An Aeon article on the possibility and ethics of a human imposed artificial hell opens with the following statement:
Even in my most religious moments, I have never been able to take the idea of hell seriously. Prevailing Christian theology asks us to believe that an all-powerful, all-knowing being would do what no human parent could ever do: create tens of billions of flawed and fragile creatures, pluck out a few favourites to shower in transcendent love, and send the rest to an eternity of unrelenting torment.
I wouldn’t want to worship that god either.
But God isn’t that. He created man sin free but with an ability to become otherwise through an act of disobedience.
We are responsible for evil in the world.
The fact that God saw fit to create man and communicate with him at all, even as a friend, is amazing. That He did all this knowing we’d disobey is a wonder. That He would sacrifice His Son on our behalf is a miracle beyond compare. That he would save any (rather than none) is a superlative I can’t express.
It’s characterizations like that in the Aeon article which lead others to make heartrending statements like this:
As I have explained previously, the problem of evil prevents me from believing in God, or at least an all-powerful God who gives a damn about us. But the problem of beauty keeps me from being an adamant atheist.
Beauty is an attribute of God and His habitations. He set beauty in our midst for our enjoyment and so that we’d look to him for salvation.