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Do Non-Believing Children Go To Hell?

Many Christians talk about non-believers being tortured for all eternity in Hell by their all-loving deity. This is when I like to ask them if non-believing children go to Hell to be tortured for all eternity. I get a variety of answers on this one and they are all comically funny for atheists.

First I get the extreme answer: “Yes, children who don’t believe in God go to Hell to be tortured for all eternity and that is why it is so important to spread the message of Christ to everyone.” I actually don’t have a problem with this answer logically, but let’s face facts here. That is not a moral answer. Those who hold this opinion are saying in no uncertain terms that children should be tortured… for all eternity no less. This answer shows just how morally corrupting religion can be because these people who express this opinion believe they are good moral people and yet they believe that children should be tortured!

The second answer I get from Christians is the non-committal answer: “I don’t know; that is for God to decide.” But just a moment ago this same Christian was telling me that non-believers are going to be tortured for all eternity in Hell and now they don’t know if children go to Hell or not? Here we have a case of conscience meeting dogma. Christians like this have no problem telling non-believing adults that they will go to Hell, but even they realize that torturing non-believing children for all eternity is wrong. But they don’t want to take a side. “Children might go to Hell and that might be okay, but that is for God to decide.” Let’s put it in another context. “North Korea might be torturing children and that might be okay, that is up to Kim Jong-un to decide.”

Finally, we have the third answer from the more apologetic camp: “No, children don’t go to Hell. The Bible lists multiple passages which can be vaguely interpreted to tell us that God will not torture children, ever!” Here we have people of conscience and intellect who realize that torturing children is wrong and that morality is not just God’s will (although they won’t admit the latter). So because they know torturing children is wrong, they will re-interpret any verse they can find that vaguely mentions children to show that God wouldn’t torture children. But the fact is that it doesn’t really matter what the Bible actually says, it is the answer of their conscience that tells them that torturing children is wrong.

So how does our conscience know that it is wrong? Because we empathize with a person being tortured and we empathize with children who are defenseless. Based on our empathy, our compassion as human beings tells us that torture is wrong and torturing defenseless children is that much more wrong. Doing it for all eternity is just extra special wrong. It isn’t some vague Bible verse which needs to be understood in the light of some other vague Bible verse that tells them that children shouldn’t tortured for all eternity in Hell, it is a sense of human decency.

The Bible could flat out state that non-believing children go to Hell and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference to these apologeticists. “That verse must be interpreted in the light of verse X and only applied to person Y in the special case because of situation Z.” The apologeticist can turn any verse completely on its head if it doesn’t fit with their view.

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  • Rst Beyer

    Doesn’t the Bible say that children were(at gods command) mauled by a bear for making fun of a prophet?

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    According to Cardinal Pell, only Hitler (et al) are in Hell. Everyone is ‘blinded by the light’ upon death, and finally accepts God. Hell is for punishing the baddies, because our world must have a sense of justice.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tD1QHO_AVZA

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