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JenniferP's avatar

If you were a parent would you teach your kids a lesson by putting their hand in fire?

Asked by JenniferP (2113points) December 2nd, 2012

That would be considered child abuse. Yet many believe that God punishes sinners in Hellfire. Shouldn’t we expect that he would be better than us? We always hear of how loving he is. Is that loving?

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26 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

Isn’t this essentially the same question you asked here?

glacial's avatar

Yes, what’s the real deal, @JenniferP? You keep asking the same questions, about hell and the trinity… yet I get the distinct impression that you have your own mind made up about these questions. It all seems like a passive-aggressive attempt at proselytizing.

JenniferP's avatar

Is there a rule against bringing up the same subject on different occasions? If there is I won’t do it? I guess I don’t know how many people use this site. If there are a lot then I consider it okay to broach the subject because there may be a different audience. As far as “passive-aggressive proselytyzing” you’ll need to clarify that. How do you judge that I am being “passive-aggressive”?

glacial's avatar

I’m not aware of there being a rule against asking the same question more than once. I am asking if you are genuinely interested in an answer to the question – are you? Because to someone who tunes in, reads your question, and tries to thoughtfully answer it in a way that might be helpful to you… and then finds that all you wanted to do is disseminate your own view (i.e., not ask a question, but provide an answer), this seems disingenuous.

Perhaps that is not what you are doing at all – which is why I ask. But it does look a little peculiar, after the third or fourth question about the same religious question. Particularly when the existence of hell and the trinity are a couple of the more important distinctions between your religion and other Christian religions.

If you are actually searching, then I’m sure lots of people here will want to try to help you find an answer.

JenniferP's avatar

glacial-I didn’t know that the questions had to be about finding answers for yourself. I thought that they could be rhetorical or a way to open a discussion. Don’t most people that put out religious or political questions on here pretty much already have their own opinions already? Or don’t a lot of them? I suppose I could read the other questions and see if they are strictly looking for answers because they don’t know something. I will do that.

glacial's avatar

@JenniferP I guess that will have do for an answer. For what it’s worth, I am not trying to pick a fight with you, I am genuinely wondering if you are undecided on these issues.

JLeslie's avatar

There is some sort of rule about asking the same question too close together. Duplicates may be removed

To answer this question though, I would never out my child’s hand in fire, and I don’t believe God would either if He exists.

Pandora's avatar

I suppose it would all depend on what you go to hell for. How many of us haven’t wished that a child abuser would burn in hell for eternity? Your comparison is not even close. There is the difference of being an abusive parent. Your child is alive and innocent. However a grown adult who does something horrible is a different. Could those who have witness the horrors that Hitler did really wish him to be cradled in God’s kingdom? Yes, we are suppose to not wish someone like that harm but if he were in Hell, many people would not think of God as evil but as just. Now if you burn in hell because you cheated on your taxes, well that would be a different story. Ok, an exemption to that may be Donald Trump. LOL
Personally, I believe hell is never being anywhere near God. Cast away for eternity. Not so much fire. More like your soul burning with deep despair.

JenniferP's avatar

glacial-No I am not undecided in my views. I am not “looking” for answers. However, people can say things that make me think. No one will convince me that there is a Hell, but they may convince me to adjust my communication style. So I will consider what you have to say. Anyway, I don’t believe I asked any questions on this subject recently. But I will stay away from it for awhile.

JenniferP's avatar

I read the guidelines. They say that questions can “prompt a discussion.” That is what I did.

Pandora-I wouldn’t want anyone, even a child molester to burn forever. And there are some who think that people will go to Hell for simply picking the wrong religion.

glacial's avatar

@JenniferP Thank you. I appreciate your candour.

Pandora's avatar

@JenniferP Well I certainly couldn’t be that forgiving if I was God and saw and heard an innocent child being tortured, raped and killed. But then again, I’m not God so I really don’t know what are his limits or even if he does send people to hell or maybe he simply deletes their souls.

wundayatta's avatar

God is a character in a novel. He is an abusive character. Why on earth people are willing to do things based on his character is probably hard to understand. But since God is based on human character, and this is the kind of things humans have been doing for millennia, and so we expect to see it in the character we are supposed to admire.

The retributive and and vindictive and frankly, idiotic God is based on an old way of thinking. He doesn’t know shit about modern day parenting techniques. But he’s old school and a lot of people don’t know any better.

cookieman's avatar

No, I would not do that. As for god, I don’t know – but if I ever meet him, I’ll be sure to ask.

kitszu's avatar

I was raised in some combination of Catholic, Lutheran, Evangelical. When I was 13 I asked myself if this was the kind god I wanted to serve. A vengeful, jealous cruel god. Twice baptized, once born again, and my future adult said ‘NO!’. Even terrorized by ‘the end is near’ and ‘if you arn’t a born again christian’ movies (young as I was, I still believed they were real), I didn’t want any part of that crap. What part of a ‘merciful god’ jibs with all that crap in revelations?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Oh sure. God and me are both awesome. We both make good decisions like that.

kitszu's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir What? Not following.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@kitszu Joke. I’d never do that to my kids. That’s however, unconnected to what god is or isn’t doing.

kitszu's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir No, I just meant I wasn’t following the meaning of your response.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@kitszu I know, I was joking.

cazzie's avatar

@kitszu Sarcasam translates badly in type written form in short answer formats. @Simone_De_Beauvoir was being sarcastic

Social anthropology and what we know of historical cultures who believed the underworld was made of fire goes a long way to explain the belief of a Hell and how it eeked its way into the bible and how it has been interpreted, especially in the Roman Catholic church, who was trying to convert its many gods (substituted Saints) and long held beliefs (Hades, being the place and god of the underworld) It is, of course, all fairytales for small minds and children. I have been reading Grimm Fairytales to my son and find myself changing some of the truly nightmarish parts. They were written to provide moral lessons so that children could learn values like, generosity, cooperation, don’t be vain, tell the truth, etc. I think it is great that kids hear the stories, but ONLY in the context of fiction and morality tales.

ucme's avatar

I’d certainly toss the bible into a roaring fire.

Mariah's avatar

No, no, no, no, no, NO.

This would be horrific child abuse, and justifying it with “well god does it” is a terrifying leap of logic.

Children are not sinners, they are children. Burning anybody, sinner or not, is cruel and sadistic.

JenniferP's avatar

Pandora-I am not saying that God doesn’t deal with unrepentent sinners and that they aren’t punished. I just don’t believe it is by torture. I believe the “dead are conscious of nothing at all.” Ecclesiastes 9:5. They are in the grave (Hades and Sheol) awaiting a resurrection, not burning and in pain. I believe that fire in the Bible is symbolic of eternal destruction. So the ultimate punishment for wrongdoing (if you don’t repent) is death. You don’t get the reward of salvation.

Rarebear's avatar


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