Alex R GillhamCorresponding authorORCID id

How Problematic is an Unpopulated Hell?

25/1 – Spring 2020, pages 107-121
Date of online publication: 25 June 2020
Date of publication: 25 June 2020


The Problem of Suffering (PoS) claims that there is tension between the existence of a perfect God and suffering. The Problem of Hell (PoH) is a version of PoS claiming that a perfect God would lack morally sufficient reasons to allow individuals to be damned to Hell eternally. A few traditional solutions have been developed to PoH, but each of them is problematic. As such, if there is a solution to PoH that is resilient to these problems, then it deserves our attention. In this paper, I develop such a solution. I call this the Unpopulated Hell View (UHV), which claims that Hell exists as a place where eternal damnation could take place, although it never does. First, I explain how UHV solves PoH. Next, I develop four objections against UHV and defend UHV against them. I argue that although some of these objections do more damage to UHV than others, UHV has satisfying responses to all of them. Ultimately I conclude that UHV merits consideration as a novel solution to PoH because it is less problematic than the traditional ones. 

Cite this article

Gillham, Alex R. “How Problematic is an Unpopulated Hell?” Forum Philosophicum 25, no. 1 (2020): 107–21. doi:10.35765/forphil.2020.2501.7.


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