Phil 330 Term Paper

Submitted By jzhengx
Words: 1315
Pages: 6

Question 4 Based on the traditional view of eternal damnation, everyone is judged upon his or her death. The judgment one receives is based on the choices they make throughout their life. If they make the right choices, they will be rewarded with entrance into Heaven to live alongside God. If they make the wrong choices, however, they are damned to Hell to suffer eternally. The problem with this view of eternal damnation is that the determining factors are seemingly unfair. Without enough epistemic facts, one is forced to choose between various different religions and beliefs, some of which revolve around God, some of which don’t. Even deciding not to make a choice is making a choice – a choice not to believe in God. This traditional view creates two problems: (1) that God delivers unjust punishments to those who choose to sin, regardless of how little evidence they have about what choices they should make, and (2) that God may be unloving of his subjects. Seeking to defend the traditional view of eternal damnation, Murray evaluates two models of hell that Christians commonly endorse, which he calls the penalty model and the natural consequence model. As he analyzes objections to each model, Murray concludes that the best defense for the traditional view of eternal damnation is a combination of the two, a hybrid model. The penalty model presents an idea that all humans who are guilty of sin must pay a penalty, and so are punished with spiritual death. However, since Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, those who accept him do not have to pay the penalty. The natural consequences model presents an idea that on Earth, all humans are given libertarian freedom. The decisions that one makes throughout their life will dictate whether they’re a self-lover or a God-lover, which in turn dictates their after-life. The hybrid model takes a combination of these two ideas. All sinners must pay a penalty, but Christ’s death pays the penalty for those who accept him. Those who do not accept Christ naturally become self-lovers and are forced to pay the penalty upon death. Murray believes that this solves the problems presented by the traditional view of eternal damnation. It provides an aspect of freedom to individuals – the freedom to choose whether or not they accept Jesus Christ – which then correlates to the result of them becoming a God-lover or a self-lover and their ultimate fate upon death. If one makes the incorrect choice and does not accept Christ, they will naturally become a self-lover and face the penalty. The result of this penalty is what makes the aspect of freedom in choice meaningful. By not providing solid proof of his existence, God is allowing all humans to exercise a real, meaningful freedom of choice. The traditional problem of evil focuses on the moral and natural evil in the world that God fails to prevent. Lewis, however, argues that there is another problem of evil that is often neglected. Divine evil, as Lewis refers to it, is the problem that God perpetrates evil. By condemning people to Hell for eternity, God is punishing his subjects with an infinite amount of pain and suffering which could not possibly be equivalent to any amount or type of finite sins the person could have committed throughout his life on Earth. According to the scriptures, this is a common occurrence as most people are sent to Hell. With this in mind, God appears to be a divine dictator of infinite evil, not a loving father of his subjects. In response to Murray’s defense of the traditional view of Hell, Lewis would probably provide several points discussed in his writing regarding freedom. First, Lewis discusses the theological tradition. Under these traditions, God offers salvation to all, but does not provide the capability to accept salvation with an open heart and mind to all humans. Secondly, many may not ever have the opportunity to accept salvation. The conditions of the environment that one is born into and resides