The Christian God is claimed to be moral and just. But both the very concept of an eternal Hell and the basis for being sent there are factors which contradict the idea that such a god is just.
1) No purpose for eternal punishment except cruelty
The purpose of morality is to minimize suffering, and the purpose of punishment is to modify behavior or protect others. Thus there is no moral justification whatsoever for eternal torture as a form of punishment. Repentance and forgiveness would satisfy the conditions, as would simply snapping someone out of existence. So there is no purpose in eternal torture. The concept is only supported by pure hatred and lust for violence.
2) The morality of one’s actions are irrelevant to their fate
In Abrahamic religion you are not rewarded or punished for your deeds. If you accept Jesus (or Islamic doctrine, in Islam), then all your sins are forgiven. But if you do not accept Jesus, then you are punished no matter how good you were. Your actions in life are irrelevant, no matter how good or how loathsome. Belief or disbelief is the only standard by which you are judged.
3) No forgiveness after sentencing
God is said to be all-merciful and all-forgiving, yet there is no mercy or forgiveness whatsoever after Judgment Day. After sending someone to Hell, God will never release them from it, regardless of their perceived offense.
4) Information needed to make choice is not provided until too late
Believing in God and following his chosen specific belief system is a requirement to be saved in Christianity and Islam. But according to Christian and Islamic belief, God sentences people to their eternal fate on Judgment Day – the same time at which he will supposedly prove he even exists and prove what his actual wishes were. This means people are not given the information they need to make the decision until it’s too late.
So not only is the determining factor in one’s fate not related to morality as mentioned in Point 2, it isn’t even related to what it claims to be based on: your acceptance or rejection of a certain god and belief system. The determining factor for being rewarded or punished is actually a result of the pure chance of guesswork, culture, and family tradition.
For Christians and Muslims to understand this issue, they should consider how they would feel if after years of devotion and believing they made the right choice, Judgment Day arrived and it turned out they had been wrong. Regardless of all good intentions, you are doomed.
How is that god just? Were Christianity or Islam true, God would be utterly insane and morally sick.
Note: Response to “God’s authority is infinite” argument
Fundamentalist Christians often attempt to justify the brutality of Hell with this argument:
“Human authority is limited, but God’s authority is infinite. So punishment for disobeying humans is limited, but punishment for disobeying God is infinite.”
1) Degree of authority being disobeyed is irrelevant to the severity of a crime
It doesn’t matter how much authority God or anyone has. Might does not make Right. The punishment of unfathomable, eternal torture is not proportional to the “crime” of disbelieving in God (which is the only basis for punishment. See Point 2) or most crimes for that matter. The punishment should be proportional to the crime, not the proclaimed authority of a self-appointed judge.
For example, when a child disobeys his parents and steals from the cookie jar, they don’t deal him a hot poker to the eye and torture him until he dies. That would be absurdly immoral because regardless of the strength of parental authority, that punishment would not be proportional to the crime. The punishment would be done not for justice, but for cruelty.
2) “Authority” is a subjective perception, not an actual property
Authority is a mental concept. It’s not a thing that literally exists as part of anything. It’s just an idea or opinion about something. It simply refers to the claimed legal justification asserted by a being or group who can impose their will by force. It is an opinion by some beings that another being should be obeyed. Thus the authority one has is entirely based on how much authority each individual thinks that being deserves. So “authority” can never be used to claim a universal moral right to do anything. It is simply nonsensical.