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Forum Philosophicum

Volume 25, Issue 2, Autumn 2020

Alex R. Gillham
Pages 235-254

Threats, Coercion, and Willingness to Damn
Three More Objections against the Unpopulated Hell View

In this paper, I develop and evaluate three new objections to the Un­populated Hell View (UHV). First, I consider whether UHV is false because it presupposes that God makes threats, which a perfect being would not do. Second, I evaluate the argument that UHV is false because it entails that God coerces us and therefore limits our freedom to an objectionable degree. Third, I consider whether UHV is false because it implies that God is willing to damn some individuals to Hell. I conclude that none of these objections defeats UHV. First, even if God’s creation or allowance of Hell constitutes a threat, a perfect God might choose to threaten us when doing so is in our best interest. Second, God’s creation or allowance of Hell is not coercive and does not limit our freedom to an objectionable degree. Third, although damnation in Hell is possible, God is unwilling to actualize it. In light of these findings, I stand by the conclusion from my initial article: UHV merits further consideration as a solution to the Problem of Hell.

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