Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 1:26 pm
by Midas
One philosophical argument frequently made against the traditional view of Hell is that it is hard to reconcile with the idea that God is perfectly loving. This is presumably because there is everlasting suffering for the damned under this view, which is incompatible with willing the total flourishing of the damned. And, since being perfectly loving is supposed to entail willing the total flourishing of all creatures, including the damned, the tradtionalist is put into a dilemma between modifying his view of Hell or denying that God is perfectly loving.

Yet, most universalist models also involve post-mortem suffering for the damned of some sort that is both retributive and medicinal. So, why wouldn't a similar problem also arise for those models? After all, it could be argued that whenever God wills that some suffering befall a creature, He is not willing their total flourishing since suffering by its nature is the privation of some aspect of one's flourishing. Perhaps the universalist response to be made here is to say that by willing that the suffering be a means to the eventual redemption of the damned person in question, God is indeed willing their total flourishing. But this strikes me as unsatisfying since it seems that truly willing someone's total flourishing would require one to bring it about when possible rather than at some indefinite point in the future. So, the universalist would then have to say that it's not possible to save everyone after death without inflicting suffering, but why think that that is true?