Eternal punishment for a finite life: not as difficult as it seems.
The statement: “it seems harsh or incomprehensible how someone could be punished eternally for a finite existence” is a very good one. However, the metaphysical foundation and presupposition of the person stating it takes for granted the fact that “existence” or “reality” IS. Reality itself, if created out of nothing by God, can be what God wants it to be; without reality, there wouldn’t be “finiteness” or “eternity” to account for.
“We all recognize that the world is not the way it is supposed to be.”
The fact that there is evil in the world as a result of our choices would be true and objective whether God exists or not. We all recognize that the world is not the way it is supposed to be; also, science is beautifully explaining the subtleties and mechanisms of an intelligible Universe, but when we discover something, we only discover it, but we don’t create it, since it was there before we got to describe it (let alone the fact that we can even describe it!).
Natural law can help us discern better ways to live our lives, but the existence of natural law itself entails a different type of picture and reasoning, begging the question of why reality IS the way it is. Having the opportunity to live eternally in blissful existence and being punished eternally because of our own choices and decisions is still a better picture than the one that states that life, ultimately, is meaningless and it doesn’t matter what we do, think or discover about it (methodological naturalism or materialism).
Therefore, God’s picture of reality benefits humanity way more than ultimate meaninglessness. God offers two options (that we get to choose): a good one (heaven) and a bad one (hell), and an explanation for reality itself. A reality without God cannot account for itself to begin with, and it is definitely not preoccupied on giving any metaphysical meaning to life itself or our choices.
“Natural law can help us discern better ways to live our lives, but the existence of natural law itself entails a different type of picture and reasoning, begging the question of why reality IS the way it is.”
Then, the question keeps being alive, vibrant and is a real possibility. People can come to the conclusion that God exists by just looking around and wondering about reality; add to it the life that Jesus Christ lived on earth and there you have a whole picture of reality (the tangible and non-tangible one) suitable to all human beings, one that makes us all be equal and goes beyond anything a human mind could have ever imagined. The question of hell is not as difficult as it seems to be when it is contextualized metaphysically."
Pedro R. Garcia (founder of Ask and Wonder).