The "heretics" in the sixth circle didn't just deny God but all the teachings of the Church. They deny the immortality of the human soul. When they die, their souls become trapped in fiery tombs so that they'll come to realize how wrong their perspective about the human soul was when they were alive. Being trapped in such a place is a reflective punishment for how wrong they've lived out their lives. The heretics fail to believe in God and literally "burn" in the 6th Circle of hell -heresy. Revelation 21:8 "But for the cowardly and UNBELIEVING and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death
Six is clearly stamped in the bible as the number of man. It was on the 6th day of creation that God created man. Thus, man in the 6th circle who did not believe that He created him burn -number 6. Six could be seen as being 4- the creation of mankind's world, plus two -mankind's seperation from God. Circle 6 being where mankind is eternally separated from God in hell. Or six could be viewed as seven (spiritual perfection), minus one, mankind coming short of spiritual perfection-the non believers.
Magaera on the left, Allecto on the right, and Tisiphone between them. "Three infernal Furies," like most of Dante's symbols, it reflects religion. Three as a spiritual number. The father, the son, and the holy ghost. Heaven, Hell,and Purgatory.
6 represents evil. After God had banished Adam ad Eve from the Garden of Eden, He saw in chapter "6" of Genesis that their descendants became very wicked. "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5 Thus in chapter 6 God started his plan to rid the earth of evil mankind. Noah was 600 years old when the flood came.
Pope Anastasius was thought wrongly to have accepted a heresy promoted by theoligian Photinus that Christ was not divine but ony human. Virgil briefly describes the remaining circles of hell. 7th Circle is for violence, further broken down into three part. (Note number 3) 8th Circle for people who decieve generally. 9th Cirlce for those that betray those who love them.
Pope Anastasius." Google Images. Web. 18 Jul 2011. inferno-information.html>. "Description of Hell." Inferno. Web. 20 Jul 2011. the_number_3_in_Dante's_inferno>. "9 levels of hell." dante. Web. 20 Jul 2011. http://www.dantesinferno.com/us/explore. "Images circle 6 Dante's Inferno." Circle 6. Web. 20 Jul 2011. . "6th Circle Analysis." atheist. Web. 20 Jul 2011. http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://i.ytimg.com/vi/h-axBaJ_9D0/0.jpg&imgrefurl=http://wn.com/Heresey__The_6th_Circle&usg=__ulAFRGpReC9LMxIOH0CRMBgdk7k=&h=360&w=480&sz=27&hl=en&start=0&sig2=ZQvQYTZ1LPArzycXabJBGQ&zoom=1&tbnid=QKPEZ-15k3f7yM:&tbnh=156&tbnw=220&ei=uAgnTqr0OuLw0gG5k9XVCg&prev=/search%3Fq%3DInferno%2B6th%2Bcircle%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D631%26tbm%3Disch&um=1&itbs=1&iact=rc&page=1&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0&tx=41&ty=118.
freethinker n. One who has rejected authority and dogma, especially in his religious thinking, in favor of rational inquiry and speculation. -The American Heritage Dictionary