By Charles Seymour (auth.)

In A Theodicy of Hell Charles Seymour tackles some of the most tough difficulties dealing with the western theistic culture: to teach the consonance among everlasting punishment and the goodness of God. Medieval theology tried to solve the challenge via arguing that any sin, regardless of how moderate, advantages never-ending torment. modern thinkers, however, are inclined to do away with the retributive aspect from hell solely. Combining old breadth with particular argumentation, the writer develops a unique figuring out of hell which avoids the extremes of either its conventional and sleek competitors. He then surveys the battery of objections ranged opposed to the potential of everlasting punishment and indicates how his `freedom view of hell' can face up to the assault. The paintings should be of specific value for these attracted to philosophy of faith and theology, together with teachers, scholars, seminarians, clergy, and somebody else with a private wish to come to phrases with this perennially hard doctrine.

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Fear of hell leads to fear of death, and the fear of death can drive people to do anything, even to betray family and country, to stay alive: Consider too the greed and blind lust of power that drive unhappy men to overstep the bounds of right and may even turn them into accomplices or instruments of crime, struggling night and day with unstinted effort to scale the pinnacles of wealth. These running sores of life are fed in no small measure by the fear of death. For abject ignominy and irksome poverty seem far indeed from the joy and assurance of life, and in effect loitering already at the gateway of death.

N. K. Sandars (London: Penguin, 1971) 115. 19. Bernstein 41-42. 20. Bernstein 42-46. 21. Minois 27. 22. Plato, Phaedo 113 d-e, trans. Hugh Tredennick, Plato: Collected Dialogues, ed. Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1989) 94. 23. e of the soul after death? Since he believed the soul was immaterial, it might seem inconsistent for him to hold that it suffers punishment from material substances like boiling mud and lava. Whether or not this is truly inconsistent is a separate question, one addressed in depth by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.

Actually, meriting both eternal punishment and eternal reward is not necessarily contradictory. But no way of resolving the contradiction will help Gregory defend the justice of hell. For instance, an eternal fate consisting of alternating moments of misery and joy could satisfy both demands of justice. But such a fate would not be hell as we have defined it, and so in the case of Bob The Argument From Justice 43 Gregory's argument fails to show how hell is just. Again, if Bob were sent to hell but had his torments mitigated, then it might be said that he would receive both eternal punishment (being sent to hell) and eternal reward (the lessening of his eternal punishment).

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