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Eternal Punishment: Divine Justice and Divine Love

Journal: The Journal of Philosophical Theological Research (Vol.19, No. 71)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 141-160

Keywords : عذاب جاویدان; عدالت الهی; عشق الهی; آنسلم; آدامز; آکویناس; مطهری;

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According to the doctrines of great monotheistic religions, God will fairly judge on the deeds and intentions of all people on the Day of Judgment in hereafter. He will reckon all deeds, even the tiniest ones, will do justice to everyone according to their acts, and will condemn some sinners to eternal punishment. There seems to be at least two important problems about this religious doctrine: First, the eternal punishment is inconsistent with divine justice; second, eternal punishment is inconsistent with divine love. Theologians and thinkers such as Anselm and Jonathan Edwards have tried to prove the consistency of eternal punishment with divine justice. Aquinas has also provided some arguments for the consistency of divine love with eternal punishment. There have also been endeavors in Islamic tradition to argue that the eternal punishment is consistent with divine justice; among the main and recent examples is Motahhari’s view in his book "Adl-e Elahi" (Divine Justice). Examining and comparing the main arguments presented against the two mentioned problems, the present paper argues that all of these arguments fail to provide justified moral answers to the problems, though they differ in terms of their merits and demerits.  

Last modified: 2017-07-20 14:20:42