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Arcturus
06-05-2011, 11:50 PM
Hi All,

Not sure if this is the place, but I'll give it a shot.A normal ten year old girl that was tricked into giving up her soul and was sent, still very much alive, to Hell.

If this child is killed in Hell, who owns her soul? Satan or God?

Would God turn His back on this child?

Ari Meermans
06-05-2011, 11:57 PM
If I believed in such things, I'd say God does and no, he wouldn't. Unless, of course, you consider ten years old 'the age of consent'.

Don't know if that helps any.

Quentin Nokov
06-05-2011, 11:57 PM
God's. No one belongs to Satan unless they are aware and willing to forfeit God for evil. All those who have died at home, on the battle field, or in a shooting, they all have a chance to repent. So, no, God doesn't turn his back on anybody, especially those who seek him. Only those who have turned up their middle finger at God full-well knowing he exists and consciously breaking his laws and, particularly, committing the unpardonable sin could be considered Satan's. Although I don't believe Satan can own anybody. They would still be God's -- just as firewood. :D

Arcturus
06-06-2011, 12:07 AM
And those who don't know God or don't believe in him or don't have the chance to repent?

Ari Meermans
06-06-2011, 12:22 AM
You gave a specific set of criteria--a 10-year old girl who was tricked into giving up her soul. I thought that was in relation to a storyline since the thread is in Story Research. Is this now a religious discussion?

Arcturus
06-06-2011, 12:45 AM
It's both, though more toward the former. There is a storyline involved and I'm trying to get input to decide on which way to go with it, I used a single girl as example, but it's much more complicated. I'm waiting on my editor's response also.

Ari Meermans
06-06-2011, 01:20 AM
Okay. Just wanted to make sure I understand.

Quentin Nokov
06-06-2011, 03:21 AM
And those who don't know God or don't believe in him or don't have the chance to repent?

Haven't you read the Bible, particularly Revelation 20? Those who don't believe in God or don't know him will all have to chance to. It's those -- like the fallen angels -- who believe in him, know him, but still refuse to abide by his laws.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%2020&version=KJV

http://www.ucg.org/doctrinal-beliefs/resurrection-dead-what-does-bible-really-teach/

lbender
06-06-2011, 03:22 AM
Who owns the child's soul depends on the needs of your story. There are enough different religions and enough different heresies in existence for each of them that you can pretty much do what you want. Although each religion has a set of beliefs and a pretty fixed right and wrong, that doesn't mean that you need to follow any particular one. You can also propose a set of screwups, as the infallibility of most anyone's god has often been questioned.

In short, the rules can be whatever you want you want them to be. Anything involving a real god and a real Satan is science fiction anyway.

mscelina
06-06-2011, 03:32 AM
Your world. Your rules. You can choose to follow traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs, as suggested above, or you can go an older route and look at the mythologies of hell--like Orpheus, or Odysseus and Aeneid, mortals who descended to hell and returned, or you can create your own mythology and go from there. There is no "right" answer--unless you want to turn this into a religious debate in which case the thread needs to be moved from the research forum to the Religious forum. This isn't the place to debate Scripture.

Just sayin'.

Arcturus
06-06-2011, 04:44 AM
Haven't you read the Bible, particularly Revelation 20? Those who don't believe in God or don't know him will all have to chance to. It's those -- like the fallen angels -- who believe in him, know him, but still refuse to abide by his laws.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%2020&version=KJV

http://www.ucg.org/doctrinal-beliefs/resurrection-dead-what-does-bible-really-teach/


I have read the bible, but in this case, she' prevented from making that choice.

MeretSeger
06-06-2011, 04:47 AM
This is a contracts issue, so it needs a legal answer. Although I am not a lawyer, I would say that a child 10 years old is unable to enter into a contract, therefore it would be void.

Who owned her soul in the first place? That is where your answer lies. Her soul reverts to its original owner on death, as she could not enter into the contract. Did God own her soul? If he made it, he has copyright, no? And since God is described as 'a jealous God', I would say He would want back what is His. Of course, possession is 90% of the law, as they say, and she is already in Hell.

good story in there.

mgencleyn
06-06-2011, 05:06 AM
The jurisdiction of hell does not preclude a deity's property rights.

Arcturus
06-06-2011, 05:14 AM
This is a contracts issue, so it needs a legal answer. Although I am not a lawyer, I would say that a child 10 years old is unable to enter into a contract, therefore it would be void.

Who owned her soul in the first place? That is where your answer lies. Her soul reverts to its original owner on death, as she could not enter into the contract. Did God own her soul? If he made it, he has copyright, no? And since God is described as 'a jealous God', I would say He would want back what is His. Of course, possession is 90% of the law, as they say, and she is already in Hell.

good story in there.

Again she was tricked and fell into a trap set by Satan. She essentially gave her soul up willingly through deceit. With the jealous God, would he turn his back on her?

To all that's reading this thread, I'm not here to discuss theology, I have sort this out so I can finish the last half my novel.

L.C. Blackwell
06-06-2011, 05:39 AM
I PM'd you on this, but I'm going to add one of my comments for anybody else who's interested. For a bit of literary input, try looking up the poem "The Hound of Heaven." It's what I started thinking of when this subject came up.

Sarah Madara
06-06-2011, 07:02 AM
Who owns the child's soul depends on the needs of your story. There are enough different religions and enough different heresies in existence for each of them that you can pretty much do what you want. Although each religion has a set of beliefs and a pretty fixed right and wrong, that doesn't mean that you need to follow any particular one. You can also propose a set of screwups, as the infallibility of most anyone's god has often been questioned.

In short, the rules can be whatever you want you want them to be. Anything involving a real god and a real Satan is science fiction anyway.

This.

Believers in different sects of Christianity will have differing opinions. The more closely you try to follow the "correct" beliefs, the more you are just setting yourself up for theological arguments you can't win. You decide how you want your story to work, and then stick with it. It's fiction.

Arcturus
06-06-2011, 07:12 AM
This.

Believers in different sects of Christianity will have differing opinions. The more closely you try to follow the "correct" beliefs, the more you are just setting yourself up for theological arguments you can't win. You decide how you want your story to work, and then stick with it. It's fiction.

This a good point and this is what my editor said.

Ink-Stained Wretch
06-06-2011, 08:17 AM
I might be wrong here, but -- among Catholics, isn't the first confession around age seven or so? If that is the case, and if the kid is Catholic, that might suggest ten is old enough to "consent" to sell her soul.

And I vaguely recall reading a fundamentalist-Protestant book as a kid (a book given to me by a very creepy/crazy friend of my mother's, a woman whose insanity manifested itself as religious mania rather than, say, taking orders from the neighbor's dog, so I highly doubt that book in any way represents mainstream Protestant thought), and that book said that turning your back on Christ for any reason at any age will damn you forever -- if a terrorist tells you "Say 'I love Satan' or I'll set off nukes in every major American city," you'll still go to Hell if you say it.

Ultimately, I think, it depends on what kind of God you have in your universe: loving or punitive? How strictly does he adhere to the letter of the law (whatever that law may be)?

Arcturus
06-06-2011, 08:32 AM
I might be wrong here, but -- among Catholics, isn't the first confession around age seven or so? If that is the case, and if the kid is Catholic, that might suggest ten is old enough to "consent" to sell her soul.

And I vaguely recall reading a fundamentalist-Protestant book as a kid (a book given to me by a very creepy/crazy friend of my mother's, a woman whose insanity manifested itself as religious mania rather than, say, taking orders from the neighbor's dog, so I highly doubt that book in any way represents mainstream Protestant thought), and that book said that turning your back on Christ for any reason at any age will damn you forever -- if a terrorist tells you "Say 'I love Satan' or I'll set off nukes in every major American city," you'll still go to Hell if you say it.

Ultimately, I think, it depends on what kind of God you have in your universe: loving or punitive? How strictly does he adhere to the letter of the law (whatever that law may be)?


Another good point. Satan's role in this is laid out. God's role is still not quite clear as of yet.

Linds
06-06-2011, 08:53 AM
Some of this debate made me think of the graphic novel/series Lucifer and Good Omens. They take a base of what we know and expand on that, and twist it to their own purposes. Heck, Milton's Paradise Lost does much the same as well, leaving you with an interesting interpretation of 'the fall' and a rather sympathetic Satan. I do think you have plenty room to work things as you wish (as these did) without sticking/getting bogged down with one specific denomination's theology.

Interesting question though. I'd say, which ever causes the most trouble.

Susan Littlefield
06-06-2011, 09:11 AM
Hi All,

Not sure if this is the place, but I'll give it a shot.A normal ten year old girl that was tricked into giving up her soul and was sent, still very much alive, to Hell.

If this child is killed in Hell, who owns her soul? Satan or God?

Would God turn His back on this child?

Hi Arturus,

People can bring in their many belief systems and give you a whole range of answers, but it may not provide the answer you are looking for.

Within my belief system, I say neither God or Satan owns her soul. Even in spirit form she has free will to decide who she wants to follow. Poor kid was tricked. All kids are deceitful to different degrees at one time or another, that's how we (most of us) grow up to be responsible human beings.

God does not turn his/her back on anyone, a human being turns his/her back on God.

Satan does not lure us into its world, we choose to follow Satan.

With all that said, the bottom line is that you get to decide who, if anyone, owns this poor darling's soul, as you are the writer.

Arcturus
06-06-2011, 09:57 AM
Hi Arturus,

People can bring in their many belief systems and give you a whole range of answers, but it may not provide the answer you are looking for.

Within my belief system, I say neither God or Satan owns her soul. Even in spirit form she has free will to decide who she wants to follow. Poor kid was tricked. All kids are deceitful to different degrees at one time or another, that's how we (most of us) grow up to be responsible human beings.

God does not turn his/her back on anyone, a human being turns his/her back on God.

Satan does not lure us into its world, we choose to follow Satan.

With all that said, the bottom line is that you get to decide who, if anyone, owns this poor darling's soul, as you are the writer.

Thanks Susan. I'm starting to get a clearer picture of what I do now.

Scott Kaelen
06-06-2011, 12:18 PM
If the owning of a person's soul is shortlisted to either Satan or God, in any of their multitude forms, then that can only be because an individual has sold their soul to one or the other. Either way, it's a pretty raw deal. But that's just my opinion.
Now, if we're to take it that both Satan and God fully exist in your particular story, you could add a little more fiction too. For example, nobody has ever literally been to hell, just as no-one has ever actually been to heaven and brought back proof. At least Walter Raleigh brought a potato back. I would say that a story which questions the ownership of souls should also have some pretty good 'for or against' theological arguments.
And don't forget the atheists. There's a very good chance that your girl, or one of them if you're sending several to hell, will be an atheist. Moreover, she may be an atheist who will never believe in the existence of something without proof. Faced with Satan, she has something which she must grudgingly accept, but if God were to somehow intervene (and I don't mean in the way that people say "That rock nearly fell on her, but God intervened and it missed her by a hair." But if God showed itself, the girl might have to believe in its existence. Which would lead to a quandary; if the once-atheist now believes in both Satan and God because they've both revealed themselves, which one will she accept? Or will she renounce them both, even in light of their existence? In many religious beliefs, atheists don't have a soul, or at least are never going to heaven if they haven't accepted God into their lives before they die. What would happen to an absolute atheist in your story? I would say they could have the power to own their own souls, and not condemn themselves to the fate of either deity.
And let's not leave the pagans out! Take Hel, the Norse goddess of death, ruler of Niflheim, where those who die of 'natural' causes go, while the warriors go to Valhalla. What if your character were a pagan and believed in Hel rather than a christian or jewish form of Satan?

Deep and difficult territory when looked at from all angles.

Just a few thoughts there, most of which have probably completely missed the mark for you. I hope I've added a few more sides to an already very prismatic picture, though. :)

Rufus Coppertop
06-06-2011, 01:16 PM
Arcturus, a bit of context might help.

What's hell like in your novel?

How was she tricked?

Arcturus
06-06-2011, 05:42 PM
If the owning of a person's soul is shortlisted to either Satan or God, in any of their multitude forms, then that can only be because an individual has sold their soul to one or the other. Either way, it's a pretty raw deal. But that's just my opinion.
Now, if we're to take it that both Satan and God fully exist in your particular story, you could add a little more fiction too. For example, nobody has ever literally been to hell, just as no-one has ever actually been to heaven and brought back proof. At least Walter Raleigh brought a potato back. I would say that a story which questions the ownership of souls should also have some pretty good 'for or against' theological arguments.
And don't forget the atheists. There's a very good chance that your girl, or one of them if you're sending several to hell, will be an atheist. Moreover, she may be an atheist who will never believe in the existence of something without proof. Faced with Satan, she has something which she must grudgingly accept, but if God were to somehow intervene (and I don't mean in the way that people say "That rock nearly fell on her, but God intervened and it missed her by a hair." But if God showed itself, the girl might have to believe in its existence. Which would lead to a quandary; if the once-atheist now believes in both Satan and God because they've both revealed themselves, which one will she accept? Or will she renounce them both, even in light of their existence? In many religious beliefs, atheists don't have a soul, or at least are never going to heaven if they haven't accepted God into their lives before they die. What would happen to an absolute atheist in your story? I would say they could have the power to own their own souls, and not condemn themselves to the fate of either deity.
And let's not leave the pagans out! Take Hel, the Norse goddess of death, ruler of Niflheim, where those who die of 'natural' causes go, while the warriors go to Valhalla. What if your character were a pagan and believed in Hel rather than a christian or jewish form of Satan?

Deep and difficult territory when looked at from all angles.

Just a few thoughts there, most of which have probably completely missed the mark for you. I hope I've added a few more sides to an already very prismatic picture, though. :)

Oh My God, I never even thought of this! Nice Job!

Arcturus
06-06-2011, 05:46 PM
Arcturus, a bit of context might help.

What's hell like in your novel?

How was she tricked?

She's in basically an outer layer, because of heat and the need to breathe. Demons live in the "real" Hell. How she was tricked, I don't feel comfortable revealing yet.

Royal Mercury
06-07-2011, 09:23 AM
Hi All,

Not sure if this is the place, but I'll give it a shot.A normal ten year old girl that was tricked into giving up her soul and was sent, still very much alive, to Hell.

If this child is killed in Hell, who owns her soul? Satan or God?

Would God turn His back on this child?

Would God turn his back on a 10 year old child? It all depends on your theology. A Catholic interpretation would be different than that of a fundamentalist church.

Technically, Satan gets her soul when she is tricked. But what God wants God gets.

This idea has interesting possibilities along the lines of the Devil and Daniel Webster.

What did she get for her soul? That's important. I remember one story about souls in Hell. I remember that one soul escapes the devil, because that person had sacrificed their soul to save someone else.

As a Universalist, I find this question absurd, but amusing. Buddhists and Taoists would probably find it to be the result of ego, and as such, a good target for humor.
Good luck.

Rufus Coppertop
06-07-2011, 12:11 PM
She's in basically an outer layer, because of heat and the need to breathe. Demons live in the "real" Hell. How she was tricked, I don't feel comfortable revealing yet.

A idea of one living person being in hell is so philosophically and theologically suspect that I wonder if there's any reason to stop at one.

An outer layer because of heat and the need to breathe?

Did the devil create this outer layer just for her?

I'm imagining this world of yours and thinking that she can't possibly be the only one! After all, why would a competent trickster like the devil, stop at just one?

A whole bunch of kids naive enough to be tricked by the devil and pissed off enough about that fact could potentially create all sorts of mischief.

lbender
06-07-2011, 06:19 PM
A idea of one living person being in hell is so philosophically and theologically suspect that I wonder if there's any reason to stop at one.

An outer layer because of heat and the need to breathe?

Did the devil create this outer layer just for her?

I'm imagining this world of yours and thinking that she can't possibly be the only one! After all, why would a competent trickster like the devil, stop at just one?

A whole bunch of kids naive enough to be tricked by the devil and pissed off enough about that fact could potentially create all sorts of mischief.

This last idea is interesting - along the lines of THE RANSOM OF RED CHIEF.

Arcturus
06-08-2011, 02:22 AM
Thanks so much, guys.

Nivarion
06-10-2011, 01:30 AM
For some reason, I now have the mental image of a lawyer, in suit and tie cool and relaxed, challenging the facing down the devil for the souls of the children.

hehe. If I were writing that as a story, I would have to crack half a million lawyer in hell jokes.

Yeah, don't think I can add much else here.