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(Affective) union in hell



According to Eleonore Stump, God has a morally sufficient reason for allowing evil (or more properly, suffering) if, by allowing it, either the sufferer's permanent separation from God can be prevented or their deeper union with God can be motivated. But if, in the life to come, it is not possible for a person to be united with God, can God have a morally sufficient reason for allowing their suffering? After rejecting Stump's ingenious answer to this question, I argue that God has a morally sufficient reason to allow an inhabitant of even a maximally bad hell to suffer, namely, to prevent their further separation from God, and from themselves, and to motivate their ‘affective’ union with God.


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