Ryan asked:

An atheist friend asked how can we be happy in heaven knowing that there are people in hell, maybe even friends or family?

Trent Horn replied:

"...why would we be unhappy? Well we don't like to see suffering...think of people in prison for example who are suffering... Even if I were to know a loved one who is in prison, if I knew they were there for a just reason that wouldn't inhibit my ability to be happy right now. Now I would be very disconcerted and upset if I knew that a loved one who was innocent was suffering in prison...that what's happening to them is not deserved and it's wrong.

So I think that when it comes to hell and we're in heaven are our minds will be expanded and we'll be able to see things the way God does and it will change what makes us happy. Because in this life what makes us happy are very transitory temporal things that can't ultimately satisfy us, because we were made for God. We desire infinite and perfect happiness. Only God can provide that. So in heaven we will have that. It will be overabundant and flowing and we'll see God as the greatest good and being a part of the body of Christ being that greatest good.

...the sins of everyone will be laid bare at the end of time and in heaven we'll have a greater appreciation for sin. We'll understand how awful and terrible it is whereas in this life the idea of sin is something that's made fun of. Just the idea that sinners, why would we punish sinners? Because in this life you talk about sin you look like a religious hillbilly. Whereas we're in heaven and in the perfect knowledge and goodness of God we'll see the ugliness of sin and realize how could we have ever joked about something like this?

...I think the point is that we will truly understand God and the happiness that comes from him...we will understand those in hell are there for a just reason. They have freely chosen that."


Catholic Answers, "Answering Atheism" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2015)

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Show air date: February 15, 2016

Name of show: Answering Atheism

Guest comments by: Trent Horn

Question appeared in show: 30:13

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