Religious Studies

Eternally incorrigible: the continuing-sin response to the proportionality problem of hell

a1 Department of Philosophy, University of Washington, Box 353350, Seattle, WA 98195


According to the proportionality objection to hell, infinite suffering is out of proportion to any wrong that finite human beings could commit and is hence unjust and inconsistent with God's moral perfection. The continuing-sin response concedes that eternal consignment to hell is out of proportion to the sins people commit during their earthly lives, but argues that people in hell continue to sin while in hell and, in this way, extend their consignment to hell ad infinitum. In this essay, I evaluate the continuing-sin response. In particular, I argue that whether there is a proportionality problem to begin with and whether the continuing-sin response succeeds as a response depends on the character of the suffering that is experienced in hell.