Universalism and autonomy: Towards a comparative defense of universalism

Faith and Philosophy 18 (2):222-240 (2001)
Abstract
In arecent article, Michael Murray critiques several versions of universalism-that is, the doctrine that in the end all persons are saved. Of particular interest to Murray is Thomas Talbott’s version of universalism (called SU1 by Murray), which puts forward a strategy for ensuring universal salvation that purports to preserve the autonomy of the creatures saved. Murray argues that, on the contrary, the approach put forward in SU1 is not autonomy-preserving at all. I argue that this approach preserves the autonomy of the creature at least as well as the approach posited by the traditional doctrine of hell. Since SU1 clearly does more to preserve the well-being of the creature, it follows that, on the assumption that God loves all His creatures, SU1 is preferable to the doctrine of hell
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