Love and Death

In Simon Cushing (ed.), Heaven and Philosophy. Lexington Books. pp. 137-52 (2018)
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Imagine you find yourself in heaven after death, only to discover that the soul of your dearest love is suffering in hell. Would your bliss be marred by the suffering of your loved one? The “argument from love” challenges the traditional Christian conception of heaven and hell as places of perfect bliss and terrible suffering, respectively, on the grounds that no lover in heaven could be very happy if she were aware that her beloved was suffering in hell. Love requires concern for the well-being of one’s beloved, thus apparently rendering heavenly bliss impossible for those who love an unreformed sinner. Here I defend a traditional conception of heaven and hell against the perplexing mismatch between the blessed souls’ love for the damned and apparent indifference to their plight.

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Helen Daly
Colorado College


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