David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Religious Ethics 9 (1):118 - 130 (1981)
On the basis of a distinction between suffering and punishment, I maintain that divine punishment is suffering understood against the backdrop of an ultimate or divine morality. Suffering can in some cases be a retributively just desert even where there is an obvious absence of distributive justice. After reconciliation with God the suffering may continue unabated, but the suffering loses its status as punishment. An innocent or forgiven person cannot be punished no matter how much s/he is made to suffer. Divine punishment is an ultimate moral concept, an interpretation placed on suffering by a person of morally good will.
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