Southwest Philosophy Review

Volume 38, Issue 1, January 2022

Eric Reitan
Pages 191-198

Is Annihilation More Severe than Eternal Conscious Torment?

In Hell and Divine Goodness, James Spiegel defends the surprising position that of the two dominant non-universalist Christian views on the fate of the damned—the traditionalist view that the damned suffer eternal conscious torment (ECT), and the annihilationist view that the damned are put out of existence—the annihilationist view actually posits the more severe fate from the standpoint of a punishment. I argue here that his case for this position rests on two questionable assumptions, and that even granting these assumptions there are intuitive reasons, reasons Spiegel has not addressed, for supposing that ECT is more severe.