Wednesday, October 29, 2014

On Sentencing

“I don’t get it,” Jaelin said.  “Hell is supposed to be eternal.  That’s what it’s for—eternal punishment.”

“Apparently that wasn’t the way it was designed,” I said with a shrug.

“Well that was a pretty stupid design,” she retorted.  “It’s a good thing we got that fixed.”

“No, I think it’s broken,” I said.  “We need to fix it.”

“Why would it be broken?” she asked.  “Bad humans die, they go to Hell, they get punished for being bad.  End of story!”

All humans die and go to Hell,” I corrected.   “You guys torture a lot of different people.  Serial killers, rapists, unfaithful spouses, tax evaders… but most of these people don’t actually deserve to be punished forever.  You think a guy that cheated on his girlfriend once when he was nineteen deserves the same duration of torment as a guy that cuts people up into little pieces?”

“That’s why he’d get a lighter sentence,” Jaelin reasoned.  “So his punishment doesn’t involve as much agony as the murderer’s punishment does.”

“Come on, help me out here, guys,” I appealed to Talamur and Sylnie.

Talamur cleared his throat.  “I kind of agree with him, Jaelin, I have to admit,” he said.  “But then again I’ve been living among humans for a long time now and I might have gone a little bit soft over the years.”

Jaelin snorted.  “You think?”

“I guess it make sense, in a way,” Sylnie said slowly.  “I mean, you’d have to do something really bad to deserve endless torment.  At some point, you have to have lived stuff down and paid the price for your mistakes, right?”

“Thank you!” I said.  “That’s what I’m saying!  Don’t get me wrong, God’s plan has its flaws or whatever, but it’s better than keeping every single person trapped down there forever.”  Jaelin seemed unappeased.  “Don’t worry,” I told her.  “There will still be a steady incoming stream of assholes for you guys to sink your teeth into.”

“We should be assuming that last bit was figurative, yes?” Talamur said with a grin.

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