While here on earth our human body takes all the pleasure in enjoying earthly pleasure and doing sins. Human souls have nothing to do with these pleasures but when the human body dies, it is the soul that is being punished. Isn't it unfair for the soul? Basically, I believe souls are naturally good.

  • 1. Why do you think souls are naturally good? "For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander." Matt 15:19 2. Everyone will be resurrected, so those punished in hell will experience it in their bodies. – curiousdannii May 27 '14 at 8:14
  • It's not the soul that takes the action of making sins. It is the body. apparently soul cannot control the body. – Ragnarok May 27 '14 at 8:16
  • In general when one is young, one thinks of the human body enjoying the 'earthly pleasures'. When one gets older living at times is hell and a person might lose all faith. What about somebody who has no faith, survives three years in a concentration camp and then dies freezing in the snow. That body had little fun. So I am not sure that your opening statement is valid. That makes your question problematic. Hell is not only for people 'doing sins'. All those who are not given faith goes to hell. Fairness has no place in Christianity so maybe your question belongs somewhere else. – gideon marx May 27 '14 at 8:57
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    @Ragnarok what do you mean by "soul"? In my understanding a person is a soul! The soul is the mind, the will, the emotions. If a body isn't controlled by the soul then it isn't controlled by anything. – curiousdannii May 27 '14 at 11:53
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    @Ragnarok You seem to be using an Eastern religious philosophy definition of 'soul', in which it is distinct both from body and from mind. That's not a philosophy that Christianity would agree with, so there can't really be a 'Christian' answer to your question. – DJClayworth May 27 '14 at 14:51

Division of human beings into distinct entities called body and soul is not original biblical (nor generally Semitic) thought but is usually attributed to Greek (and other pagan) philosophies. This is not to say that this division is necessarily false, but there are two points worth mentioning:

  1. The Old Testament generally relies on the Hebrew belief that man is one, indivisible being. Notions of body and soul come up only in Greek translations and in later translations to modern languages from cultures influenced by Greco-Roman philosophical thought.
  2. The New Testament dose have some cases of using terms which are translated as body and soul but it has been pointed out that sometimes they convey Hebrew meaning and sometimes not, and this inconsistency can stem from fact that Jesus and the Apostles spoke Aramaic while their teachings were recorded in Greek. Also, their audiences may often have been people from Greco-Roman cultures for whom original Hebrew concepts may not have been understandable.

Now, how this is this relevant to your original question? Well, you call the body "sinful" and in the New Testament we can find references to sinful acts coming from the body, but it is not clear how much of it is just an allegory, a metaphor appropriate to the minds of people from those times, those cultures. One must be careful not to fall into trap of gnosticism, manicheism or other ancient heresies which took some philosophical concepts too seriously and come up with misleading dualisms like holy soul vs sinful body and others. We don't know many things about life after death and all our concepts: body, soul, heaven, hell, are only some simplifications which even visionary mystics describe in various ways.

Also, think about this: even in modern psychology there exists some general notion of dividing human beings into mind and body, but this is a strictly conceptual division which helps us to create useful, ordered perspectives. In reality, every scientist will tell you, that there is no way to separate mind from body, as they're interconnected in so many ways that their separate existence seems completely absurd.

So my answer to your question is: it is not the soul which is punished but a human being regardless of what we ultimately consider him to be in our limited minds.

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  • Really nice answer +1 but maybe remove the 'preachy bits' or rephrase them. – gideon marx May 27 '14 at 10:57
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    Good answer to a mediocre question. I'm not sure which bits are to be considered 'preachy'. – Benjol May 27 '14 at 11:06
  • so your final answer is human being is punished in hell along with its body and soul? – Ragnarok May 27 '14 at 15:31

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