Reply to Nagasawa

Andrew Gleeson

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


    Nagasawa agrees with much of what I say about the existential problem of evil, but argues that this does not free me from what I call 'the academic problem', the standard conundrum about God and evil. If we think of God as a loving parent rather than a perfect being, then how, he asks, do we explain why God does not "rescue victims [of evil] just as loving earthly parents would try to ... rescue their children from danger'. But to talk of God as a loving parent is not to say that he is a human being. That advice seems superfluous. Who thinks of God as a human being? But something remarkably like that assumption is present in the powerful tendency to think we humans are essentially immaterial minds and that God is the limiting case of such minds. I reject this picture. As I explained in my Position Statement, drawing on the work of Herbert McCabe, God's creation of the world is not a kind of workmanship, so we cannot drew inferences from the world about God's 'power' or 'person', his intentions or skill as a creator, in the way you may draw conclusions about me from my words and deeds. This disposes of the academic problem of evil, regardless of whether you think of God as a perfect being or as a loving parent.12
    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 pages3
    ISBN (Print)9780198821625
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • Evil
    • God
    • Creator


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