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discuss the view that the idea of Purgatory makes more sense than Hell

Can somebody give me feedback on my 40 marker?

discuss the view that the idea of Purgatory makesre sense th Hell

The idea of purgatory suggests that Humans are not good enough for heaven yet no bad enough for hell are stuck in a middle ground until, they are good enough to be reconciled with God. Hell however suggests that this a place of eternal separation from God. Many philosopher's would agree that Purgatory makes more sense than Hell as it offers hope to the soul that they will eventually be reconciled with God rather than it being complete an eternal separation. Such as Origen who saw Purgatory as being a probation school for the soul. . On the other hand it can be argued that hell makes more sense this is because the teaching of purgatory goes against traditional Christian beliefs. Pope John Paul argues that whilst God is a God of love he is also the God of judgement suggesting that there is no middle ground and their are full consequences for sin.


A very clear argument in support of purgatory making more sense than Hell is that it offers more grace to people compared to Hell. Purgatory offers the hope that soul who weren;t saved can still be reconciled with God in the after life the idea of purgatory suggest that if somebody did not accept Christ in this life was to die there is potential for them to still get a chance to be reconciled with God. This offers more grace as the traditional teachings of hell can be argued to be narrow minded and limit the idea of salvation to tose who were lucky enough to know about God in their life time. A strong argument in favour of this is presented by Origien who saw purgatory as being probation for the soul this highlighted the idea that the soul was not fully condemend in the sense of hell but was trained in order to be good enough to enter heaven. This is a good and cohesive argument as it alligns with God’s grcaeful nature as it can be argued that he dosent want anybody to got hell anyway. So the idea of purgatory is a way of making sure that vene the people who are good enough can still receive Grace. On the other hand, it can be argued that this argument has flaws and it goes against God already traditional nature of grace. God grace is him sending his son Jesus to die on the cross. Therefore surely purgatory wouldn’t be neccesary as this is the way to be saved. It could be argued the idea of purgatory could be argued t undermined the laready given grace by God by suggesting there is anothey way other than Jesus sacrafise on the cross to receive salvation.John 3 16 states that God sent his son so that whoever believes in him could have eternal life. It can be argued that hell is just the consequence of failing to receive the already given grace and that purgatory is undermine this byoffring hope another salvation therefore does not make more senese. On the other hand it can be argued that this is flawe as purgatory offers additonal support to people who failed to recive Jeusu’s salvation the firs time. it could be suggested that the reason for urgatory in the first place was failing to receive Jeussu; salvation therofre that;s why they are there and purgatory offers another chance to receive it. ThIS is a strong argument a nd it supported by Dante who argues that people in Purgatory accepted Jesus. Sacarfaise hwver still had some sins to work on. In conclusion it can be argued that purgatory makes more sense than hell because it offers additonal grace to people who did not orignally receive salvation on earth rather than condeming them to hell.



Following on from this it can be suggested a convincing argument is that pUrgatory alligns with the loving nature of God. The idea of hell presents God to be harsh in nature as he send people to bei tormented in firey anguish for not worhsipping. This contradicts the idea of a loving God . A loving God would potentially try t understand why people sin and rectify it in orderfor them to be reocncile. The idea of purgatory attempts t do this by suggesting that people can be rectifed and worked on in order to get into God’s presents. A strong and concivncg argument that suggests that the idea of hell is not in God’s nature is the statement proposed by David Hick which states that the idea of hell doesn’t portray an all loving God but an anti vindictive one. This is a strong argument as although Purgatory is not wirtten about in the Bible it allings with God’s nature it highlights the clear fallacy that staes that God can be all loving because howcould he send people to suffer. A counter argument against this however can be presented . It can be argued that the dea of God being all loving is exploited and God;s true nature points to the punishment of hell. within coety people are punished for doing bad things not because they arenot loved but because of their actions . If God was to neglect justice for love that suggeste he would be underminign one of his core characteristics which is being just . A strong argument in support of this is presented by Pope John paul who states that Just because God is all lovingdoes not mean he can not issue out justice as well. This re iterates the idea that people neglect characteristics of God in order to suit their idea . Which suggests that the idea of hell makes more senes than hell because its God;s justice for sin. On the other hand ,it can be argued that rugatory still makes more sense. it can be argued wrong doings should be punished however it can be questioned whether they should be punsihed to the extent of eternal torment. David Hume further recognises this stating that the sins humans commit are finite how can they be punished for eternity in Hell, this further strenghtens the idea of prugatory making more senese as it allings with God’s nature. in conclusion it can be argued that purgatory makes more senese than hell as it alligns with both God’s nature to love and to judge as well..


In continuation on this it can be argued that neither hell or purgatory are more convincing argument as God desires for all humans to be saved. The theory of unvierslaism states that God wants all human beings to be reconciled with him one day. rather than them being assigned to hell or purgatory. God created human being in his own image and it could be argued that even on earth he is watching them , It can be questioned how could a God that loves his creationsend them of to somewhere apart from his presence. Origen recongised this and presnets a strong and cohesive arguemtn in favour of this when asked about his theory on hell he belives that human beings will all regarldess of being in helll even for a short time will eventually be reconciled with God. This is a strong argument as the idea of unvierslims offers more hope to people than the ide aof beign seperated from God;s presnce and being sent to either hell or heaven. The idea of universalisim however does not do enough to dissporve both hell and purgatory. The idea of universlaims dismmises the idea of sin. Humans have to be seperated from God because they have sinned ever since the fall. The idea God want everyone to be saved and disregards punishmets like hell or purgatory contradicts this. As their would not have had to be seperation in the first place. The story of the richman and lazarus fiurther illustartes this with the richman not living a hly life and going to hell suggesting that not everybody will be saved bu they all will be judged. in conclusion therofre it can be argued that both hell and purgatory make sense as they both allign with the idea that God will eventually judge everybody on earth.

In conclusion it can be argued that purgatory makes more sense than hell.. As it highlights the idea of God showing his loving nature. and just nature at the same time God loves everybody therefore does not want anybody to go to hell, however he is still just therefore people may be separated form him for a short time through purgatory. Furthermore the idea of purgatory offers hope that even people who ae not good enough can eveneutally make it to heaven as noted by scholars like Origen who see it as being a probation camp,
(edited 11 months ago)
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Original post by Sobigbesan17
Can somebody give me feedback on my 40 marker?

discuss the view that the idea of Purgatory makesre sense th Hell

The idea of purgatory suggests that Humans are not good enough for heaven yet no bad enough for hell are stuck in a middle ground until, they are good enough to be reconciled with God. Hell however suggests that this a place of eternal separation from God. Many philosopher's would agree that Purgatory makes more sense than Hell as it offers hope to the soul that they will eventually be reconciled with God rather than it being complete an eternal separation. Such as Origen who saw Purgatory as being a probation school for the soul. . On the other hand it can be argued that hell makes more sense this is because the teaching of purgatory goes against traditional Christian beliefs. Pope John Paul argues that whilst God is a God of love he is also the God of judgement suggesting that there is no middle ground and their are full consequences for sin.


A very clear argument in support of purgatory making more sense than Hell is that it offers more grace to people compared to Hell. Purgatory offers the hope that soul who weren;t saved can still be reconciled with God in the after life the idea of purgatory suggest that if somebody did not accept Christ in this life was to die there is potential for them to still get a chance to be reconciled with God. This offers more grace as the traditional teachings of hell can be argued to be narrow minded and limit the idea of salvation to tose who were lucky enough to know about God in their life time. A strong argument in favour of this is presented by Origien who saw purgatory as being probation for the soul this highlighted the idea that the soul was not fully condemend in the sense of hell but was trained in order to be good enough to enter heaven. This is a good and cohesive argument as it alligns with God’s grcaeful nature as it can be argued that he dosent want anybody to got hell anyway. So the idea of purgatory is a way of making sure that vene the people who are good enough can still receive Grace. On the other hand, it can be argued that this argument has flaws and it goes against God already traditional nature of grace. God grace is him sending his son Jesus to die on the cross. Therefore surely purgatory wouldn’t be neccesary as this is the way to be saved. It could be argued the idea of purgatory could be argued t undermined the laready given grace by God by suggesting there is anothey way other than Jesus sacrafise on the cross to receive salvation.John 3 16 states that God sent his son so that whoever believes in him could have eternal life. It can be argued that hell is just the consequence of failing to receive the already given grace and that purgatory is undermine this byoffring hope another salvation therefore does not make more senese. On the other hand it can be argued that this is flawe as purgatory offers additonal support to people who failed to recive Jeusu’s salvation the firs time. it could be suggested that the reason for urgatory in the first place was failing to receive Jeussu; salvation therofre that;s why they are there and purgatory offers another chance to receive it. ThIS is a strong argument a nd it supported by Dante who argues that people in Purgatory accepted Jesus. Sacarfaise hwver still had some sins to work on. In conclusion it can be argued that purgatory makes more sense than hell because it offers additonal grace to people who did not orignally receive salvation on earth rather than condeming them to hell.



Following on from this it can be suggested a convincing argument is that pUrgatory alligns with the loving nature of God. The idea of hell presents God to be harsh in nature as he send people to bei tormented in firey anguish for not worhsipping. This contradicts the idea of a loving God . A loving God would potentially try t understand why people sin and rectify it in orderfor them to be reocncile. The idea of purgatory attempts t do this by suggesting that people can be rectifed and worked on in order to get into God’s presents. A strong and concivncg argument that suggests that the idea of hell is not in God’s nature is the statement proposed by David Hick which states that the idea of hell doesn’t portray an all loving God but an anti vindictive one. This is a strong argument as although Purgatory is not wirtten about in the Bible it allings with God’s nature it highlights the clear fallacy that staes that God can be all loving because howcould he send people to suffer. A counter argument against this however can be presented . It can be argued that the dea of God being all loving is exploited and God;s true nature points to the punishment of hell. within coety people are punished for doing bad things not because they arenot loved but because of their actions . If God was to neglect justice for love that suggeste he would be underminign one of his core characteristics which is being just . A strong argument in support of this is presented by Pope John paul who states that Just because God is all lovingdoes not mean he can not issue out justice as well. This re iterates the idea that people neglect characteristics of God in order to suit their idea . Which suggests that the idea of hell makes more senes than hell because its God;s justice for sin. On the other hand ,it can be argued that rugatory still makes more sense. it can be argued wrong doings should be punished however it can be questioned whether they should be punsihed to the extent of eternal torment. David Hume further recognises this stating that the sins humans commit are finite how can they be punished for eternity in Hell, this further strenghtens the idea of prugatory making more senese as it allings with God’s nature. in conclusion it can be argued that purgatory makes more senese than hell as it alligns with both God’s nature to love and to judge as well..


In continuation on this it can be argued that neither hell or purgatory are more convincing argument as God desires for all humans to be saved. The theory of unvierslaism states that God wants all human beings to be reconciled with him one day. rather than them being assigned to hell or purgatory. God created human being in his own image and it could be argued that even on earth he is watching them , It can be questioned how could a God that loves his creationsend them of to somewhere apart from his presence. Origen recongised this and presnets a strong and cohesive arguemtn in favour of this when asked about his theory on hell he belives that human beings will all regarldess of being in helll even for a short time will eventually be reconciled with God. This is a strong argument as the idea of unvierslims offers more hope to people than the ide aof beign seperated from God;s presnce and being sent to either hell or heaven. The idea of universalisim however does not do enough to dissporve both hell and purgatory. The idea of universlaims dismmises the idea of sin. Humans have to be seperated from God because they have sinned ever since the fall. The idea God want everyone to be saved and disregards punishmets like hell or purgatory contradicts this. As their would not have had to be seperation in the first place. The story of the richman and lazarus fiurther illustartes this with the richman not living a hly life and going to hell suggesting that not everybody will be saved bu they all will be judged. in conclusion therofre it can be argued that both hell and purgatory make sense as they both allign with the idea that God will eventually judge everybody on earth.

In conclusion it can be argued that purgatory makes more sense than hell.. As it highlights the idea of God showing his loving nature. and just nature at the same time God loves everybody therefore does not want anybody to go to hell, however he is still just therefore people may be separated form him for a short time through purgatory. Furthermore the idea of purgatory offers hope that even people who ae not good enough can eveneutally make it to heaven as noted by scholars like Origen who see it as being a probation camp,

Hey, you posted this a while ago so I hope it's not too late for a bit of feedback.
I'm in yr 12 going into 13, I've been achieving A-A* in this subject and am predicted an A* so I hope I can be of help :smile:

Your knowledge and understanding is pretty good, I think it might be helpful for you to try to condense what you're trying to say a bit more, as it can be a little unclear and repetitious.
In Developments in Christian thought it is important to reference the Bible as much as possible, and you need to talk about different beliefs within the topic, so in this case Catholics v Protestants.
In the intro you need to try to explain why this matters; for example a person who believed in the Christian God might be unsure whether they are catholic or protestant based on purgatory, and the argument you make has weight over this.

I really like your evaluative paragraph before the conclusion, just try to reference scholars more and make sure they are the right ones (John Hick not David Hick) I think try to do the evaluation in the whole essay rather than little bits at the end of paragraphs or one large paragraph, this makes it look better but it will also make life easier for you.
Was this in timed conditions or not?
This is one I did not in timed conditions, I'd normally write a little less in timed conditions or struggle to write as much as I did in this essay:

(START)Purgatory is the Roman Catholic concept that those who have died and are not quite pure enough for immediate election to heaven, yet also not a true sinner, go through a ‘cleansing process’ to purify sinners, so they are then able to reach heaven. Hell, contrastingly, is a Biblically supported idea, also supported by the majority of Christians that those who have sinned against God will have eternal punishment after they die. To make sense, something has to appear logical and true. Theologians like St Augustine and Calvin would be inclined to disagree that the idea of purgatory makes more sense than hell, due to their belief in limited election, Barth would disagree with the statement due to his belief that not everyone will go to heaven, whereas Hick would support the statement on the basis of his belief in universalism and soul deciding theodicy. The concept of purgatory can help an individual decide which denomination of Christianity resonates with them, but the idea of purgatory also raises the question of which denomination is right. Whilst elements of purgatory make sense, overall it will be argued that the idea of purgatory does not make more sense than hell.


Firstly, aspects of the Bible combined with sources of authority in Christianity suggest that the idea of purgatory makes more sense than hell, particularly Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament (NT). Whilst there is no explicit mention of purgatory in the Bible, Jesus’ teachings on the afterlife at times suggest that purgatory could be a metaphor for repentance and changing our ways after we have repented for our sins. The Catholic tradition teaches that purgatory is a literal place where there is a cleansing “fire” in which those who truly repent are purified. However some protestants might draw on Jesus’ teachings of repentance in the NT and understand purgatory as the process in our earthly lives as distancing ourselves from sin by becoming as pure as we can be on earth via repentance, faith in the Lord and good deeds. Rahner supports a version of this, he suggested that purgatory is a period between death and resurrection whereby the soul becomes aware of its sin, and accepts its failures and repents for them. This appears to make more sense than an absolutist and binary choice between heaven and hell, as Christian teachings place emphasis on repentance, thus to repent for sins in purgatory aligns with Christian belief. Moreover, Catholics rely on the Sacred Tradition as well as the Bible to understand the teachings of their religion. The Sacred Tradition is seen as predating the Church by Catholics, and it is accepted as Jesus’ direct and uninterpreted teachings. Through this method, Catholics came to understand that purgatory is a state which happens in the afterlife. The Catechism also drew on Biblical teachings combined with their reason to understand the concept of purgatory. Therefore it could be argued that the idea of purgatory makes more sense than hell, given that the Catholic Church used a range of sources to prove this, and some protestants might accept the metaphorical explanation of purgatory based on Jesus’ teachings in the NT.

Despite this, the Bible cannot support the idea that purgatory makes more sense than hell, given that it does not explicitly mention purgatory, therefore it can be established that the idea of purgatory does not make more sense than hell. Jesus used the Parable of the Sheep and Goats to explain how the afterlife works, and how God will judge people. Those who did not do good deeds such as giving a thirsty person something to drink will “go away to eternal punishment” and those on the right who did good deeds will go to “eternal life”. Clearly this presents a binary choice between heaven or hell, at no point was a waiting state of cleansing and purifying mentioned. This pattern is repeated throughout the Bible, with Revelations explaining the “fiery furnace” in which sinners will go to and Jesus speaking of God’s “many rooms” in heaven for those that have faith and do good works. At no point is purgatory explicitly mentioned, only heaven or hell. Christians generally accept the Bible as the revelation of God to humans so we could gain a better understanding of God and what He requires of us. Thus it is illogical for a God who wants to share information about Himself not to reveal a state of cleansing and purification, but to reveal other aspects of the afterlife. Therefore it can be established that due to lack of Biblical explanation, the idea of purgatory cannot be considered to make more sense than hell.

Whilst it is true that there may be backing from some traditions, this does not change the fact that not only does the Bible support the counterargument more, but the disagreement over the nature of purgatory between the denominations makes it appear that there is no one true source of knowledge over this matter, rendering purgatory an unauthenticated and undocumented concept which cannot be truly believed in.


Secondly, the idea of purgatory can be considered to make more sense than hell given that it places more emphasis on human’s free will, rather than predestined outcomes for choiceless people. Augustine argued that the Fall meant that we are all born with Original sin, and by the grace of God alone can we enter heaven. He supported limited election, which is the idea that a preselected few would be chosen by God to be sent to heaven after death, and everyone else would go to hell. This seems to contradict Christian teachings about God’s benevolence and mercy, thus perhaps the suggestion of purgatory would make more moral sense than a seemingly malevolent and controlling God. It is not the fault of humans that the first one committed the first sin, so rather than only sending those who have not been given grace to hell, it makes more sense for them to be placed in purgatory to test their ability to turn away from sin. To move away from the Augustinian concept of limited election, even with unlimited election it seems illogical that an eternity could be spent in hell for a lesser sin, purgatory gives sinners who can be cleansed of sin the opportunity to repent for it and move on and go to heaven. This seems to make much more sense than casting graceless souls to the fiery depths of hell and allowing a select few to enter heaven, and also makes more sense than to allow those who have committed lesser sins to suffer forever. Therefore it could be argued that the concept of purgatory makes more sense than hell.

On the contrary, it can be argued that the idea of purgatory does not make more sense than hell, given that it is unclear how the mechanism would work. Without authentic and valid teachings of purgatory from the Bible, humankind is left questioning which actions would be forgiven and which would not, and which actions are so bad that there is not an opportunity for purgatory and purifying. Furthermore, with Christians debating among themselves what sins are so deadly they must not be accepted by the Church and which ones are acceptable and tolerable, it seems impossible for anyone to have any real idea on what would grant someone purgatory. Take homosexuality, many fundamentalist Christians would argue this is a sin which cannot be forgiven, yet some members with authority in the Church of England now teach that homosexuality is to be tolerated. Contradictions like these raise questions about the mechanism of purgatory which appears to have no answer. The Bible contradicts itself on its teachings about final and particular judgement, so there is also a lack of clarity applied to the idea of purgatory, there is no way to be certain whether everyone would be judged and cleansed at the point of death or on the day of judgement. The severity of the seven deadly sins can also be criticised, with gluttony considered not to be severe at all by many today, yet there is wide agreement that murder is an evil sin. Yet they are called deadly because they are severe, so arguably a murderer could be given the same treatment as a gluttonous person in purgatory. Again there is a lack of clarity on whether purgatory is more of an unlimited election or universalist concept, arguably purgatory could allow all sinners to be cleansed and sent to heaven, including murderers. Therefore due to a lack of clarity on how the mechanisms of purgatory would work, it is established that the idea of purgatory does not make more sense than hell.

Whilst the argument that purgatory enables free will to be enacted and could allow those who have committed lesser sins to repent and go to heaven, this seems unlikely given that there is nothing to suggest this is the case, as there is no evidence for purgatory. Other Biblical teachings are clearer in how souls will be judged, which undermines the concept of purgatory as nothing but a story designed to make money, as it did in mediaeval times with indulgences.


Finally, it could be argued that purgatory makes more sense than hell because an omnibenevolent God should aim to forgive all, rather than send sinners to eternal punishment. Jesus’ main message is accepted to be one of love and forgiveness, spreading the message of “love thy neighbour as thyself” in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, and encouraging people to “forgive seventy times seven”. Many Christians also accept that Jesus was God incarnate, so trust that Jesus was spreading the true message of God in order to help humanity seek a relationship with God. The teachings of forgiveness from Jesus which exist throughout the NT seem contradictory to the idea of eternal punishment in hell. The question of the severity of sins is again raised. Hick would be in favour of the view, as he supported universal salvation, as he did not accept that an omnibenevolent God would allow the people he created in imago dei to spend eternity in the most painful state in existence. He felt that no sin could be so evil that the sinner deserved this, especially given that humans are only made in imago dei, we are not perfect and sinless gods. Many Christians would be more accepting of this idea, as it seems to resonate more with Christ’s teachings. Catholics might also emphasise that purgatory is seen as a painful process, more painful than any pain experienced in our earthly state, meaning it is not as though sinners are given a pass to heaven, rather they have to earn it and repent. This universalist concept seems more applicable to an omnibenevolent God than casting all sinners away to hell for eternal damnation, therefore it can be argued that the idea of purgatory makes more sense than hell.

However, it can be evaluated that the idea of purgatory does not make more sense than hell, given that some Christians and others might argue that an omnibenevolent God has already given humans a choice and opportunity to repent for sins. Barth supported the idea of unlimited election, meaning as long as a person has faith in Jesus, they will be forgiven for their sins and allowed into heaven. This is also supported by the Bible, when Jesus tells people that they will be rewarded for their faith. Moreover the Bible acts as a source of revealed authority for Chrisitans to know how to act. It gives clear instructions on what is needed to get into heaven, meaning people are provided with an opportunity to repent for their sins on Earth. Therefore some might argue that those who choose to ignore the word of God have already decided to accept hell. This means that there is no purpose for purgatory, as people have already been given a chance in life. Furthermore, some might feel that a just God would not allow the most evil sinners to have eternal life in His presence, and in the presence of the righteous, so should not be granted the opportunity to repent and enter a sinless place. Fundamentalist Christians might argue that some sins are too evil to be forgiven, and the Old Testament books and Revelations would authenticate this point. Therefore it can be concluded that the idea of purgatory does not make more sense than hell.

Whilst it might appear that no sin is cruel enough to justify eternal damnation, the teachings of the Bible suggest otherwise, and many would accept that in life we are given ample opportunity to choose faith in God, or not and risk eternal suffering.


Ultimately, while there are some points which favour the statement that ‘the idea of purgatory makes more sense than hell’, they are undermined by a total lack of Biblical proof. Moreover, whilst we as humans may feel no sin is too bad to justify eternal suffering, the Bible tells us otherwise, and some Christians argue that we should not be the judges of God’s plan. The contradictions between different denominations of Christianity are too great for purgatory to make any sense at all, with Protestants and Catholics relying on different sources, neither of which have any actual validity. Whilst it is established in this essay that the idea of purgatory does not make more sense than hell, it can be argued that neither of those make sense, given that both seem to be designed for fear mongering and money making, rather than to actually reward and punish the righteous and the sinners. (END)

The structure I like to follow to make sure I get evaluative marks is the intro, then 3 paragraphs which contain a whole counter argument (so it ends up as 6), I also do mini conclusions after each big paragraph (if I have time) to be really critical and evaluative. Then the conclusion. 6 paragraphs is a lot, so 4 is also good, just make them a bit bigger. Hope this helps :smile:

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