and love for God has deepen beyond my human comprehension. I am so ready to enter a seminary and live out my vocation for Christ so that one day I can teach children my age about the “Love of God” and how great and majesty his love is for all of us. I pray the rosary every night for anyone who has lost their faith in Christ or who does not love God and deep inside my heart I feel an unimaginable love that I never knew existed on this planet, My parents have asked me to describe what I feel and I cannot. I only share that its bigger than the love they have for me. I cannot find words to describe the joy, peace, love and security that I feel upon finishing every rosary. I feel God’s love. I have had dreams of the blessed Mother coming to me. The blessed Mother of God is so beautiful and she tells me things that I cannot remember when I wake up, I don’t know why. I just remember her smile and her love. Please pray for my vocation and I will have you in my prayers as well. Love Peace and Joy to you Francis – I hope it is ok to call you by your first name I don’t see a last name

  6. Oliver Garcia Reply

    I, too have wondered about this and came to a surprising conclusion. But first, a caveat. I am not a theologist or a bible scholar. I am just a lawyer and I am in no way operating under the illusion that what I speak is the binding to anyone and that people should believe it.
    I imagine heaven as being with God. It does not matter where it is or what it looks like and what I will have while being in it. Being before God, in all His majesty and splendor is heaven for me. And why not? He created the universe and what could possibly happen to you (in a bad way), what could you possibly want more or what could you possibly fear if you are with God. All of your fears, wants, needs, anxieties, hurts and all the stresses that you experience on a daily basis will no longer be valid because you are before God who created everything. While praying the rosary and meditating, I imagine what it will be like if you are there before God Himself in heaven, meaning before his physical presence. Try it. But it has to be with a conscious thought that you are before the One who, by merely willing it, created the universe. I even imagine it kneeling and adoring him the whole time. It occurred to me that I could spend eternity there doing exactly that. I would not need to see a pearly gate, clouds and cherubims or beasts, both wild and tame, cavorting with people or an endless buffet. Why would I need those?
    Hell on the other hand is exactly the opposite. A place where God is not present. Not because He cannot go there but rather simply a place which He reserved for the damned or those who did not or refused to seek Him in life. “You refused to seek Me when you were alive, you might as well stay in a place where I will not be at”, I imagine God as saying. That alone is hell. Again, no need for real “fire”, “boiling oil” or parched earth. This is because such gruesome scenes are meant to inflict physical pain. Physical pain is a product of the physical body addressed to the mind. You feel pain to signal the brain that your body is in danger and that something has to be done to save it. But remember, you are already dead. Thus, there is no more need for pain to signal your body that it is in danger of dying. Since in hell God is not there, the “pain” which will be felt for all eternity is the emptiness and the longing for God. As an opposite to the condition while you are in heaven as described above, all of your fears, anxieties, sorrows and horrifying things that either plague you or you hear of daily when you were alive, multiply them a thousand time, will torment you. And the most painful thing about that is that God is not there to save you. It is similar when you are having a nightmare. You are tormented with pain and fears but your body is actually not in pain or distress. The helplessness that you feel despite the things that you do to save yourself while having a nightmare seems all too real. But this time it is not a dream and multiplied a thousand times. The demons who are there to torment you and stoke your fears are all too real. All the horrors that you could imagine and more are there to assault you. You call out to God to save you but He will not come. This is for eternity. The description that there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth and being boiled in burning oil does not even come close.
    An interesting side note was the comment made by Patrick about not being “you” in heaven because you do not have “free will” and that there is no hell. I am not a linguistic or bible expert so in the debate about foreign words and their archaic meanings, I will not troll into because I am o.k. in what I believe in and said so far. With respect to the matter of free will there is a marked difference of opinion in the real meaning of free will. Free will for Patrick seems to refer to the freedom to do whatever you want, good or bad, right or wrong. I demur. Free will is the freedom to do the right thing. If you did the bad or wrong thing, you are not free because there is that one malaise, addiction, instinct, obsession, craving, disordered desire or worse, demon that made you do it. Thus, if free will is the ability to do the right thing, then how is it contrary to the will of God, who is all good, all holy and all right? In fact, the real reason that you are standing before Him in heaven is because you have done the good thing and the right thing because you used your free will.
    With that, I come back to the original question: How could you be happy in heaven if you worry about your loved ones who might be in hell? It is a valid question in light of the above description. In meditating upon this question and imagining myself in heaven before God, a question was asked of me: would you be happy if only your loved ones are saved? who among your loved ones? All of them? Some of them? The ones on your left? or your right? how about those who you merely like? or those you do not know personally? or those you dislike? In all of these, before I could answer, a realization dawned upon me: If this is how I think, then I do not deserve to be in heaven. God desires that EVERYONE is saved. Unite your will with His and He will take care of the rest.

    1. Patrick Gannon Reply

      Oliver, it seems to me that you have accepted slavery, and thrown away all that you were born with. You would throw away the wisdom to be a lawyer, to write intelligently, to ponder the difficult questions – just so you can kneel at the feet of a God who could save everyone if He wished to. You say that those going to Hell deserve it because they did not choose God; but billions of people never even heard of your God, and many were born with critical thinking skills that would not permit them to believe in your God because of the overwhelming lack of evidence and all the errors and contradictions in his so-called holy book.
      As for God not being present in Hell, I thought He was omnipresent? As for there being no real pain – read the Catholic Catechism – they still call for bodily pain in hell, as best I can tell. Your body will be reassembled or otherwise reconstructed so that it will feel pain – that’s my current understanding of the doctrine. What good is fire without a body to burn? See:
      “1034 Jesus often speaks of “Gehenna” of “the unquenchable fire” reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost.612 Jesus solemnly proclaims that he “will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,”613 and that he will pronounce the condemnation: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!”614
      1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.”615 The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.
      The catechism is pretty clear that we get bodies after we die. The fire does not sound allegorical in the catechism. Irregardless, this view is not supported by the Bible. Gehenna was the town dump. Look it up. Jesus was clearly speaking allegorically, and in almost every reference to Gehenna, he is trashing the clergy and not talking to common folks. Everyone seems to forget that Jesus spent more time discussing the evil of the clergy, than just about anything else. Look up the word that was translated to “eternal” and you’ll find that the Church mis-translated that word as well. We’ve all been lied to and misled by the Church, and the word of that is spreading quickly and the RCC isn’t quite sure what to do about it; hence the hemming and hawing of recent popes over the nature of hell. If Bible God really gets His panties in a wad because we don’t believe, say or do the right things, or mess up as humans and harm each other (how can we harm God?), then why not just destroy us? That would be the humane thing to do. Would you take a rabid dog and throw it into a pit of fire, or would you simply shoot it? God would opt for the pit of fire, if we are to believe the RCC.
      What of those who were indoctrinated into other faiths? They have as much power over their ability to believe in Jesus, as you do to believe in Muhammad’s flying horse. What of those who used the talents – the skills and gifts God gave them such as intelligence, rational thought, critical thinking, logic, etc. and these tools tell them that there is zero evidence for gods or afterlives. They deserve to be punished for all eternity (that word is also mistranslated), simply for acting in good conscience? You have turned your god into a monster. Genesis says, ‘the man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.’ We all know that the concept of eternal torment is evil. No human deserves that for any crime whatsoever. Do we really think an all-powerful God, if such exists, really needs a place of torment in order to get satisfaction because a mere human failed to believe the right thing because God hid all the evidence? That’s evil in my book.
      Free will does not necessarily mean the ability to do anything I want, but it means I can think whatever I want. To me it means the ability to have control over my thoughts. If my thoughts are controlled such that I am blind to the suffering of others, then I don’t have free will – I’m something or someone else. I won’t have memories I can draw on – unless God puts them there; I won’t care about the folks in hell because I’ll be a zombie, and I’ll be wired to kneel next to you and worship an all-powerful being that should have no need or use for such servitude. I just can’t imagine that if there is a god, it is so trite as to need or want you and I to kneel before Him in submission for all of eternity. If we were created in the image and likeness of God, then we are created to be independent and free. God is not a slave, and neither are you and I.
      If God is real, and if He desires that all be saved – then of course he could do that; but what would the RCC have to frighten us with if they take away Hell? If everyone is saved, who is going to fill the pews and coffers for the Church? This is the same problem with evolution, which has done away with original sin. The RCC has to have all this fear if they are going to stay in business. They seem to have little regard for the damage that fear does to innocent children century after century, as long as it results in more little Catholics to fill the pews.

  7. Me Reply

    I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;

    And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light, true God of true God; begotten, not made; being of one essence with the Father; by Whom all things were made;

    Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from the Heavens, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man;

    And was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried;

    And arose again on the third day according to the Scriptures;

    And ascended into the Heavens, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father;

    And shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; Whose Kingdom shall have no end;

    And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life; Who proceedeth from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the Prophets;

    In One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

    I confess one baptism for the remission of sins.

    I look for the resurrection fo the dead,

    And the life of the age to come. Amen

  8. nerilyn d hinautan Reply

    Diary of St.Faustina the Divine Mercy Apostle.her testimony about hell..

    1. Patrick Gannon Reply

      You mentioned the “visions” (delusions) of Sister Faustina’s Vision of Hell, which sounds a lot like what I was taught as a kid. Of course any being that would impose such punishment on a mere human for any reason, for all of eternity, is vicious and evil beyond measure, but let’s say Catholic God really is the most unimaginable monster ever conceived of, and that’s exactly what He does. Let’s take this back to the original post, which asks, how one can be happy in heaven if their loved one is thrown into Sister Faustina’s Hell. If you knew something like this was happening to your spouse, your child, your parent, your best friend, because they didn’t believe the right thing, how could you be happy? Unless you’re a complete psychopath, you couldn’t be happy, could you? So what has to happen in order to make you happy? Bible God has got to wipe your mind of any memory of that loved one, or remove from you any compassion, love, or mercy that you might possess. Once that’s done – you are no longer you, and might as well be the “zombie” that I referred to in my first post here.

  9. Carol Reply

    I guess I just wonder why someone who so adamantly does not believe in God would spend so much of their time on a Catholic site. I don’t go find atheist’s pages to argue with them. Go join a group with similar beliefs of your own….unless you’re here because something down deep wants more, something is telling you to seek and you shall find.

    1. Patrick Gannon Reply

      Why do so many Christians hang out on atheist sites, trying to convert them? Are they, deep down, seeking something more? Perhaps; or maybe they feel “called” to what they see as missionary work. Religionists are allowed – even compelled – to evangelize, so why not non-believers? Speaking for myself, I prefer “agnostic” because the only thing any of us knows for sure, given the complete lack of objective, empirical evidence, is that we don’t know if there are gods or afterlives. We just don’t know. However, other people who benefit by it, tell us what we should believe in their god, and in the case of the RCC and many other Christian denominations, they use the tools of guilt, shame and fear in order to get us to do their bidding. In days gone by, they used the additional tool of Islam – the metaphorical sword.
      I was born and raised a god-fearing Catholic and as a result lived a lot of my life in relative mental misery. If anything I say can spare another adult or child that angst, then “I am called” to do what I can to counter Iron Age doctrines, that are contributing to the very destruction of our world. The thing is, I do come to sites like this to debate – I prefer that term to “argue,” but as you can see, most people don’t respond to the points I raise – they simply attack or question me personally. It is my hope that some people follow up on my suggestions – research Hell and and how it came to be understood as the picture displayed at the top of this article, through the art of intentional mis-translation. Learn how the RCC embraced the visuals and concept of Hell put forth by Dante’s Inferno and Milton’s Paradise Lost, and understand that none of this is biblical, and to believe in this Hell, is to make the biggest monster possible out of Bible God. Stick your arm in the fire from a lighter and leave it there till it smokes and spits and hisses, then imagine that over your entire body with the outer skin constantly replaced with new skin from below (what I was taught about Hell as a kid) – now imagine that happening to your child because they grew up to believe the wrong thing. Now tell me you can enjoy being in heaven while this is happening to your loved one. The only way that is possible – circling back to the original point of the article – is if you are no longer who you are now. Your memory has to be wiped clean. Any memory of your loved ones has to be erased, or every scintilla of goodness, mercy and compassion has to be removed from whoever it is that you will be in heaven, if you are to be content with a loved one being tortured for eternity.

  10. wacoi Reply

    Patrick Gannon I think you are here to distort and instill disbelief. You are hunting for people to join your disbelief disguised as intelligent free will and science and facts which you twist and true many who are not firm may follow your reasoning but God will enlighten his people to see beyond your intelligence to what it really is.

    1. Patrick Gannon Reply

      wacoi, you didn’t challenge anything I said, and you didn’t address the topic of the discussion. Tell me what I distorted, and if I made an error, I will acknowledge and try to correct it. I am not here to “instill disbelief” but to question belief. I don’t think beliefs are healthy because they require that we lie to ourselves. If we “know” something, we don’t have to “believe” it, therefore believing something is lying to our brains, which know that we don’t know about gods and afterlives, for example.
      What are your thoughts on the topic at hand? How can you be happy in heaven if someone you love is in one of the four Hell’s? How could you be happy if you were a woman who had a miscarriage, knowing that your child was in Hell – or even the unofficial Limbo? How could anyone in heaven be happy, seeing all the religious hate in the world? God would have to turn you into a zombie, and apparently that’s what He does, given that there is no free will in heaven (Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven). The only way to be happy in heaven, if you are a decent person, is to be a zombie, as best I can tell.

  11. Christine Reply

    We cannot box up God into our limited capacity as humans; we are invited by Him to experience that He alone is enough, and neither our sufferings nor celebrations can be carried with us to heaven in the same way we experience them on earth. To prepare ourselves for heaven would be to let go of our earthly desires and attachments, trust God, that He knows each of our heart’s deepest desires. Unlike here on earth, only God could finally fill us with contentment.
    Do not to be afraid for our loved ones, but continuously pray for them. As we should for our neighbors tempted by doubt.

    As added debate in the comments, Yes we all do have critical thinking, and free will, that is why believers don’t consider themselves as blind followers. Sometimes i have been visited by doubt too, but God reveals himself to us in personalized experiences, in His perfect timing. I cannot say the church of God is perfect because it is composed human individuals too, but God is perfect and knowing & experiencing His love is the ultimate goodness and purpose of the institution. We cannot judge the lives of our brothers, our task is to sypmathize with them through prayer. God will hear us.

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