Oxford is beginning a large venture, to create selective bibliographies across disciplines of important topics in each discipline. Duncan Pritchard is editing the philosophy section, and I’m not sure who else is on the editorial board, but as part of my agreeing to be on it, I also agreed to do some entries. One of them is on heaven and hell, available here. The draft is very rough at this point, so any comments, including sins of omission as well as commission, are welcome!
Let me try out this proof of universalism in which *perfect goodness* and *perfect justice* seem to coincide. (Inspired by points made in discussion with Ric Otte and AP–neither is responsible for my use of the points).
1. For all x, no matter how morally evil x chose to be, it is *possible* that God says, after x’s death, “I commend x for having led a morally perfect life.”
2. For all x, were God to utter, after x’s death, “I commend x for having led a morally perfect life”, then x would have led a morally perfect life.
3. If God were (i) to utter, after x’s death, “I commend x for having led a morally perfect life” and (ii) to send x immediately to heaven, then it would display *perfect justice and perfect goodness*.
4. For all x, no matter how morally evil x chose to be, *God should and does say*, after x’s death, “I commend x for having led a morally perfect life” and God should and does send x immediately to heaven.
5. :. Universalism is true.
To continue the recent discussions of hell, let me ask the wise folks of PB for their collective wisdom.
I was reading a recent article by Wilko Van Holten entitled “Can the Traditional View of Hell be Defended? An Evaluation of Some Arguments for Eternal Punishment” in Anglican Theological Review–not a journal I normally read, but I figured “What the hell?” (Ok, no more bad puns in this post, I promise).
Rest below the fold:
In a new issue of Religious Studies, Gordon Knight has an interesting article on universalism and open theism that many PBers may be interested in (“Universalism for Open Theists,” 42 (2006):213-223).
Here is the central thrust of his argument:
I will argue that belief in the openness of God makes a hard case even worse. Furthermore, while this problem is perhaps most vivid in the case of open theism, it also can be generalized for all theists who accept a non-Molinist account of foreknowledge and who accept a libertarian conception of freedom of the will. On the other hand, this very same commitment to liberatarian freedom also precludes non-Molinists from accepting the sort of necessary universalism recently advocated by Talbott. The solution, I will argue, lies in adopting a version of contingent universalism that is able to avoid the moral problems of the [traditional] doctrine of hell while at the same time not doing violence to the strong conception of libertarian freedom to which open theists (among others) are committed (214).
A few comments below the fold.