Thursday, February 24, 2011

Previsions of Hell

I'm currently reading The Brothers Karamazov, where there is much angst-driven discussion between two of the brother, the atheist Ivan K. and monk Alyosha K. on how to reconcile cruelty and suffering on earth with the injunctions of Christianity to forgive all. This set me imagining the following discussion with a fundamentalist priest (we have such here in Wells).

"Do you believe that terrorists such as Al Qaeda bombers will go to Hell?"

"Yes, they certainly will."

"And do you believe that they will suffer there eternal torments?"

"Such is stated in The Bible, the Word of God."

"And will such torments be worse than waterboarding?"

"We cannot know, but the fire is surely worse than we can imagine."

"So it cannot be wrong for the Americans to subject such a one, destined for Hell, to a little preliminary torment, especially where it's in a good cause - information to help preserve the innocent?"

"Such torture is evil and morally unjustifiable. The Church condemns it."

OK. Got that then.