Hell, Cosmic Fairness, And The Ethic Of Love
But What About Hell and God? What About Cosmic Fairness?
Step 1 of 12 – Preliminaries:
In our shared experience we have our collective mixology of a sense of Irreducible / Cosmic Fairness laced through with a sense of Irreducible / Cosmic Grace and therein a narrowed T.O.E. which is in fact top heavy with the Judgement of Forgive-For-They-Know-Not presses through. It is there (…among many other foci…) where our Non-Theist friends reveal their own betrayal of the paradigm they mean to defend as they reveal a very Christian-esque set of demands upon “reality”. Any Cosmic System of ethics which is top-heavy with anything other than irreducible / cosmic indifference at reality’s “rock-bottom” is – for obvious reasons – troubling for Non-Theism of any kind (…which includes Buddhism’s appeal to an elemental substratum radically different than love’s irreducible contours amid Self/Other…)given that such ontic-ends are inaccessible to any such paradigm. The concept of “the convertibility of the transcendentals” weighs in there through the pure force of logic but will be largely left to the side in this brief discussion.
“You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It’s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that as you sow, so you will reap” stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff…. [ …..] …But I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I’d be in deep s—. It doesn’t excuse my mistakes, but I’m holding out for Grace.” (Bono)
Is love the highest ethic? That question focuses on the convertibility of the transcendentals such that the rational is in fact seamless with the moral there at the end of all possible “ontic-voyages”. Does an enlightened society believe any one part of the syntax in the sentence “love is the highest ethic“? Or does an enlightened society instead love something other than irreducible veracity and thereby truly believe in, say, something akin to a kind of equivocation or perhaps a kind of noble lie or perhaps a kind of “cosmically-induced autohypnosis” baked into us through this or that genetic/epigenetic meme?
Step 2 – Preliminary Discussions:
It is unfortunate that in these discussions with our Non-Theist friends, not always, but quite often, it turns out that *if* we remove eternal conscious torment (…commonly abbreviated ECT…) and employ (…instead…) Christendom’s segues into annihilationism or Christendom’s segues into universalism or Christendom’s segues into conditional immortality then our Non-Theist friends, after making quite an emotive storm demanding Cosmic Fairness as their non-negotiable metric of truth, inexplicably just drop all of that “non-negotiable” claim-making and all of that “metric of truth” claim-making (…as if it was all a pretense… perhaps…)and, then, simply shrug and, then, employ some sort of softened version of “…okay you got me…“, and, then, move on to some other location on the floor of the stock-exchange busily trading-away love’s timeless – and irreducible – metaphysic.
Where love itself is concerned and where the highest ethic is concerned, such being self-giving love, it is the Non-Theist’s painfully necessary metaphysical reality that all his own explanatory termini are constituted of tediously complex self-negations amid ultimately fictitious “As-If’s” ending in the pains of metaphysical elimination immersed within autohypnosis wrapped up inside of Noble Lies and as such factually fail to do the necessary “ontic-work”. With respect to (…actual, metaphysical, cosmic, ultimate…); fairness, and justice, and injustice, there are very important differences of course (…and that work will have to be done further downstream…), but, the only players with ANY possible claim to rational (…actual, metaphysical, cosmic, ultimate…) resolution of evil, of injustice, of unfairness, are:
[A] Hell defined as ECT (hence Christianity)
[B] Universalism (hence Christianity)
[C] Conditional Immortality (hence Christianity)
[D] Hinduism (not Spinoza’s pantheism for many reasons, and not Buddhism’s equivocation upon Naturalism)
[“D” has much which needs unpacking but that isn’t the main focus here.]
Now, whatever player wants to claim a seat at the table, nothing can change the necessary moral landscape of what is needed here, namely the non-fictitious, irreducible Good, and specifically the sort which obligates reason herself in her proper role as truth-finder to chase after love’s categorical means and ends (…lest reason be factually / ontologically *un*– reasonable should she chase after – or claim – some other contour….. contra Hume…).
Paradigms and/or explanatory termini which ultimately annihilate “Cosmic Fairness” just won’t do. In short, removing Hell defined as eternal conscious torment (…removing [A]….) from the Christian’s metaphysical landscape (…easy enough to coherently do, hence many have…) won’t change the Non-Theist’s painfully obvious problem of fictitiousness in all fronts dealing with love and ought-love just as such won’t change the Non-Theist’s obvious problem of his own moral and intellectual disingenuousness in his claim-making demanding cosmic fairness.
Step 3 – Truth and Truth Metrics:
Two valid concerns emerge in that question. First, that of ECT / Eternal Conscious Torment vis-à-vis Cosmic Fairness and love, and secondly, the Non-Theist’s horrific ethic of 51%/49% where love is concerned, which usually manifests thusly:
“You know, honestly I have crossed the 51% / 49% threshold ratio of helping others and the idea of eternal conscious torment for leading what is overall a good life sums to a set of claims that is simply void of the word “fair” and the word “just”. That’s my honest sense of things.”
[We will – here in this brief discussion – leave to the side the various defenses of and criticism of eternal conscious torment (ECT) and simply reference the book, “Four Views on Hell”, Second Edition (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology), by Preston Sprinkle (Editor), Denny Burk (Contributor), John G. Stackhouse Jr. (Contributor), Robin Parry (Contributor), and Jerry Walls (Contributor).]
Again, all of this is a valid concern which many have. So let’s start well before ECT and journey towards ECT and those other segues mentioned in our preliminaries:
Love only at 51%? Okay. Let’s go with “that” demand of “*But* I have crossed the threshold of 51% and *therefore* love ought, now, sort of “kick in” as it were…”
That is very concerning given the horrific ethic it is actually resting upon. We love our own beloved regardless of any such math. How do our Non-Theist friends not know that? With our own beloved we love them in and through both their sickness and their health, in and through both their best moments and their worst moments (….quite unlike the landscape which the horrific ethic of this scale of “51% / 49%” forces us into….). How do our Non-Theist friends not know that?
On love, while God is not blind we in part are such that in our marriages we who know in part find that the groom is blinded by love and desires the beloved regardless of her worst, and rightly so, for such is love. How do our Non-Theist friends not know that? Even further we find that the peculiar God of whom we speak, the Infinite Knower, loves the beloved (…the Adamic…) regardless of her worst – for such is love. How do our Non-Theist friends not know that? That question is asked *because* every bit of our own undeniable experience within love and every bit of observational reality and every bit of the peculiar God of whom we speak just forces that undeniable fact upon us.
There is no cunningly devised set of smoke and mirrors here: interface amid Self/Other – that is to say – amid Groom/Bride – that is to say – amid God/Man – that is to say – amid Weddings simply come down to love’s proposal and to what the beloved volitionally chooses to love in the light of day.
Step 4 – Two Paradigm’s Respective Ethical Rock-Bottoms:
We have to ask ourselves if we believe in, love, and value Fairness as a metric of truth because it is The-True and The-Beautiful. The question is not whether or not we value justice and fairness. Of course we do. That’s not the question. The question is in what sense? Whence the ontological singularity which sums to Perfect-Mercy-Perfect-Justice? Do we in fact value Cosmic Fairness as an actual truth-metric such that any paradigm which finally, at some ontic-seam somewhere, annihilates that metric is ipso facto found to falsely interpreting reality?
With respect to ECT it is the case that from antiquity internal discussions within Christendom have segued into other robust conclusions (…as listed earlier and so on…) and yet still our Non-Theist friends make two moves which are quite bizarre: First, they knowingly reject the truth-metric under review and embrace as their own primordial ethic a frightening affirmation of Cosmic Unfairness as such relates to love’s informed and volitional motions amid Self/Other (…as opposed to embracing cosmic fairness and logic’s lucidity…). Secondly, on top of that they too often add a horrific layer of ascribing to love that fateful moral landscape of only “really kicking in – for real” once the math of 51% has been traversed vis-à-vis our beloved.
Those two moves are both revealing and unfortunate.
Step 5 – Moves and Possible Motives:
We have all suffered at the hands of something akin to unfairness. We have seen and known and tasted, simply by living, many of the horrific contours of unfairness and of love’s antithesis of that within the contours of fairness and even further in the contours of grace/forgiveness. It is at such a juncture where we ask our Non-Theist friends that, given that they are free and informed, *why* do they so often – being as informed as they are – freely choose to chase after the antithesis of Cosmic Fairness as such relates to Truth and to Reality? Such is asked because even given the absence of eternal conscious torment our Non-Theist friends STILL reject Fairness as a valid truth-metric with respect to interpreting reality.
It is peculiar because our Non-Theist friends know and see and taste the contours of Fairness and Unfairness and STILL they freely embrace as their own primordial ethic all the horrific contours of Cosmic Unfairness as such relates to love’s informed and volitional motions within the proverbial interface amid “Self/Other” The question is why? Whether our own doxastic experience freely evades the truth of “ABC” or not, “ABC” is actually the case, and what is “ABC”? It is, apparently and unfortunately, the fact that some folks knowingly and freely embrace that horrific primordial rock-bottom of Cosmic Unfairness with respect to all things ethical. They in fact do not count Fairness as a Truth-Metric with respect to interpreting reality. Not really. Again the question on the table is simply why that is the case – what possible motive could fuel such a free and informed decision?
The bizarre: Some – quite horrifically – knowingly and freely choose to believe in and value Cosmic Unfairness and even reject Cosmic Fairness as an actual – ontological – truth metric. Now, to whom little is given, little is required. Many are a bit beyond the proverbial boy in Tibet who cannot read. Some are informed and in the light with respect to what they choose to love regarding actual / ontic Unfairness / Fairness in any true end. To whom little light is given – little can-be/is required…..To whom some light is given… some is required… To whom much light…much. The boy in Tibet who cannot read finds quite a different window wherein his own life interfaces with those same Divine Contours of The-True and The-Beautiful, but it seems that, perhaps, our Non-Theist friends in far too many of these discussions are not exactly that boy given the fact that the contours of Love’s Proposal meet them within quite another sort of window.
Step 6 – A Proposal ≠ A Wedding
The short version:
Any proposal of love that isn’t free amid “Self/Other” just isn’t a trinitarian love. While it is the case that Universalism is necessarily possible (…given the volitional nature of love vis-à-vis Christianity’s trinitarian metaphysic…) even as in seamless lucidity Universalism is not necessarily actualized (…given the volitional nature of love vis-à-vis Christianity’s trinitarian metaphysic…). Given, that is, the Decree of Imago Dei. We have to be careful about our definitions because all of “that” of course is the metaphysical landscape of love’s Proposal. Which is necessarily going to be irreducibly different than the metaphysical landscape of love’s Wedding. Which is necessarily going to be irreducibly different than the metaphysical landscape of a Birth. Conflating and/or equating one landscape for another isn’t going to give one the definitions specific to the uniquely Christian metaphysic.
Step 7 – The terms “un-evangelized” and “under-evangelized” arrive:
Of course every person will hear, see, know the Truth under review. First of all, in a moral landscape populated by conscious beings created on the Decree of the Imago Dei it is impossible for moral interfaces to “not exist“. Think about that. As in:
“….Of course, what counts as regarding God as one’s ultimate end requires careful analysis. Someone might have a deficient conception of God and yet still essentially regard God as his ultimate good or end. One way to understand how this might go is, in my view, to think of the situation in terms of the doctrine of the transcendentals. God is Being Itself. But according to the doctrine of the transcendentals, being – which is one of the transcendentals – is convertible with all the others, such as goodness and truth. They are really all the same thing looked at from different points of view. Being Itself is thus Goodness Itself and Truth Itself. It seems conceivable, then, that someone might take goodness or truth (say) as his ultimate end, and thereby – depending, naturally, on exactly how he conceives of goodness and truth – be taking God as his ultimate end or good, even if he has some erroneous ideas about God and does not realize that what he is devoted to is essentially what [theists] call “God.”
Hence the earlier statement of: First of all, in a moral landscape populated by conscious beings it is impossible for moral interfaces to “not exist“.
As for the Means to “The Good“, well, what does Scripture say is the necessary and sufficient? A man’s faith in A or B or C? No. Not at all. The Aqueduct (…faith…)isn’t the Living Water, isn’t Christ. Many are strangely adept at confusing Aqueducts for Water in many settings hence that clarification. It’s clear from Scripture’s definitions that neither Time nor Circumstance nor the death of the physical body nor the presence/absence of missionaries factually constrain the reach of *GOD* with respect to communiques vis-à-vis Christ/Salvation.
At that juncture – either pro or con etc. – it’s not clear that anyone can say more than that. Scripture has examples of God/Grace outreaching all such combinations and permutations.
Think about what that fact does to “definitions and terms”.
That said, what *is* clear is the TRIO of  God’s intent and therefore decision with respect to Mankind – or the beloved – vis-à-vis His Own Self-Outpouring for/into the beloved – or Mankind – or, as some say, “the Adamic”, and  the fact that the degree of His intention / decision there is matched by the reach of His chosen Means, namely Himself, namely the All-Sufficient, and  the obvious fact that as God intends in  and therefore reaches in  all that is left is this: Will God fail in His reach vis-à-vis the Adamic, vis-à-vis every-man?
In fact we can even say, given the nature of both time and timelessness, that in and by Christ He already completed, finished, the communique in question with respect to every-man. It’s not like Abraham or the Native American Indian got some sort of a free pass. Animal sacrifices won’t do. Nor will obedience. Nor is Faith enough for faith is merely the Aqueduct through which the Living Water pours. None of it is enough. Why? Because *only* an All-Sufficient Means will do. Centuries of being underexposed to the light cannot change Scripture’s affirmation of the fact that God has overlooked the sins of those centuries and has now come near, in and through Christ, such that that “over-looking” does not sum to a free pass but rather to the intent to reach and the ability to reach and the fact of reaching those same sins in those same centuries which – obviously – interfaces with the individuals in question.
In Lucifer’s Heaven (…which will not be the same as the Adamic’s Heaven given the distinctions forced by the Decree of the Imago Dei…) Lucifer in fact properly confesses, and knows, and believes, and in fact knows correctly and in fact believes correctly, yet such is still not the proverbial “enough” for there is still the volitional being who still volitionally – not necessarily – withholds love’s reciprocity, and therefore has “nothing but” what others have referred to as the “Isolated Self” or as the “Pure I“. So too in like manner (….Scripture tells us….) every-man will at some ontological seam somewhere know, confess, see, comprehend, and therein interface with and intentionally trade pro/con with Truth with respect to (….as A-T metaphysics and Christianity in general often reference God…) “The Good” or “The Beautiful” (…on the one hand…) and one’s own self (….on the other hand…). All men at some ontological seam somewhere interface with the only (…logically possible or necessarily…) All Sufficient Means available. Nothing less will do with respect to *Means* because nothing less *can* do.
Step 8 – A Trio of Facts from The Judge:
When the Judge with Whom we have to do speaks, we discover a trio of facts:
Fact 1: He shouts from high atop His Bench all the affairs of Forgive-For-They-Know-Not, which of course concurs with God’s “overlooking” and “coming near” as alluded to earlier wherein His reach is not limited by either Time or Circumstance. We begin to find a pattern there (…and of course elsewhere…) that volitional, free, and informed motions are where lines emerge vis-à-vis  love’s proposal and  weddings.
Fact 2: God’s “intent” or God’s “free decision” to Atone/Redeem – or His Decree – with respect to Mankind – or with respect to the beloved – vis-à-vis His Own Self-Outpouring for and into the beloved – or for and into Mankind – is all layered on top of the fact that the degree of His free decision – His Decree – is matched by the reach of His chosen Means, namely Himself, namely the All Sufficient. A. Stanley comments that, “….if someone dies *for* you then they are *for* you….” and God’s demonstrated Decision – Decree – along with God’s demonstrated Reach *cannot* permit some lesser, more tame, less radical “Gospel” than that of Mankind vis-à-vis Every-Man.
It’s uncanny that the fact of Universalism’s “ontic-possibility” cannot be otherwise just as the fact of Man’s free and informed volition inside of love’s relational contours cannot be otherwise. Whereas, Universalism “compelled” just is the reverse of a subtype of Hyper-Calvinism in that each claims that God *forces* the annihilation of that which He Himself has in fact Decreed – which sums to absurdity. It is necessarily the case that the bride-to-be and the groom-to-be factually *can* freely marry, just as it is then necessarily the case that their marriage does not “have to” occur. It seems on all counts that the beautiful freedom called Permanence necessarily entails love’s proposal and as such “Man” necessarily (….given the necessity of love’s proposal….) awakes to find himself before Two outward facing Doors (….whether in Eden or in Privation, but that’s another topic…), before [A] love’s whole amid self/other or else [B] love’s privation within the isolated self.
The short version: Trinitarian processions within love’s timeless reciprocity cannot be otherwise with respect to the fundamental nature of the Imago Dei. Christianity alone has the wherewithal amid self/other to make that necessarily the case. It’s part of the beauty of the content within the term “triune”. It is part of the beauty of self/other in an ontic singularity as that alone dissolves tensions which no other paradigm can.
Fact 3: We come here to the obvious fact that as God intends in His free Decision – in His Decree – and (therefore) as God reaches into Time and Physicality to *do* as He Has Decreed – as the syntax of Incarnation subsumes Time, Physicality, and the Adamic to their bitter ends we are forced to ask this: Will God fail in His reach vis-à-vis the Adamic, vis-à-vis every-man? Obviously not. Insufficiency (or the Adamic) cannot know life but for those immutable and timeless means. Of course, that is true whether Insufficiency (or the Adamic) is found inside of Eden or outside of Eden – hence Two Trees or Two outward facing Doors populate the matrix of both Eden and Privation. Decrees cannot be otherwise – cannot be thwarted.
Step 9 – Why Preach?
As for the Command to go about the world Truth-Telling, to be busy telling folks about the Good News of Christ – about love’s timeless reciprocity – four things:[A] Truth-Telling is good.
[B] Love’s self-giving is the highest ethic hence the veracity of the Trinitarian metaphysic presses in.
[C] With respect to Ethics, see [B]. With respect to [B], see [A].
[D] Truth-Telling with respect to reality’s highest ethic is, after all, a Command. Therefore: Preach to all men everywhere.
There is only one genre on planet Earth which has offered Mankind a coherent metaphysical wellspring of all ontological possibility. It is the genre wherein God Himself pours Himself out. Creation is not needed here because of course in Trinity such timeless reciprocity amid love’s self-giving constitutes those Trinitarian processions which are themselves that wellspring of love’s self-outpouring mentioned at the start.
Self-Giving with respect to “Being Itself” forces our hand. The “term” / “definition” with respect to “GOD” thereby referents… well… what? It referents nothing less than the immutable love of the Necessary Being vis-à-vis love’s timeless and self-giving diffusiveness of the Ontic-Self in totum.
“…..the cross of Christ does not determine the nature of divine love, but rather manifests it, because there is a more original outpouring of God that – without needing to submit itself to the order of sacrifice that builds crosses – always already surpasses every abyss of godforsakenness and pain that sin can impose between the world and God: an outpouring that is in its proper nature indefectible happiness….” (D.B. Hart)
That’s the proverbial umbrella beneath which all other definitions in fact live and move and have – obtain – their “being”.
Step 10 – Non-Theism’s Rejection of Fairness and Embrace of Unfairness:
Where love itself is concerned and where the highest ethic is concerned, such being self-giving love, it is the Non-Theist’s painfully necessary metaphysical reality that all his own explanatory termini are constituted of tediously complex self-negations amid ultimately fictitious “As-If’s” ending in the pains of metaphysical elimination immersed within autohypnosis wrapped up inside of Noble Lies and as such factually fail to do the necessary ontic-work. On (…actual, metaphysical, cosmic, ultimate…) fairness, on justice, on injustice, there are very important differences of course (…and that work will have to be done further downstream…), but, the only players with ANY possible claim to rational (…actual, metaphysical, cosmic, ultimate…) resolution of evil, of injustice, of unfairness, are:
[A] Hell defined as ECT (hence Christianity)
[B] Universalism (hence Christianity)
[C] Conditional Immortality (hence Christianity)
[D] Pantheism via the Hindu (not Spinoza’s pantheism for many reasons, and not Buddhism’s equivocation upon Naturalism)
*IF* our Non-Theists friends actually believed what they are saying about good, evil, justice, and injustice – and cosmic fairness – *THEN* they would be a Christian in, say, the Universalist arena, or else they would be a Hindu, or else they would be in the Christian’s Conditional Immortality arena (…we’re leaving [A] aside as it’s the Non-Theist’s supposed contention…). We need not waste our time with other names for Philosophical Naturalism, such as “Buddhism”, nor with Spinoza’s Pantheism (…for other reasons not unpacked here…), given that Buddhism, summing to Naturalism, necessarily inherits all of PN’s metaphysical baggage, while Spinoza’s pantheism brings other sorts of baggage.
But instead our Non-Theist friends believe “in” and “by” and “of” mutable and contingent normative ethics whereby both in history and in conscience all sorts of evils have been, not tolerated as in Sinai given the fact that Sinai is not God’s Ideal for Mankind, but, rather, said evils have in fact been condoned by the only available stopping points in all such appeals.
Therefore, trying to take the Non-Theist seriously when he shakes his fist with clenched teeth ranting about his “concern” over cosmic fairness is difficult if not impossible.
Before going further with the topic of Cosmic Fairness and [A] through [E] and the Non-Theist’s apparently feigned “concern” over “Cosmic Fairness”, let’s pause and offer a suggestion for our Non-Theist friends who jump into this arena of Cosmic/Ultimate Fairness or Goodness: Try being honest. What does Non-Theistic intellectual honesty look like? Well, like the following five quotes:
“The lack of an ultimate objective scientific grounding for morality can be worrisome. It implies that people with whom we have moral disagreements—whether it’s […insert any evil here…] or schoolyard bullies who beat up smaller children—aren’t wrong in the same sense that it’s wrong to deny Darwinian evolution or the expansion of the universe….But that’s how the world is.” (S. Carroll)
 “Hume was right. We have no objective guidance on how to distinguish right from wrong: not from God, not from nature, not from the pure force of reason itself….Morality exists only insofar as we make it so, and other people might not pass judgments in the same way we do.” (S. Carroll)
 “– Tis not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger. -Tis not contrary to reason for me to choose my total ruin, to prevent the least uneasiness of an Indian or person wholly unknown to me. -Tis as little contrary to reason to prefer even my own acknowledg’d lesser good to my greater, and have a more ardent affection for the former than for the latter.” (Hume, Treatise of Human Nature 22.214.171.124)
 “Morality is just a matter of emotions, like liking ice cream and sex and hating toothache and marking student papers. But it is, and has to be, a funny kind of emotion. It has to pretend that it is not that at all! If we thought that morality was no more than liking or not liking spinach, then pretty quickly it would break down. Before long, we would find ourselves saying something like: “Well, morality is a jolly good thing from a personal point of view. When I am hungry or sick, I can rely on my fellow humans to help me. But really it is all bull___t, so when they need help I can and should avoid putting myself out. There is nothing there for me.” The trouble is that everyone would start saying this, and so very quickly there would be no morality and society would collapse and each and every one of us would suffer. So morality has to come across as something that is more than emotion. It has to appear to be objective, even though really it is subjective. “Why should I be good? Why should you be good? Because that is what morality demands of us. It is bigger than the both of us. It is laid on us and we must accept it, just like we must accept that 2 + 2 = 4.” I am not saying that we always are moral, but that we always know that we should be moral. Am I now giving the game away? Now you know that morality is an illusion put in place by your genes to make you a social cooperator, what’s to stop you behaving like an ancient Roman? Well, nothing in an objective sense.” (Michael Ruse)
 “Pressing on through Alex Rosenberg’s The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, we come to Rosenberg’s treatment of morality. Followed out consistently, Rosenberg says, scientism entails nihilism. As Rosenberg is keen to emphasize, this is not the same as moral relativism or moral skepticism. It is not the claim that moral truth is relative, or that it is real but unknowable. Nor is it the claim that everything is morally permitted. It is a far more radical and disturbing claim than any of these views. Nihilism, as Rosenberg understands it, is the view that there is no such thing as being “morally permitted” or “morally prohibited” in the first place. For there is, given Rosenberg’s scientism, no intrinsic value in the world of the sort that is necessary for morality to be intelligible. Morality — not just commonsense or traditional morality, not just religious morality, but allmorality, morality as such, including any purported secular, liberal, permissive morality — is therefore an illusion.” (…from http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/02/reading-rosenberg-part-vii.html etc…)
Step 11 – Valuing Fairness As A Truth Metric – For Real:
One can find intellectual respect for Hindus or Universalists (Christian) or the Conditional Immortality folks (Christian) who approach “Hell” or “Ends” from their respective directions (….we’re leaving eternal conscious torment aside because it can be done as tension exists either way and because it’s the Non-Theist’s supposed contention…). However, the approaches which the Non-Theist uses in his tired rants on this topic are tediously unthinking. When Atheists attempt this move with Hell it is painfully revealing of their own gross unawareness that they are in fact praising […insert any normative construct…] within their own normative ethics and hence cannot possibly believe in cosmic fairness, nor cosmic injustice, nor cosmic justice, nor that fateful moral bedrock of “The True” for the express truth metric one needs in order to traverse such an ocean is in fact, at the end of the day, freely and knowingly rejected. They then (…therefore…) necessarily embrace as their own primordial ethic a frightening affirmation of Cosmic Unfairness as such relates to love’s informed and volitional motions amid Self/Other (…as opposed to embracing cosmic fairness and logic’s lucidity…). Secondly, on top of that they too often add a horrific layer of ascribing to love that fateful moral landscape of only “really kicking in – for real” once the math of 51% has been traversed vis-à-vis our beloved.
The logical failure of Non-Theism in general when it tries to get into this arena is not only blindingly obvious, but what the Atheist actually ends up conceding, and embracing, is just embarrassing.
Therefore: We invite our Non-Theist friends to choose between [B] through [E].[A] Christian A — Volitional Hell [B] Christian B — Conditional Immortality [C] Christian C – Universalism [D] Hindu’s Pantheism
*IF* one believes in fairness, *THEN* one affirms that fairness is a valid truth-referent. Therefore we need only sit and wait for our Non-Theist friends to choose between B, C, D, and E (….we’re leaving [A] aside because we can and because it’s the Non-Theist’s supposed contention…).
*IF* one does not believe that fairness is a valid truth-referent, *THEN* one will not choose B, C, or D (….we’re leaving [A] aside because it can be done as tension exists either way and because it’s the Non-Theist’s supposed contention…).
But, on point of fact, the Non-Theist too often in these discussions doesn’t believe in actual, ontological, irreducible fairness. In which case he and the Christian certainly, absolutely, have a radical difference in what they believe given that the Christian absolutely believes in fairness. Clarification: fairness, that is, in a few senses as, actually, grace from us to one another and grace from God to us is by definition *un*–fair (….but that’s another topic dealing with All-Sufficiency’s self-outpouring and Insufficiency’s self-acquiescence, and so on….).
Step 12 – Closure and Coming In From Out Of The Rain:
Everybody understands (…hopefully…) that the Hindu and Christianity’s various interior discussions have important differences. They do matter. However, that is not the point here.
Rather, the point is on two truth claims: “I believe in fairness and cannot believe in an unfair Ultimate Actuality. God being, of course, ultimate actuality.”  “Because I believe in fairness, fairness is *therefore* (…since we are not speaking of the fictitious here…) *necessarily* a valid truth-referent such that whatever paradigm truth testifies of will find that fairness just does remain intact – ad infinitum.”
The options are, truly, limited. Finer nuances can be worked out later, once we are well within the walls of what we know houses fairness. For now, the point is simply to get ourselves into something which approximates truth where fairness is concerned, and, thereby, to test the premise of our own claim that we must have fairness. Indeed, that is an interesting arena once inside. The interfaces among Hinduism and Christianity’s various internal discussions are light years ahead of the uninformed premises/conclusions put forth by our Non-Theist friends.
The Non-Theist is (…factually…) forced to live some sort of phosphorescing vapor as it is all a sort of “As-If” approach to reality – as in: We speak As-If so and so is true. We argue about so and so As-If we speak of ontology and not of the ultimately illusory. We try to act As-If so and so isn’t fundamentally fictitious. We run about the stage pretending As-If *fairness* actually does serve as an *actual* truth-finder such that our Non-Theism couldn’t possibly be true but still the same our Non-Theism must be true. We argue against the only possible metaphysical landscapes capable of housing ontic, irreducible, actual fairness As-If fairness testifies against them rather than against our own Non-Theism.
Upon spying all of that confusion from Non-Theism’s paradigmatic termini, the Christian rationally affirms the following:
I reject Atheism / Non-Theism. Why? Because….UNFAIRNESS!
The Non-Theist replies: “Bah Humbug! Just because something isn’t palatable doesn’t make it untrue! What sort of truth-test is THAT! Bah Humbug!”
What was that? Truth tests? Palatable? Unpalatable does not mean untrue? Huh? Isn’t that what the Christian has been telling the Non-Theist all along? Perhaps there’s hope after all.
Fairness, being an actual truth-referent, leads Reason as truth-finder into only two shadows cast by only two umbrellas as alluded to earlier (Christianity or Hinduism). Once within said shadows, well there is more work to do of course, but not until one is in from out of the rain can one begin to do such work.
Scripture’s Lack of Logical Compulsion Into Eternal Conscious Torment vs. Universalism vs. Conditionalism
With respect to http://disq.us/p/1xov9eg and that lack of logical compulsion there is the following observation of the painfully obvious:
Eternal or Non-Eternal wrt “The Afterlife” per Scripture?
There’s no logical compulsion (in Scripture) into “Most” or “Some” or “All” or “Eternal” or “Non-Eternal” or Etc. (…as per http://disq.us/p/1xov9eg …).
But of course there is a reason God provides no such logical compulsion in His Communique with respect to those vectors, and that is because there is no such compulsion forced upon Adam/Man. In short Scripture/God got it right. That simply comports with the fact that Universalism is necessarily possible but it is not necessarily actualized (…given the volitional nature of love with respect to Proposal v. Groom and Reply v. the Grooms Beloved and so on as described in other comments…).
 …we won’t find a logical compulsioneither into or out of “eternal” / “non-eternal” just as…
 …we won’t find a logical compulsioninto “almost everyone” / “almost no one”, and, also…
 …we *do* find convergence of all sorts of lines there.
Our Non-Theist friends Flip-Flop by first opining “It’s All Eternal Conscious Torment” and then when pressed on that they flip-flop to “Omnipotence should have made it all clear on the Afterlife! Why didn’t He make it clear?!”
Also, even if our Non-Theist friends find those ever-present (…within Christendom…) umbrellas of Conditionalism or Universalism Etc. they still try to rationalize and affirm some sort of final, cosmic, irreducible Indifference over final, cosmic, irreducible Fairness and/or Grace. So why all the emotive heat? Well who knows. One cannot “explain” the move to reject seamless lucidity and embrace contradiction & absurdity
With respect to that lack of logical compulsion see:
See Labeling Love as Asinine at http://disq.us/p/1xv6v4f
See Children In Hell? Huh? at http://disq.us/p/1xu8j5f
[*Note* if Disqus links land at the top of a page ore pause rather than jumping to the target comment try right clicking and opening in a new tab. Also once there try scrolling and/or refreshing. They should land on specific comments.]
A few references of essays followed by meandering threads in comment boxes which may be of help are, perhaps,  http://www.str.org/node/42356#.WSPrI2grJPa which is STR’s “Paul’s Solution to the Problem of the Unevangelized Is the Gospel”, and, perhaps,  http://www.str.org/node/42493#.WSPq5GgrJPZ which is STR’s “A Gospel without Final Judgment Is Not the Gospel”.