By Andrew Gleeson
A daunting Love considerably rethinks God and evil. It rejects theodicy and its impersonal belief of cause and morality. religion survives evil via a fabulous love that resists philosophical explanation. Authors criticised contain Alvin Plantinga, Richard Swinburne, Marilyn McCord Adams, Peter van Inwagen, John Haldane, William Hasker.
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Extra info for A Frightening Love: Recasting the Problem of Evil
They could, if of generous sympathies, well understand why some others cannot believe, even while finding they themselves must believe; indeed – as I argue in denying universalisability – they need not judge the others to be at fault, though they may well seek to change their perspective. But morality – both the greater good sort and the morality of compassion – is transcended in the sense that the tribunal has lost the power to dictate the rejection of God, because for them its authority is met and overcome by love.
There is also love. Once the impersonal conception of thought, to which the sort of moral discussion we find in the literature on the problem of evil belongs, is abandoned, an appeal to love, an appeal that belongs to the existential domain of thought, becomes possible. There is a tradition in western thought which has denied that morality has a monopoly on important and serious value, and that it always trumps any other such value. It does not always have the last word. In particular, to take the Christian version of the thought, it can be opposed, and have a limit set to its authority, by love.
There is an absurdity in the idea that, in the name of morality, we would put an end to the human race, even a wholly voluntary end. He is also right to imply that it is similarly absurd to suggest, on the basis of an analogy between God and human parents, that God should not have created the world. But if I endorse the idea that parents – normal loving parents, not caught in a dilemma, not seeking to prevent the violation of some value dear to them and their sense of life’s importance, and not subject to the sway of some unruly passion – would in fact, and do in fact, have children despite the high probability of their being subject to evil, do I not go back on my emphatic claim from Section 2 that such parents would find the very idea of that unthinkable, however great the ultimate good for their children or anyone else?