The Problem of Hell

Introduction

There are two versions of the argument: Omnibenevolence and Omnipresence

The omnibenevolent version of the argument can be formulated as follows:

P1. God sends people to hell forever for what they have done on earth

P2. God is omnibenevolent

P3. An omnibenevolent being would not send people to hell forever for something they have done on earth

C1. Therefore the concept of hell is contradictory

C2. Therefore God does not exist

The omnipresence version of the argument can be formulated as follows:

P1. God sends people to hell

P2. Hell is a place away from God

P3. God is omnipresent

C1. Therefore the concept of hell is contradictory

C2. Therefore God does not exist

Analysis of the omnibenevolent version

Regarding P1, Joseph Smith taught the following:

A man is his own tormenter and his own condemner. Hence the saying, They shall go into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. The torment of disappointment in the mind of man is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone” 1

With this in mind, also in Latter-day thought God does not send people to hell forever. D&C 19:6 says:

it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment.

Analysis of the omnipresence version

In Latter-day thought God himself is not omnipresent because he has a body. 

D&C 130:22 says:

The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.

Conclusion

Both forms of the argument are not relevant to Latter-day thought and are more aimed at the Philosopher’s God.

  1. TPJS, p. 357[]