God and Evil Without Theodicy

Andrew Gleeson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Against traditional theodicies, which conceive of God tolerating evils as necessary costs of higher goods, this chapter presents God on the model of a loving parent who refuses to countenance the sacrifice of his children for the sake of greater goods. The theodicists' anthropomorphic image of God as a disembodied Cartesian consciousness producing effects in the physical world is then challenged. In rejecting this view of God, the contention is made that it is a conceptual confusion to draw conclusions about God from the nature of the world, the way we may do for agents in the world from the consequences of their actions. The standard academic problem of evil thus collapses. But this does not put an end to the problem of evil simpliciter. There remains an 'existential' problem of evil arising from basic human reactions to the conditions of life.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Problem of Evil
    Subtitle of host publicationEight Views in Dialogue
    EditorsN. N. Trakakis
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Print)9780198821625
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • Academic problem of evil
    • Anthropomorphism
    • Existential problem of evil
    • Greater good theodicy
    • Herbert McCabe
    • Parental love


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