Sheryl Martin
3 min readMar 24, 2024

A refute of David Bentley Hart’s proposition that there is no eternal hell

“…we are what we have made ourselves, and no one drags us down the path toward either compassion or cruelty, honesty or guile.” Moses Maimonides

Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash -The Path to Hell

Now, let’s say a person chooses corruption over goodness and this is the way he has lived his life for years. Because of the unwillingness to pursue righteousness or piety exemplifying morality, the spirits of the evil dominion begin to control him. It is apparent, that if one does not exercise moral judgement then the subtle dark whisper of temptation is increasingly not refused. Each turning away from goodness with its subsequent lack of the use of reason, intuition, and discernment, leads to changes in the brain that causes sin to become the norm for that individual.

Now let’s say, shortly before his death God casts out those demonic spirits, and now he is an empty shell — will God fill that empty space with his Holy Spirit to assure his salvation? Far be it that He would do so; this is “pouring new wine into an old wineskin” which will cause the old wineskin to crack with the wine spilling out in a trickle at first and then a torrent.

The condition of the man’s mind and neural pathways have weakened those areas of the brain used for moral reasoning. Therefore, it would take much for him to change, perhaps even a miracle. But even a mind restructured towards corruption and immorality would most likely reject God and His miracles.

So what is left? A soul that not only rejects God, but even finds goodness abhorrent — would that person willingly enter heaven — that would be an eternal hell to him. And what about the heavenly hosts and purified souls? It would be like having millions of Judas’ deceiving, manipulating, and attempting to corrupt those who have achieved righteousness. Is not heaven or paradise to be a place with no tears or suffering? There are accounts of fallen angels for sure; surely evidence that evil is not allowed to reside in the heavenly realms.

In the place of Light of Lights, where there is no darkness at all, where the lion will lie down with the lamb, and the child will safely play near the serpent's den, there is the safety of love. The place of suffering is the physical world where evil does indeed reside the with righteous. Earth is a place of suffering because of the choices humans make and are therefore held accountable by natural consequences produced by free will.

The person that chooses evil over good is a detriment to a functioning civilization; the person who allows their mind to be transformed by corruption becomes the very nature of the spiritual fire of hell, and even those who had poor role models growing up are still exposed to ethics, good character, and morality in some way or another. Most importantly, we must consider the role of conscience, which is inherent in human brains, but like the appetite signals, when continually overridden, no longer functions as it should. What would be the purpose of being given free will, if all are forgiven?



Sheryl Martin

It is suffering that shoots streams of creativity out of my heart, and the brokenness of life that explodes my heart into its soul.