Read e-book online Belief, Change and Forms of Life (Library of Philosophy & PDF

By D. Z. Phillips

ISBN-10: 0333389603

ISBN-13: 9780333389607

ISBN-10: 0391033859

ISBN-13: 9780391033856

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Extra info for Belief, Change and Forms of Life (Library of Philosophy & Religion)

Example text

It is equally doubtful to say that God ought to have seen to it that men freely reach the right decision . Even if the notion of the best of all logically possible worlds made sense, God would have no obligation to create such a world, for whom would he harm if he did not? There are good reasons for saying that the various ills in the world are compatible with the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, all-good God . Such evils a s w e bring o n others give u s the opportunity of feeling or being responsible, and that is a good thing .

If not, it makes no sense either to blame God for not creating perfect human beings. '6 Let us ask first whether we could have a world in which men always make the right decisions and where no actual evil exists. If we are retaining, as this talk may be doing, The Challen ge of What We Kn ow: The Problem of Evil 55 a world such a s ours, where deliberations and temptations are what we know them to be, these assumptions soon run into conceptual difficulties . Consider the following course of argument: someon e may say that acquiring moral concep­ tions entails the existence of actual evil in the world.

His answers are not encouraging. They amount to saying that just as parents know more than their children and are often right not to act even when their offspring beg them to do so, so God, the Father of us all, k nowing more than we know, refrains from acting despite the cries of the afflicted. H ere is a sample: Hence a God who sees far more clearly than we do the consequences of quarrels may have duties very different from ours with respect to particular such quarrels. 27 I h ave com mented already on the character of such a sense of responsibility, and that is not my purpose now.

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Belief, Change and Forms of Life (Library of Philosophy & Religion) by D. Z. Phillips


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