By Andrew Gleeson
A daunting Love appreciably rethinks God and evil. It rejects theodicy and its impersonal perception of cause and morality. religion survives evil via a surprising love that resists philosophical explanation. Authors criticised comprise 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
It renders the voice of someone like Ivan 32 A Frightening Love Karamazov unable to be heard, for to hear it you need to recognise that thought is answerable to more than logic, fact and so on. And you are precisely not recognising that if you begin from the assumption – almost universal in discussion of the problem of evil – that there is an intellectual problem of evil, the proper concern of the philosopher, sharply distinct from, and quite treatable without regard to, the existential or personal problem, the concern of ministers, therapists, friends, novelists and so on.
So theodicy, including the low-risk, free will theodicy, fails. Now I must spell this out. The analogy between the low-risk, free will theodicy and the motorist case is misleading. Driving, flying, having surgery, taking medical drugs, being immunised: these are all activities with various degrees of usually low risk that we routinely undertake. They are acceptable to us not only because the risk is low, but also because they fall within a certain conception of human life, of what is appropriate to human circumstances and what is not.
The truth is that by ignoring Karamazov’s challenge, by repudiating the existential generally, the debate over God and evil is being truncated at the point where it is really only beginning. As a person I admit to being in Ivan’s camp when it comes to rejecting theodicy. As a philosopher the point I want to press is that the debate over the problem of evil, whether on the atheological or the theodical side, is fatally flawed by its rejection of the existential. The impersonal mode of thought dissociates philosophy from life, which, really, is to dissociate it from its subject matter.