How can Heaven exist if we know that people in Hell will suffer?

I think the question is okay. Might need a little work, especially clarifying a preferred opinion to answer with, but it is still good and belongs on the site.

I am very disappointed in the answers.

It seems everyone* has given their sort of opinion answer. "I interpret these scriptures like this" or "this is how I cope with this, having been an atheist" or "this is what comforts me" or "the RCC Catechism says" when it's not even a Catholic question, although, at least that last one has the merit of demonstrating that it is the official opinion of a denomination.

I think the problem is that people will naturally upvote the answers they agree with rather then the answers that best answer the question, which we are supposed to avoid, right?

I nearly downvoted one because I didn't like what it said. I don't want to do that. This site is better then that and we need to restrain ourselves from witnessing for Him lest we forget Brothers, we are not Christians‼ Rest easy about lost opportunity though; I heard our brother, Alypius, say in chat that if you point to truth they will eventually find Truth. I agree.

*Except me, of course, but I'm biased. Maybe mine is no good, too. Let me know. Maybe I'm out of line and your answers are good. Downvote accordingly.

  • 2
    I figured the question was going to be closed so I'd just get my 2 cents in. That's probably not the right thing to do, but oh well.
    – Peter Turner Mod
    Feb 25, 2013 at 22:44
  • @Peter I've done it too. I think it's perfectly fine. But ultimately I think this question will not be deleted.
    – user3961
    Feb 25, 2013 at 23:48

2 Answers 2


The question is talking about a certain type of objection to the idea of heaven. An appropriate answer will explain traditional Christian responses, will cite relevant works, or will provide interesting novel and non-heretical explanations.

  • Peter's answer is good beacuse he mentions C.S. Lewis (non-Catholic), the Catechism (which is in this case a useful demonstration of tradition and in line with other denominational views) and then another source.
  • David Morton's answer is good from a Christian perspective (only issue for me is that it seems to imply that the love of Christ might cause us to stop loving others).
  • David Stratton's answer clears some things up, and lists sources, which is good. Not sure if "we just don't know" will satisfy the atheist question-asker, but it's true and should be mentioned.
  • My answer says what Jesus said. Wasn't sure why no other answers mentioned this, since He devotes so many parables to the relationship between the saved and the lost. Then, without speculating on heaven, I tried to point out situations on earth where you sort of don't feel bad about bad things, which I think answers the question by establishing possibility.
  • I think your answer misinterpreted the question, which is asking us to assume that hell does exist and that the asker will go there, and that the mother will go to heaven. It lists various minority views that I think are unrelated to the question.

I don't wholeheartedly agree with all the answers, but they are generally fine in my view, and I haven't voted down, though I do think yours misses the mark a bit. Yes, people will vote up/down answers they don't agree with, but your question doesn't really get into that general issue, but seems to be saying "are people being biased in this particular question?". No, I don't think they are.


Honestly, why does it matter how people vote?

This gets us to the purpose of this site to be honest, and how well we are actually able to achieve that purpose.

As far as I can tell this site serves the purpose of giving people answers to their questions about Christianity and doctrine. We do all right on doctrine and not so great on Christianity in general because there is no general case Christianity.

If we could control the way people voted we'd always want them to upvote the right answer. And in lieu of a right answer, maybe the best answer. But ultimately, SEI has given the right to decide the best answer to the person who asks the question (don't bother trying to have this removed, it's been suggested and rejected, rightly so I might add).

Voting is inherently a private act, and act of a person's conscience. We don't require comments with downvotes for this very reason. We also don't reveal who you upvoted. We keep voting in very strict confidence (not even moderators can see who voted on specific posts).

That said, I don't think complaining about answers on meta is particularly constructive. The solution to a question with bad answers is to downvote the bad answers, commenting where appropriate and, if the spirit leads, post your own answer. Nothing is really accomplished by this post from what I can tell. What were you hoping to accomplish?

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