Hell, the Problem of Evil, and the Perfection of the Universe

American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 89 (4):603-628 (2015)
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In this article, I address the question why God would create a world with damned human beings in it when (presumably) he could create a better world without damned human beings. Specifically, I explain and defend what I call the “perfection of the universe argument.” According to this argument, which is Augustinian and Thomistic in origin, it is entirely and equally consistent with divine goodness for God to create a world with damned human beings in it or a damnation-free world so long as God ensures that each world is good as a whole. I then respond to two different objections to this argument. Finally, I show how the perfection of the universe argument leaves room for hoping that we live in a world in which no human being is damned and God affords every human being a life that is good as a whole.



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Paul A. Macdonald Jr.
United States Air Force Academy

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Thomas Aquinas on Reprobation.Adam Wood - 2022 - Res Philosophica 99 (1):1-23.

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