Will Adolf Hitler Be Saved (End Up in Heaven)?

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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Mike Strand
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Will Adolf Hitler Be Saved (End Up in Heaven)?

Post by Mike Strand » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:29 pm

There is a strong case to be made that all human souls will eventually be in heaven with God, assuming the common conception of who God is among Christians and folks of other faiths holds in reality.

An examination of the axioms and definitions at the base or foundation of a belief system can expose claims of the belief system that are inconsistent with the system’s own foundation. It will be seen that the basic beliefs of Christianity strongly support the argument that even people like the WW2 German dictator Adolf Hitler, the prohibition gangster Al Capone, and the neighbor who lets his dog poop on your lawn without picking it up will be saved.

This claim runs counter, however, to the theology of many Christian denominations, which holds that some sorry souls will be sent to hell forever. According to some small and exclusive fundamentalist religious groups, the class of sorry souls consists of all humanity except, of course, for the particularly lucky people belonging to the little fundamentalist group.

The case for universal salvation hinges on the following assumptions, common among Christians:

1. A superior Being, referred to as “God”, exists and caused the existence of the universe, along with the Earth and its populations of life forms including human beings.
2. God loves every human being.
3. God has tremendous power and knowledge (for example, enough to defeat evil, save a human soul, and the like).
4. Every human being has an eternal soul - an identity that lasts forever.

“Salvation” means God bringing a human soul into a state of eternal peace and joy (going to heaven).

It only takes a moment to realize that this foundation implies that every human soul will be saved, no exception. This is the meaning of universal salvation, also known as universal reconciliation, or simply universalism.

Another argument for universal salvation is that we can assume God practices what he preaches, namely the Golden Rule, or the second Greatest Commandment. God would never condemn a human being to eternal hell, because God himself wouldn’t want to be treated so poorly.

It’s worth noting that there is still plenty of room for religious debate within the foundation of axioms 1 through 4.

For example, axiom 1 allows for a God who uses a process approximated by the human scientific theory
of evolution to give rise to life forms on earth and possibly other planets. On the other hand, it also allows for a God who “spoke the universe into existence from nothing”. There is no axiom specifying how God managed the creation. Axiom 1 only says that God accomplished the creation and is thereby the responsible party for the very existence of the universe and humanity. This is the important idea, not how God did it.

You may also see that this foundation does not rule out the possibility of a person being punished for sins and spending time in purgatory or hell. The time in torment would be finite, but could be lengthy.

What’s more, there’s nothing in these four axioms to shut out particular beliefs about Jesus – either the Jesus of the Apostle’s Creed, or the Gnostic version of Jesus. It also allows for disbelief in Jesus as God or as a great teacher or even as ever living. For that matter, this foundation also allows for Muslim and Jewish beliefs and rituals, provided these additional beliefs don’t contradict any of the foundational axioms. In Judaism, there is debate about whether there is life after death, but Maimonides’ thirteenth principle of faith indicates that many Jews believe in an afterlife.

For you pet lovers, there’s nothing to prevent tacking on the assumption that every pet goes to heaven, because it doesn’t contradict the four that are already there.

Since the dawn of Christianity, prominent people have spoken and written about universal salvation – some for it and some against it. Information about these venerable individuals is easy to find on the Internet using the search term “universal salvation”.

Many if not most religious denominations don’t accept universal salvation as part of the official theology. Many Christians and folks of other faiths will tell you, even while sober, that some human souls will spend an eternity in hell. They will tell you this, even while embracing the four axioms listed above. But spending eternity in hell is blatantly, even obscenely at odds with the attractive, extremely optimistic, not to say customary Sunday School ideas embodied in axioms 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Just as a decent person with an incurably sick and suffering pet dog would take the poor creature to the vet to have it euthanized, you might hope that if a person is irreparably wicked, God would show mercy and end that person’s very existence, body and soul, rather than let that person suffer eternal torment in hell. But axiom 4 rules out this solution; instead, the foundation embodied in axioms 1 through 4 shows that God would help the person defeat wickedness. God’s power and love eliminate the need for “euthanizing” the person’s soul.

The Christian Universalist Association (CUA) is a major proponent of universal salvation, and you can see CUA’s justification for it on their web site. This post on universal salvation supplements the CUA information, showing explicitly the foundation upon which universal salvation is built. This in turn clarifies the vulnerabilities of the argument for universal salvation, namely a failure of any of the foundational axioms, such as the lack of a powerful, loving God.

In a Nutshell -- If you are a Christian or person of another faith that accepts assumptions 1-4, then believing in universal salvation is A-OK! If you are a Christian with a bumper sticker that says "Jesus Saves!", go ahead and replace it with "God Saves Everybody!"

Here are more sayings for bumper or fridge that you may display with confidence:

Some may trip, and some may fall,
But God loves us and saves us all.

We are all God's beloved children,
And no child will be left behind.

Think heaven is for only your kind?
You’ll be surprised at whom there you will find.

You're headed for heaven – Don't stay away too long!

Hell is temporary - heaven is forever.

Make peace with your enemies –
You’ll see them again in heaven.

Skip
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Re: Will Adolf Hitler Be Saved (End Up in Heaven)?

Post by Skip » Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:36 pm

If human souls are part of God's substance, they'll have to be gathered up before end of time, just so God can die in one piece.

Mike Strand
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Re: Will Adolf Hitler Be Saved (End Up in Heaven)?

Post by Mike Strand » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:00 pm

Skip wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:36 pm
If human souls are part of God's substance, they'll have to be gathered up before end of time, just so God can die in one piece.
Well put, Skip! And also die in "peace", knowing He or She or It is responsible for our very existence (according to Christian, Judaic, Islamic, etc. theologies).

Skip
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Re: Will Adolf Hitler Be Saved (End Up in Heaven)?

Post by Skip » Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:15 pm

Hitler's rehabilitation is child's play. The real challenge comes when they have to corral in Satan, Quetzaquoatl, Kali, Dalek Prime, Q, Horta, that nameless multi-appendaged death-squid on Risa III, and all their various counterparts on all the inhabited worlds of this galaxy. With any luck, each galaxy has its own Big Omni, because if there is just one God for the whole She-Bang, collecting all its bits from all the universe... well, it's just not worth the effort, quite frankly.

Mike Strand
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Re: Will Adolf Hitler Be Saved (End Up in Heaven)?

Post by Mike Strand » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:01 pm

Skip wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:15 pm
Hitler's rehabilitation is child's play. The real challenge comes when they have to corral in Satan, Quetzaquoatl, Kali, Dalek Prime, Q, Horta, that nameless multi-appendaged death-squid on Risa III, and all their various counterparts on all the inhabited worlds of this galaxy. With any luck, each galaxy has its own Big Omni, because if there is just one God for the whole She-Bang, collecting all its bits from all the universe... well, it's just not worth the effort, quite frankly.
Probably not worth it, agreed, even for an assumed God with tremendous power, knowledge, and love. Maybe a feeling of guilt for having created all of these beings or things will move this supposed God. Help from the angels? Time for a vacation (which the Deists wlll say God has been on since the creation and still is).

Skip
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Re: Will Adolf Hitler Be Saved (End Up in Heaven)?

Post by Skip » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:49 pm

It was pretty hard work!

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Greta
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Re: Will Adolf Hitler Be Saved (End Up in Heaven)?

Post by Greta » Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:52 am

Yup, Hitler will be fine - he was a powerfully destructive agent of entropy. So are volcanoes, storms, earthquakes, sinkholes, floods, droughts and, of course, Dalek Prime.

The Buddhist model makes more sense to me. Rather than God and the Devil in conflict, there's Bramha the creator, Vishnu the preserver and source of nature's power and Shiva the destroyer and renewer. Rather than positing them to be good or bad, they are simply the forces needed to make the universe develop the way it has done, and they have no obligation to be convenient to humans.

In Hitler's case, he was probably afflicted by problematic "bad brain chemicals" and certainly later on he was addiction to a range of heavy pharmaceuticals prescribed by a doctor who was understandably afraid to say no to his boss's demands. That doctor may have done humanity a service by shortening the period of Hitler's effectiveness - or done harm by inadvertently increasing his mania. Hard to know.

Also, Germany's undignified descent into madness around the time of WWII has served as a cautionary tale that might prevent even greater atrocities in the future ... or the Third Reich may have "opened Pandora's Box", highlighting an ugliness in human nature that may have lain relatively dormant and eventually overcome if not released so powerfully. Hard to know.

Mike Strand
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Re: Will Adolf Hitler Be Saved (End Up in Heaven)?

Post by Mike Strand » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:04 am

Greta wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:52 am
Yup, Hitler will be fine - he was a powerfully destructive agent of entropy. So are volcanoes, storms, earthquakes, sinkholes, floods, droughts and, of course, Dalek Prime.

The Buddhist model makes more sense to me. Rather than God and the Devil in conflict, there's Bramha the creator, Vishnu the preserver and source of nature's power and Shiva the destroyer and renewer. Rather than positing them to be good or bad, they are simply the forces needed to make the universe develop the way it has done, and they have no obligation to be convenient to humans.

In Hitler's case, he was probably afflicted by problematic "bad brain chemicals" and certainly later on he was addiction to a range of heavy pharmaceuticals prescribed by a doctor who was understandably afraid to say no to his boss's demands. That doctor may have done humanity a service by shortening the period of Hitler's effectiveness - or done harm by inadvertently increasing his mania. Hard to know.

Also, Germany's undignified descent into madness around the time of WWII has served as a cautionary tale that might prevent even greater atrocities in the future ... or the Third Reich may have "opened Pandora's Box", highlighting an ugliness in human nature that may have lain relatively dormant and eventually overcome if not released so powerfully. Hard to know.
Good reading for me, Greta. Just one detail, maybe you meant the Hindu model in the second paragraph.

As you say, a really bad example in history may be good for the peace and well-being of future generations.

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Greta
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Re: Will Adolf Hitler Be Saved (End Up in Heaven)?

Post by Greta » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:53 am

Mike Strand wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:04 am
Greta wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:52 am
Yup, Hitler will be fine - he was a powerfully destructive agent of entropy. So are volcanoes, storms, earthquakes, sinkholes, floods, droughts and, of course, Dalek Prime.

The Buddhist model makes more sense to me. Rather than God and the Devil in conflict, there's Bramha the creator, Vishnu the preserver and source of nature's power and Shiva the destroyer and renewer. Rather than positing them to be good or bad, they are simply the forces needed to make the universe develop the way it has done, and they have no obligation to be convenient to humans.

In Hitler's case, he was probably afflicted by problematic "bad brain chemicals" and certainly later on he was addiction to a range of heavy pharmaceuticals prescribed by a doctor who was understandably afraid to say no to his boss's demands. That doctor may have done humanity a service by shortening the period of Hitler's effectiveness - or done harm by inadvertently increasing his mania. Hard to know.

Also, Germany's undignified descent into madness around the time of WWII has served as a cautionary tale that might prevent even greater atrocities in the future ... or the Third Reich may have "opened Pandora's Box", highlighting an ugliness in human nature that may have lain relatively dormant and eventually overcome if not released so powerfully. Hard to know.
Good reading for me, Greta. Just one detail, maybe you meant the Hindu model in the second paragraph.

As you say, a really bad example in history may be good for the peace and well-being of future generations.
Hehehe, you are right. I thought Hindu at first but second guessed myself with a quick brain fade :)

It is hard to say whether destructive aspects of human nature being expressed with so little restraint is good in the sense that the lessons become more memorable or if the release opens things up - probably both, come to think of it.

Skip
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Re: Will Adolf Hitler Be Saved (End Up in Heaven)?

Post by Skip » Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:29 am

As human evil goes, Hitler was just one of the low-points we hit every 200-year cycle. Only reason he sticks out as an example is that WWII (which Hitler didn't make all by himself) is a historical touch-stone for a couple of White English-speaking generations: the one for whom that war was their defining moment, and their numerous, overachieving progeny. Through that war, those Anglos gained so much power that all of History can only be understood, or indeed, told, from their perspective. So their arch-enemy is synonymous with the antichrist. From a longer perspective, he was just mundane. No worse than Vlad the Impaler, Torquemada, or Ceausescu, or three dozen ordinary serial killers who didn't get to command an army. Given a couple of centuries' distance, Hitler would be reduced to his correct proportions. I'm sure he looks quite small and insignificant from heaven.

gaffo
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Re: Will Adolf Hitler Be Saved (End Up in Heaven)?

Post by gaffo » Sat Jul 07, 2018 5:12 am

Skip wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:29 am
As human evil goes, Hitler was just one of the low-points we hit every 200-year cycle. Only reason he sticks out as an example is that WWII (which Hitler didn't make all by himself)
um, actually he did start ww2.

on Sept 2nd 1939.

Skip
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Re: Will Adolf Hitler Be Saved (End Up in Heaven)?

Post by Skip » Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:37 pm

gaffo wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 5:12 am
Skip wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:29 am
As human evil goes, Hitler was just one of the low-points we hit every 200-year cycle. Only reason he sticks out as an example is that WWII (which Hitler didn't make all by himself)
um, actually he did start ww2.

on Sept 2nd 1939.
All by himself? One superannuated corporal charging across Europe, North Africa, a couple of oceans, bayoneting millions....

Mike Strand
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Re: Will Adolf Hitler Be Saved (End Up in Heaven)?

Post by Mike Strand » Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:29 pm

Skip wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:37 pm
gaffo wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 5:12 am
Skip wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:29 am
As human evil goes, Hitler was just one of the low-points we hit every 200-year cycle. Only reason he sticks out as an example is that WWII (which Hitler didn't make all by himself)
um, actually he did start ww2.

on Sept 2nd 1939.
All by himself? One superannuated corporal charging across Europe, North Africa, a couple of oceans, bayoneting millions....
The case has be made that the harsh terms of the post World War I surrender and conditions placed on Germany by the Western alliance sewed the seeds of WW2.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Will Adolf Hitler Be Saved (End Up in Heaven)?

Post by Immanuel Can » Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:45 pm

Mike Strand wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:00 pm
Skip wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:36 pm
If human souls are part of God's substance, they'll have to be gathered up before end of time, just so God can die in one piece.
Well put, Skip! And also die in "peace", knowing He or She or It is responsible for our very existence (according to Christian, Judaic, Islamic, etc. theologies).
If it's actually God we're talking about, meaning what Christians mean, say, then analytically it's not the case that He can "die." But I'm sure you know that, so the whole comment's a bit funny. It's almost reflective of some sort of Eastern-Mystical Universalism, not on anything per se "Christian."

Soteriological Universalism is actually an extreme minority position, and not, in the Biblical view or the view of most generally known Christian theologies, "Christian" at all.

Rationally or exegetically, I don't think it actually has much to commend it as a view; and most Christians would agree with that.

Skip
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Re: Will Adolf Hitler Be Saved (End Up in Heaven)?

Post by Skip » Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:03 pm

And when the two hearts began to beat together, they filled the heavens with a terrible sound. For the first time, the gods knew fear. They tried to flee, but it was too late. The Klingon hearts destroyed the gods who created them and turned the heavens to ashes. To this very day, no one can oppose the beating of two Klingon hearts."

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