Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

While I was finding out more about God, the ubiquitous question- did God create Hell? - often turned up. And many answers I have read mentioned that Hell was an inevitability due to the existence of Heaven; this is often paralleled by how darkness is a concomitant of light, and evil a concomitant of good. But where did this idea of oppposites even come from? Why did God who created this universe from a blank canvas decide that there must be opposites? It is as though he split up the canvas into half- one half for good and the other for evil. Isn't the idea of opposites a very 'human' concept?

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by Narnian, fredsbend, David Stratton, Caleb Dec 28 '13 at 23:12

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "General philosophical or sociological questions are off-topic unless clearly asking for a doctrinal answer. See: On-topic and constructive examples." – fredsbend, David Stratton, Caleb
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

5  
@ user9234 You are in error with the idea that Hell was created as an opposite to Heaven. Hell was created as a place for the internment of the rebellious Angels to await Judgment of the Cross and the eventual final disposition of being cast into the Lake of Fire. –  Bye Dec 26 '13 at 17:31
1  
To answer "why" is a very philosophical question that can only be a matter of opinion. However, I would suggest, though, that opposites are God's idea, as in the creation account He 1) separates light from darkness, 2) day from night, 3) water from earth, etc. –  Narnian Dec 26 '13 at 17:51
1  
Not everything has an opposite, but to have something you must have (at least the possibility of) not-that-thing. If you will have addition, you must allow subtraction. –  Ryan Frame Dec 26 '13 at 18:41
    
The idea that there are opposites is a false dichotomy. There are many, many things in between the two "good" and "evil" choices that you have presented. –  fredsbend Dec 26 '13 at 18:45
1  
The problem here is with the understanding of the word opposite. 'Light', contrary to popular belief, is not the opposite of 'dark' if dark has an existence etc. Heaven and hell cannot be opposites if they exist. This makes the question very difficult to answer. –  gideon marx Dec 27 '13 at 9:30

1 Answer 1

In the vein of your question, I pose a simpler question whose answer may help us think about yours in the right frame of mind.

Does Good, by Definition, Require Evil in Order to Exist?

It is common for people have circular definitions for "good" and "evil." Evil is the opposite of good; good is the opposite of evil. In reality, the two are definitely playing for opposing teams, but they are not really opposites.

Evil definitely depends on good for its meaning. The converse is definitely not true, however. Good has meaning all on its own which does not depend on evil. In Genesis 1, after God creates the substance of the universe, he pronounces (nearly) each of these things "good." At this point, no evil has been mentioned, and by the end of creation, God pronounces the sum of his creation as "very good." Good seems to carry the meaning, "how God made it and intended it to be" or "according to God's will." Before chapter 3, the only thing that's spoken of as "not good" is a deficiency (something not yet created, woman) that God immediately remedies. There's no need for evil in this definition of good.

When sin and death enter the world, we see that evil is a corruption or perversion of good. Evil cannot be defined without their being good. Good has no such dependency.

Why did God Create (Moral) Opposites?

In a moral sense, I don't think you could say that there are opposites. There's what's good, which existed from the beginning of creation and would have remained even if humans had never sinned. Evil wasn't created by God. The capacity for evil was "created" because freedom is an essential element in genuine love, and for there to be freedom, the possibility of choosing something other than what was good was necessary.

God didn't create Heaven and Hell as two neighborhoods in the afterlife. In a metaphorical sense, Heaven is "intimacy with God" and Hell is "separation from God." Before Genesis 3, there was no need for Hell (for humans, anyway—little is said of the genesis of angels and daemons), and so it need not have existed as if God made it ahead of time knowing that he was going to need it eventually.

Moral "opposites" push you in opposite directions, but they are not, themselves, actual opposites.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.