Well, I return the favor, of showing the squallering brat that he is, in demanding so many take his codswallop seriously. But why should they? In the end 'Satan' is a mythical confection, actually one invented originally by the Mithraists, but stolen by Christians in order to account for apparent sin in the world....oh, and also to run 'Hell'.
"Hell" is likewise a fantasy creation of deformed minds. Sadly, its assorted promoters and Elmer Gantrys aren't even able to see the very possession of such a vile doctrine puts them in league with blasphemers, assuming a God actually exists as they describe It ('infinite, all loving, omniscient, omnipotent etc.)
Philosopher Alan Watts ('Behold The Spirit') has aptly noted that any true belief in 'Hell' would amount to the grossest blasphemy against any divinity alleged to be infinite or omnipotent. As Watts puts it (op. cit., p. 244):
Taken literally as a doctrine of everlasting torture, 'Hell' amounts to blasphemy itself- for if it were in the power of human freedom-choice to produce a consequence of this kind there must be something radically diabolical in the order created by God, and in God himself. Such an interpretation may vindicate human freedom but at the cost of demonizing God.
IF "God as infinite" is taken literally, this can only mean there is no place where he isn't. Either he is infinite or not infinite. If he is infinite, and HELL also exists, then Hell must be part of the same infinity. It cannot be isolated from it or else we have a condition where Hell is apart from God's being. In other words, the Xtian Hell mongers are identifying God with HELL! Hence, they are identifying all "Evil doers" in the cosmos with God and putatively "Satan". In a word, this is insanity! So, we have these ineffable logical conclusions:
1) EITHER - Hell exists but GOD is not infinite.
2) GOD is infinite, and Hell must exist WITHIN God, so literally GOD IS HELL
Up to now, no fundie or evangelical has been clever enough to resolve the Hell-God=infinite paradox. There could be two reasons: 1) none of them is smart enough to do it, or 2) they know deep down in their little atavistic pea -brains that the paradox is logically insoluble because their assumptions are in error. (Or, just as bad, they allow the blatherings in an ancient book to trump the importance of examining the assumptions.)
Thus, if they want to preserve their "Hell" they will have to admit their God isn't infinite. If they demand God to be infinite, they will have to jettison their "Hell'. If one grants that "infinite" means extended to or pervading all of Being then there is literally no place left where - whatever it is- doesn't exist.
Hence, if applied to "God" it means all inclusive of reality. However, IF Hell is inserted, it contradicts the proposition by adding a separate entity which limits that which is already claimed "infinite". Thus, if Hell is asserted to exist and is claimed to be "eternal" then God cannot be infinite. If God is maintained to be infinite - meaning all inclusive of Being- the only conclusion is that Hell must be a part of God's Being!
Now, let me grant that the odds are none of these idiots, despite their hellfire screeching, have the necessary IQs to deal with the preceding ...so let's go more into their "territory": i.e. their bible-punching and quoting.
In truth and fact only Matthew 25:46 makes any mention of eternal punishment: (“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal".(KJV)) This is the only place in the entire Bible where we find these two words (everlasting and punishment) together AND only in some Bibles.
For example, the Weymouth New Testament has:
"And these shall go away into the Punishment of the Ages, but the righteous into the Life of the Ages."
But my point is that the entire concept of eternal or everlasting punishment hinges primarily on the single verse of Matthew 25:46. Now let's look at it more closely! Again, this is where an acquaintance with Greek comes in handy!
The Greek for "everlasting punishment" in Matthew 25:46 is "kolasin aionion." Kolasin is a noun in the accusative form, singular voice, feminine gender and means "punishment, chastening, correction, to cut-off as in pruning a tree to bear more fruit." Meanwhile, "Aionion" is the adjective form of "aion," in the singular form and means "pertaining to an eon or age, an indeterminate period of time." (Note: the two words in many, not all translations become reversed changing the Greek into English.)
Many people unfamiliar with Greek, as they are with Latin (i.e. Sippy cup hell monger Mike) don't realize (as with the preceding case of "Aionion" vs."aion," that the endings of the same word change, i.e. inflection) to indicate its mood, case, gender, etc. Therefore, "aionion" may appear with different endings. "Aionion, aioniou, aionios," for example, are all different inflections of the adjective form of the noun "aion."
Ditto, in the case of Latin, one might see: fructus (nominative case), fructui (dative), fructum (accusative) and fructu (ablative) and for which meanings can range including for 'fruit', 'profit', 'enjoyment' and 'benefit'. Once again, when one has no acquaintance with the underlying language, one will tread dangerously close to self-deception and this is the case here for Matthew's hellfire verse!
Now, further background: The noun "aion" in Greek literature (e.g. Iliad, Odyssey) has always meant "an indeterminate period of time. " It could be as short as the time Jonah spent in the belly of a whale (three days or nights), or the length of a man's life, or as long as a very long age - say the "age of Socrates".Critical examination discloses the Bible speaks of at least five "aions" and perhaps many more. If there were "aions" in the past, it must logically mean that each one of them have ended! When one uses terms such as "past", "present" or "future" he's no longer referring to anything that's everlasting because the latter concept admits of no temporal distinctions! The New Testament writers spoke of "the present wicked aion" which ended during that very generation. Obviously then it was followed by another "aion"-e.g. the "aion" in which we presently live, which will be followed by a future aion.
The point? If there are "aions"past, present and to come, it must mean that aions don't last and the one we live in will also end. Thus, these "aions" are in no way never-ending or everlasting.
There are also verses describing "the consummation of the aions" (from which eons is derived) showing that each "aion" (nee, eon) ends, hence again can't be eternal! Why is it the hardheaded, blustering fundies don't get this? That they can't or won't distinguish a finite from non-finite amount of time? Well, maybe because they never took Greek or Latin!
Other notable examples:
"the coming eon" (Matt.10:30, Luke 18:30)
"the present wicked eon" (Gal.1:4)
"the oncoming eons" (future) (Eph.2:7)
"the conclusion of the eon " (present) (Mt.13:39,40)
"the secret concealed from the eons" (past) (Eph.3:9)
Obviously, the Greek word "aion" transliterated "eon" cannot mean "eternal." A study into the Greek of the Biblical period and before will bear this out. Thus, Matthew 25:46 which embodies the Greek, "kolasin aionion", cannot mean "eternal punishment" but rather a "temporary punishment" or "temporary chastening". (Which would be more akin to a punitive 'timeout' like the old Catholic purgatory concept).
More to the point, and this is critical since I pointed it out to do with Bart Ehrman's studies of later additions by assorted scribes (link on the blog above), if we find that the translations show "eternal punishment" when the authors or copyists likely had to be familiar with these Greek forms (disclosing that "aion" is NOT eternal) then we have prima facie evidence for a deliberate copyist insertion to alter the meaning. In other words, a FRAUD!
Since "Aionion" is the adjective of the noun "aion", then this argument applies to ALL forms, passages, words that contain these words, no exception. Are the fundies bright enough to grasp this? Doubt it, if they can't even solve the Hell-God-Infinite paradox. But then, these morons were never the sharpest knives in the drawer anyway, if they really believe everyone that doesn't believe a specific piece of mistranslated hokum is forever doomed to the "lake of fire" (term stolen by early Xtian scribes, copyists from the Mithraists in Ized 4, of their Zendavesta).
And finally, since grammar rules mandate an adjective CANNOT take on a greater force than its noun form, it is evident that "aionion" in any of its adjective forms (ios, ou, on) CANNOT possibly mean "everlasting" or anything remotely indicating eternity or unending time. Hence, we must conclude that either: a) Matthew 25:46 is a bogus later addition, or b) Matthew 25:46 represents the deliberate, fraudulent alteration of an original text in which the Greek forms were changed to reflect an "eternal" as opposed to non-eternal duress or punishment.
Underlying all such salvation-coveting greediness (as exemplified in Mike's blogs) is an embedded religious fanaticism, and a cultish tendency to embrace an unquestioning submission to a god that's caricatured in their own minds, which is largely a magnified version of their own mean-spirited, covetous selves. To question their cartoon god is "arrogant" and so they regard anyone who dares to do so as a "spoiled baby" trying to get his own way as opposed to an adult striving to rise beyond anthropomorphic creations of stupid humans. Thus, even the most innocuous intellectual challenges are seen as "human arrogance" and the elevation of our finite intellects in opposition to the infinite wisdom of the divine. But shrouded in the cloak of their own humility these fanatics fail to notice the arrogance that undergirds their conviction.
Ultimately, as we see time and again with these infantile people, they refuse to recognize that their beliefs about "God’s word" could be wrong, as well as their very deity conceptions. The fanatic treats any questioning of his own beliefs as if it were a challenge to the word of God. But in fact, this is a god created by him in his own image, conceived from his own mental delimitations and prejudices, though he quotes chapter and verse of a bible he doesn't really understand (since he never parses for the underlying Greek meanings, for instance.)
Fanatics in this sense needn’t be violent, nor do they necessarily express the kind of extremes hateful (“God hate fags”) vitriol spewing from such idiots as Fred Phelps. But there is, in this insular faith fanaticism, a dangerous combination of humility and arrogance that hermetically seals blind believer fanatics from reason and evidence. Point of fact then, it's impossible to reason with them because they don't trust reason (though they claim to have a boner for logic). They are instead hostage to their own preconceptions and assumptions, including an arrogance to fit the putative deity into the mental thimble they believe is all they need to conceptualize it.
This is why as many times as I've patiently explained how and why they are wrong (including the basis for their false beliefs), they will never, ever get it. I could present a one hour web video complete with entertaining Geisha girls and assorted props and these bozos would never grasp it, so wedded are they to their singular reality, or rather unreality! Probably no one has put the central issue better than Alan Watts, in his 'The Wisdom Of Uncertainty' (p. 143):
"The misunderstanding of religious ideas is vividly illustrated in what men have made of the doctrine of immortality, heaven and hell. But now it should be clear that eternal life is the realization that the present is the only reality, and that past and future can be distinguished from it in a conventional sense alone. THIS moment is the "door of heaven" the "straight and narrow" because there is no room for a separate "I" or ego"
Doubtless, the crazies, including infantile, fundie psychos like my brother (and I use that term very loosely) will never grasp that, just as they'll never ever figure out the infinite-Hell-God paradox, or see why Matthew 25:46's "eternal punishment" is totally bogus!