Back here, having addressed arguments against universalism that miss the point, I said,
In the next two posts in this series I’ll look at arguments for Hell that at least address the issue. I’m dividing them into the more traditional arguments that God directly punishes sinners, who deserve what they get, and more modern arguments that take a more psychological approach and locate Hell in the viewpoint of the damned themselves.
Thus, I want now to look at the former of these notions: that God directly punishes sinners, with the corollaries that they deserve that punishment; or to put it another way, that eternal damnation is in fact just. In order to do this, before even discussing “just”, we have to begin by unpacking the meaning of “punishment” itself. After all, if a person has transgressed moral law, there are several different responses society can have, all loosely lumped under “punishment”. These responses are distinct, though, and are very different in what they attempt to achieve. First, there is the notion of restoration or restitution.
I hate it when I run across an interesting blog and find it has not been updated in months, or even years. I can’t speak for others as to whether my blog is interesting–though the traffic hasn’t been bad lately–but it has not been updated since November, with the exception of a brief note of its five-year anniversary in December.
Alas, life has got in the way. With no intention of whining, I have had many personal things, including health issues, that have had to take precedence. These have caused me to slip out of regular posting; and slipping out of regular posting leads all too easily to no posting. In any case, this post it to make it clear that I’m still around and do intend–when I don’t know–to resume at least some posting, within the parameters of some still-pressing concerns.
First, I will at some point resume the “Daily Whitman” series. Instead of backdating it, I will probably just re-start it at whatever date it happens to be, and go from there. The index has presented some thorny problems, and may have to be totally re-done; so I don’t expect I’ll have it updated for some time, even after I re-start posting the poems.
Second, I’m mostly satisfied with my series on universalism, but may post occasionally to it, as ideas occur or worthwhile exterior links crop up.
Third, I have a broad overview of what I want to do with my tent-pole “Legends of the Fall” series, which I still consider incomplete. This will require several more posts–I don’t know how many–and I will try to get started back on them in the coming weeks, as I’m able to. To me, this is the most important series on the blog, and the one I consider the linchpin; so if nothing else, I want to finish it.
Of the other series, I want to eventually resume the series on religion and role-playing, as I have some good ideas for it, and I want to finish the series on Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Beyond that, we’ll just see what happens.
Many thanks to all of you who follow, read, and (I hope) enjoy the blog, especially those who have kept coming during its hiatus. That means a lot to me, and I appreciate it very much. Keep coming–hopefully there will be new material soon!
BOOKXXXV. GOOD-BYE MY FANCY
Sail out for Good, Eidolon Yacht!
Heave the anchor short! Raise main-sail and jib—steer forth, O little white-hull'd sloop, now speed on really deep waters, (I will not call it our concluding voyage, But outset and sure entrance to the truest, best, maturest;) Depart, depart from solid earth—no more returning to these shores, Now on for aye our infinite free venture wending, Spurning all yet tried ports, seas, hawsers, densities, gravitation, Sail out for good, eidolon yacht of me!
After the Supper and Talk
After the supper and talk—after the day is done, As a friend from friends his final withdrawal prolonging, Good-bye and Good-bye with emotional lips repeating, (So hard for his hand to release those hands—no more will they meet, No more for communion of sorrow and joy, of old and young, A far-stretching journey awaits him, to return no more,) Shunning, postponing severance—seeking to ward off the last word ever so little, E'en at the exit-door turning—charges superfluous calling back— e'en as he descends the steps, Something to eke out a minute additional—shadows of nightfall deepening, Farewells, messages lessening—dimmer the forthgoer's visage and form, Soon to be lost for aye in the darkness—loth, O so loth to depart! Garrulous to the very last.
Old Age’s Lambent Peaks
The touch of flame—the illuminating fire—the loftiest look at last, O'er city, passion, sea—o'er prairie, mountain, wood—the earth itself, The airy, different, changing hues of all, in failing twilight, Objects and groups, bearings, faces, reminiscences; The calmer sight—the golden setting, clear and broad: So much i' the atmosphere, the points of view, the situations whence we scan, Bro't out by them alone—so much (perhaps the best) unreck'd before; The lights indeed from them—old age's lambent peaks.
Now Precedent Songs, Farewell
Now precedent songs, farewell—by every name farewell, (Trains of a staggering line in many a strange procession, waggons, From ups and downs—with intervals—from elder years, mid-age, or youth,) "In Cabin'd Ships, or Thee Old Cause or Poets to Come Or Paumanok, Song of Myself, Calamus, or Adam, Or Beat! Beat! Drums! or To the Leaven'd Soil they Trod, Or Captain! My Captain! Kosmos, Quicksand Years, or Thoughts, Thou Mother with thy Equal Brood," and many, many more unspecified, From fibre heart of mine—from throat and tongue—(My life's hot pulsing blood, The personal urge and form for me—not merely paper, automatic type and ink,) Each song of mine—each utterance in the past—having its long, long history, Of life or death, or soldier's wound, of country's loss or safety, (O heaven! what flash and started endless train of all! compared indeed to that! What wretched shred e'en at the best of all!)
As the Greek’s Signal Flame
As the Greek's signal flame, by antique records told, Rose from the hill-top, like applause and glory, Welcoming in fame some special veteran, hero, With rosy tinge reddening the land he'd served, So I aloft from Mannahatta's ship-fringed shore, Lift high a kindled brand for thee, Old Poet.