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Mittwoch, 24.11.2021

Gastvortrag  ONLINE

If Vicious Character Constitutes Hell's Punishment and Explains Its Fixity, then Probably All Will Be Saved

18:00 - 19:45 Uhr
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Robert Hartman

Robert J. Hartman works in normative ethics, metaphysics, and philosophical theology. He is a visiting assistant professor of philosophy at Tulane University. He is the author of In Defense of Moral Luck (2017) and co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy and Psychology of Luck (2019). Currently, he is writing a monograph titled Character and Free Will as well as a series of papers that apply its insights to theological puzzles about gratitude, heaven, purgatory, and hell.

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According to one prominent view, the punishment of hell is constituted by the natural consequences of the damned person’s vicious character; and the damned suffer forever, because they have freely fixed their character in a way that makes repentance psychologically impossible. So, even though God continues to desire reconciliation with persons in hell, they do not all-things-considered want reconciliation with God. But this explanation of hell’s finality is implausible. Since God enables human free choice to accept God’s invitation to salvation in their pre-mortem lives, God would re-enable that ability to accept freely God’s invitation to salvation in their post-mortem lives. That is, God would make direct or indirect alterations in the character of damned persons and give them new motivational reasons that re-enable their freedom to repent. But then, it is probable all damned persons will be saved eventually in part because there is a potential infinity of opportunities for each person to choose freely to repent. Thus, if such views about the nature of hell and divine love are correct, probably all will be saved.


Instiut für Christliche Philosophie
Doktoratskolleg Religionsphilosophie
ICPR - Innsbruck Center for Philosophy of Religion