The Problem of Evil and the Problem of God

The Problem of Evil and the Problem of God

The Problem of Evil and the Problem of God

The Problem of Evil and the Problem of God

Synopsis

"This book is D. Z. Phillips' systematic attempt to discuss the problem of evil. He argues that the problem is inextricably linked to our conception of God. In an effort to distinguish between logical and existential problems of evil, that inheritance offers us distorted accounts of God's omnipotence and will. In his interlude, Phillips argues that, as a result, God is ridiculed out of existence, and found unfit to plead before the bar of decency. However, Phillips elucidates a neglected tradition in which we reach a different understanding of God's presence amidst suffering, and addresses the ultimate question of how God can be said to be with those who are crushed by life's afflictions. An ideal text for students of philosophy, religious studies and theology, but also for anyone who reflects seriously on the danger of adding to human evils by the way in which we write and think about them." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Philosophizing about the problem of evil has become commonplace. Theories, theodicies and defences abound, all seeking either to render unintelligible, or to justify, God's ways to human beings. Such writing should be done in fear: fear that in our philosophizings we will betray the evils people have suffered, and, in that way, sin against them. Betrayal occurs every time explanations and justifications of evils are offered which are simplistic, insensitive, incredible or obscene. Greater damage is often done to religion by those who think of themselves as its philosophical friends, than by those who present themselves as religion's detractors and despisers. Nowhere is this damage more in evidence, in my opinion, than in philosophical discussions of the problem of evil.

Most Anglo-American analytic philosophers of religion distinguish between what is called the logical problem of evil, and what is variously called the existential, practical, emotive, pas toral or evangelistic problem of evil. the logical problem comes from the charge that it is inconsistent to believe in the existence of an all-powerful, perfectly good God, while acknowledging the existence of evil at the same time. the existential problem is how to cope with actual evils in our own lives, and in the lives of others; something said to require more than the ability to solve abstract, logical problems.

In the present work I argue that the distinction between the logical problem of evil and the existential problem of evil is a spurious one. the 'logical' is rooted in 'the existential'. For . . .

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