A legacy post originally published on MAY 27, 2010 at 7:45 AM
🔗 Rationality and Universalism by Mike Almeida
I will argue from the fact that some rational persons enjoy eternal bliss to universalism. My conclusion is that necessarily, universalism is true.
POINT: For each eternally damned person P, there is a point to P being damned in W iff R is the reason that P is damned in W and for all worlds W ’ in which P exists, reasons R hold and there are no reasons R’ such that (R & R ’) are weaker reasons for P to be damned, P is damned.
The justification for POINT is evident. Let R be all of God’s reasons for and against P’s damnation. R either is or is not sufficient reason for P’s damnation. If R is sufficient reason for P’s damnation, then R is sufficient reason for P’s damnation in any world in which it holds.
MERCY: For each person P, if R is the reason that P is damned in W, then there is some world W ’ such that reasons R hold, there are no reasons R ’ such that (R & R ’) are weaker reasons for P to be damned, and God mercifully saves P (despite R).
God’s mercy is of course freely given and displays the well-known asymmetry of justice. God’s moral perfection is consistent with not punishing those who deserve punishment, but it is not consistent with punishing those who do not deserve punishment.
BLISS: For any rational person P, it is not possible that P enjoys eternal bliss unless P knows that no one is suffering eternal damnation pointlessly.
Worlds in which punishment is distributed pointlessly are incoherent worlds. The pointless damnation of persons makes the enjoyment of eternal bliss impossible for genuinely rational agents (not so bad for less than rational agents, however).
From POINT and MERCY it follows that every damned person is pointlessly damned. Arbitrarily select a damned person P. Let R be the reasons for P’s damnation. Given MERCY we know that there is some world W ’ in which R holds, there are no reasons R ’ such that (R & R ’) are weaker reasons for P to be damned, and God mercifully saves P. But then P is pointlessly damned in W. Since we chose P arbitrarily, it follows that everyone who is damned is pointlessly damned.
If everyone who is damned is pointlessly damned, then no rational person enjoys eternal bliss.
CONCLUSION: If some rational person enjoys eternal bliss, then universalism is true.
But we know that, necessarily, some rational person enjoys eternal bliss, since God enjoys eternal bliss. It follows that necessarily universalism is true.