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Dantes Reconciliation of a Loving God and a Horrific Hell Dante Alighieri a great Italian poet is most noted for a journey which he wrote of in his Divine Comedy series In these works Alighieri sends a fictional Dante through Hell Purgatory and Heaven The Inferno is a detailed description of Dantes journey through Hell While on this journey Dante witnesses the scourge of the damned through the use of all senses He smells the foul odors sees the horrifying sights feels the heat as well as the cold and hears the overwhelming cries of all sinners Ironically the purpose of this journey is to expose Dante to Hell so that he will spend eternity in Heaven Throughout this journey we begin to realize that man is neither smart nor strong enough to face the hardships in life without the intervention of God However this divine intervention does not guarantee salvation It is a choice made by man that does insure salvation So as seen in The Inferno hell still exists and the chances of going there are real A reader might wonder how God can allow this kind of suffering and pain Dante succeeds in justifying the coexistence of God who is omnipotent just and loving with a hell that is treacherous disgusting and eternal Dante alludes to the power of God as one of his recurring themes in The Inferno Dante the character is a mere mortal God placed him in the hands of Virgil a great Roman poet who represents human reason within The Inferno Although Dante has human reason as his guide his mission cannot be completed without divine intervention The power of God is demonstrated in Canto nine when a heavenly messenger is sent to open a gate that no one else can However the question still remains how can such an omnipotent God allow this punishment in hell God like any father is demonstrating the concept of operant conditioning
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