One saying, two meanings

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Athetotheist
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One saying, two meanings

Post #1

Post by Athetotheist »

I recently encountered the assertion, "Eternity is too long to pay for anything". It wasn't put into any context, and it occurred to me that it could be taken two ways.

It could be a Christian warning about the dangers of sinfulness; beware----no pleasure is worth eternal punishment!

At the same time, however, it could mean that the concept of hell is immoral since no crime can merit eternal punishment.

Which interpretation is more fitting?

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theophile
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Re: One saying, two meanings

Post #2

Post by theophile »

Athetotheist wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 5:39 pm I recently encountered the assertion, "Eternity is too long to pay for anything". It wasn't put into any context, and it occurred to me that it could be taken two ways.

It could be a Christian warning about the dangers of sinfulness; beware----no pleasure is worth eternal punishment!

At the same time, however, it could mean that the concept of hell is immoral since no crime can merit eternal punishment.

Which interpretation is more fitting?
A third meaning, from the perspective of the creditor, is that eternity is an unacceptable term. Most creditors will want to receive what they are owed on a finite timeline (eternity means they will never be paid back...).

But I would wager the intended meaning is the first you indicated, because it's the most obvious.

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Re: One saying, two meanings

Post #3

Post by Athetotheist »

[Replying to theophile in post #2
A third meaning, from the perspective of the creditor, is that eternity is an unacceptable term. Most creditors will want to receive what they are owed on a finite timeline (eternity means they will never be paid back...).
That's an interesting point. Since eternal payment of a debt could never satisfy justice, it could never serve justice.

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Purple Knight
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Re: One saying, two meanings

Post #4

Post by Purple Knight »

Athetotheist wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 3:30 pm
A third meaning, from the perspective of the creditor, is that eternity is an unacceptable term. Most creditors will want to receive what they are owed on a finite timeline (eternity means they will never be paid back...).
That's an interesting point. Since eternal payment of a debt could never satisfy justice, it could never serve justice.
At that point I would say it would be injustice to make the attempt.

If the wronged party can't be made whole, it is up to them to simply not have the debt settled or to voluntarily settle for something else.

For example, if I own some priceless painting and you steal it from me and deface it irreparably, and I then demand some reparation out of you, I can't later say, after you pay up, you still owe me, nothing could settle that debt, because I have allowed you to settle it.

And before you ask, I do apply this to the current political climate and reparations for slavery. People shouldn't be offering pittances and neither should anyone be accepting them, because when you accept, you are saying, that debt is paid.

If eternity in Hell doesn't pay for my sins, then don't bother sending me there since it doesn't serve justice to do so.

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Re: One saying, two meanings

Post #5

Post by theophile »

Purple Knight wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 7:38 pm
Athetotheist wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 3:30 pm
A third meaning, from the perspective of the creditor, is that eternity is an unacceptable term. Most creditors will want to receive what they are owed on a finite timeline (eternity means they will never be paid back...).
That's an interesting point. Since eternal payment of a debt could never satisfy justice, it could never serve justice.
At that point I would say it would be injustice to make the attempt.

If the wronged party can't be made whole, it is up to them to simply not have the debt settled or to voluntarily settle for something else.

For example, if I own some priceless painting and you steal it from me and deface it irreparably, and I then demand some reparation out of you, I can't later say, after you pay up, you still owe me, nothing could settle that debt, because I have allowed you to settle it.

And before you ask, I do apply this to the current political climate and reparations for slavery. People shouldn't be offering pittances and neither should anyone be accepting them, because when you accept, you are saying, that debt is paid.

If eternity in Hell doesn't pay for my sins, then don't bother sending me there since it doesn't serve justice to do so.
It's all moot if we take forgiveness seriously.

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Re: One saying, two meanings

Post #6

Post by 1213 »

Athetotheist wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 5:39 pm I recently encountered the assertion, "Eternity is too long to pay for anything". It wasn't put into any context, and it occurred to me that it could be taken two ways.

It could be a Christian warning about the dangers of sinfulness; beware----no pleasure is worth eternal punishment!

At the same time, however, it could mean that the concept of hell is immoral since no crime can merit eternal punishment.

Which interpretation is more fitting?
I would like to hear, is death (=person is destroyed, don't live, feel or do anything) eternal punishment?

By what the Bible tells, eternal life is a gift for righteous people. Others will be destroyed. I think is not really about what person has already done, but what kind of person one is. If person is unrighteous and evil and would live eternally, he would do evil eternally. That is why I think they don't get the eternal life.

These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
Mat. 25:46

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

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Re: One saying, two meanings

Post #7

Post by nobspeople »

Athetotheist wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 5:39 pm I recently encountered the assertion, "Eternity is too long to pay for anything". It wasn't put into any context, and it occurred to me that it could be taken two ways.

It could be a Christian warning about the dangers of sinfulness; beware----no pleasure is worth eternal punishment!

At the same time, however, it could mean that the concept of hell is immoral since no crime can merit eternal punishment.

Which interpretation is more fitting?
Initially, I read it to mean 'god isn't powerful enough to pay or punish for sins for eternity'; eternity > god.
Reading the provided options, it seems the last one is more fitting than the first, but the first isn't without its merit either.
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

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