In Defense of Animal Universalism

In T. Ryan Byerly & Eric Silverman (eds.), Paradise Understood: New Philosophical Essays about Heaven. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 161-192 (2017)
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This paper defends “Animal Universalism,” the thesis that all sentient non-human animals will be brought into Heaven and remain there for eternity. It assumes that God exists and is all-powerful, perfectly loving, and perfectly just. From these background theses, the authors argue that Animal Universalism follows. If God is perfectly loving, then God is concerned about the well-being of non-human animals, and God chooses to maximize the well-being of each individual animal when doing so does not harm other individual creatures or violate creaturely freedom. If God is perfectly just, then God does not arbitrarily discriminate against non-human animals by offering humans an opportunity to enter Heaven but not offering the same to each animal. Each of these conclusions implies Animal Universalism.

Author Profiles

Blake Hereth
University of Pennsylvania
Tyler John
Longview Philanthropy


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