Hell and the Problem of Evil, Andrei Buckareff & Allen Puig

Contains philosophical objections to the doctrine of hell.





Diminished capacities: The third problem comes from the limited powers of agents that impede their ability to make good choices prior to death. If God is omniscient, then God would be aware of the powers possessed by agents that both enable them and serve to block them from satisfying conditions for avoiding eternal punishment. Divine aid in the form of prevenient grace notwithstanding, agents do not have it in their power to fully appreciate the gravity of their circumstances and respond appropriately.

The problem, according to the vagueness objection, is that any possible criterion would admit of borderline cases. That is, there will be individuals on the border of wither side of the cut-off line. Consider a pair of individuals, one of whom barely meets the criterion to enter heaven and the other barely fails to meet that criterion… It would be impossible to treat these two individuals in a more disparate manner – one receives the ultimate good, communion with God; the other receives the ultimate punishment, eternal damnation. According to the vagueness objection this difference in punishment is unjust.

If a person can commit an infinite amount of harm in one act it is only by harming an infinite being. The only infinite being would be God. But the problem here is that according to classical theism, God cannot be harmed. On the classical conception of God, God is impassible and, hence, not liable to being harmed by another being. So we cannot harm God. Since God is the only possible infinite being, it is impossible to commit an infinite harm by harming an infinite being.

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