Why Do JW's Believe that Hell is Symbolic When the Disciples of the Apostles believed it Was Literal ?

by Sea Breeze 128 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze
    If we know that a physical body is required to feel physical pain, then that should give us a clue as to what hell isn't.

    I don't understand your point. Are you suggesting that a person's soul cannot feel pain after death?

    Please explain your logic/point.

  • Vanderhoven7


    "a physical body is required to feel physical pain"

    Tell that to the rich man and the billions of human beings alledgedly burning in Hades as we speak.

  • BoogerMan

    @ SEABREEZE - In your thinking/belief, do you think that anyone who's suffering in hell will have the option to ask this god of eternal pain and suffering to destroy them outright, in order to end their horrendous torture?

  • Halcon

    I don't understand your point. Are you suggesting that a person's soul cannot feel pain after death?

    Please explain your logic/point

    Correct, in order to experience physical pain a sentient being must have a physical body. This is logical. It is the creation of the nervous system that allows for this. You must have one to feel different temperatures for example, or pleasure or pain.

    God, Jesus, angels, demons are never described as getting physically old, arthritic, ill , dying of old age etc. Why? Because they are not human beings.

    In fact, the scriptures very logically explain that in order for non-human beings to experience physical things they MUST first materialize into flesh and blood. The angels did it in order to experience sex with women. Clearly they couldn't have sex unless they were actual men. Jesus FIRST had to become a physical man before being able to spill his physical blood, not symbolic or spiritual blood.

    This means that non-human beings are actually limited in what they can experience. Which means that God does not blur the line between a human being and a spirit being. You are either one or the other.

    The scriptures tell us that a spirit being, a demon for example, can still feel abandoned by God. They can feel regret, hatred, jealousy, even lust...or an angel like Gabriel who can feel respect and love, admiration. These are emotions of the figurative heart. The scriptures clearly show however, that in order for them to feel pleasure or pain, they must FIRST become human.

    Note also how God actually condemned the angels that materialized into men for sex. This emphasized God's distinction between spirit and human bodies and demonstrated specifically that the human body is no less legitimate.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Destroy means "to preserve" according to some. And apparently we are all invited to fear the one who knows how to preserve body and soul in endless torture.

  • TonusOH

    I would certainly fear someone who was capable of doing that, and showed an inclination to do so. Would anyone truly be safe?

  • Vanderhoven7

    Yes, Jesus died for the whole world and God is not willing that any be "tortured for eternity" but apparently he is simply unable to draw people to himself to prevent this.

    Something doesn't make sense with this scenario.

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    When the rich man's soul was in Hades, Jesus, said was tormented by the flame.

    A non material soul can experience torment without actually burning physically, because there is nothing physical to burn.

    To be consistent we can say that a soul is tormented by the flames of hell while not actually physically burning in the flames.

    This is far more something to fear that just physical burning because unlike something physical, the soul can’t be burned up…. The torment is perpetual, without end, for eternity.

    Would anyone truly be safe?

    All whom trust Jesus are not only safe but inherit everlasting life and peace as an inheritance because of being made a son of God, not because they earned anything.

    God is doing a work where only those that want him will experience his unimaginable goodness.

    For those that don’t want him, they experience his everlasting wrath as payment for their sin and indifference to Life.

  • TonusOH

    Sea Breeze: God is doing a work where only those that want him will experience his unimaginable goodness.

    But 'goodness' is defined by god, not by us. What if god decides that goodness involves eternal suffering? This would not be wrong, or bad, or immoral on his part, unless you suddenly became the arbiter of such things. Why would you trust that he would act according to your expectations? You admit to being a lowly sinner who cannot earn the rewards he offers, who deserves only damnation. Would god be unjustified if he decided to rescind the reward and give you your just desserts? How?

    If good/bad or right/wrong are entirely at god's discretion to determine, then you have no reason to expect anything specific from him. If you feel you are safe because god would never go back on his word, that he would never lie or decieve, you must be assuming that these are bad things. But they're not, if god decides otherwise. What basis is there for expecting that god will act a specific way?

  • Vanderhoven7

    Was it the rich man's literal tongue that was burning? Would literal drops of water soothe his tongue?

    Time to recognize the account of Lazarus and the Rich Man is fictional.

    My contention is that the literary form of Lazarus and the Rich Man is satire, or more particularly, a parody, there must be clear evidence that:

    a. A common or "well known story line is being imitated".

    b. irony is employed; that the story’s outcome is changed such that there is clear “incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the expected result”

    c. the unexpected results "highlight human stupidity" or corruption.

    d. "a comic end is served", the purpose of which is to cause listeners "to detach sympathies from certain people (groups), to judge their actions and to see the absurdity in their behavior…

    Satire can be defined as “biting wit, irony or sarcasm used to expose vice or folly...”.

    And good satire never fails to inspire “laughter, contempt, or horror as it seeks to correct the follies and abuses it uncovers”.

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