Religious Studies 26 (2):227 - 245 (1990)

Thomas Talbott
Willamette University
According to some theists, God will never completely destroy moral evil or banish it from his creation entirely; instead, he will eventually confine moral evil to a specific region of his creation, a region known as hell, and those condemned to hell, having no hope of escape from it, will live out eternity in a state of estrangement from God as well as from each other. Let us call that the traditional doctrine of hell. Elsewhere I have argued that any form of theism which includes such a doctrine, even one that tries to preserve consistency by denying the universal love of God, is in fact logically inconsistent. But moderately conservative theists, as I have called them, have an argument for the traditional doctrine that some have found convincing, one that emphasizes libertarian free will. The argument is this. Because God is perfectly loving, he wills the good for every created person and wills the redemption of all who have fallen into evil; but because he has also given his loved ones the gift of freedom and some of them in fact exercise their freedom to reject him forever, it is simply not within his power, even as an omnipotent being, to redeem all of those who fall into evil. According to moderately conservative theists, therefore, the following hypothesis, which I shall call the Rejection Hypothesis , is at least possibly true: Some persons will, despite God's best efforts to save them, freely and irrevocably reject God and thus separate themselves from God forever
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DOI 10.1017/S0034412500020382
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References found in this work BETA

Middle Knowledge and the Problem of Evil.Robert Merrihew Adams - 1977 - American Philosophical Quarterly 14 (2):109-117.

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Citations of this work BETA

Hell, Justice, and Freedom.Charles Seymour - 1998 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 43 (2):69-86.
Karma and the Problem of Evil: A Response to Kaufman.Monima Chadha & Nick Trakakis - 2007 - Philosophy East and West 57 (4):533-556.
The Injustice of Hell.S. Kershnar - 2005 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 58 (2):103-123.
Universalism and the Problem of Hell.Ioanna-Maria Patsalidou - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (11):808-820.

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