By Andrew Gleeson

A daunting Love notably rethinks God and evil. It rejects theodicy and its impersonal belief of cause and morality. religion survives evil via a mind-blowing love that resists philosophical clarification. Authors criticised comprise Alvin Plantinga, Richard Swinburne, Marilyn McCord Adams, Peter van Inwagen, John Haldane, William Hasker.

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Extra resources for A Frightening Love: Recasting the Problem of Evil

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For example, parents who conceive and 36 A Frightening Love bear a child they know will be handicapped may stand condemned by morality. But morality may thus show itself to be sometimes an insular thing. The parents know something greater: the insatiable love which drives them to create. Just like such human parents, God may create the world, a world he knows must contain terrible evil, in an act of reckless love. Again, like Ivan’s contrary response in the name of compassion, this is deeply individual in the sense I have tried to elucidate.

An inquiry made in the same spirit as one would ask for a progress report on a scientific or technical investigation. His treatment also makes the problem a matter of expertise. It is the sort of problem which it makes sense for the layperson to hand over to experts – in this case, people trained in the discipline of rational thinking – who will solve the problem for them. For if what matters in finding the solution is the cultivation of factually informed, rational and logical thought, supplemented with a greater good morality, thought of the sort where we can expect in advance of investigation that ideal thinkers will converge on a universally valid resolution,1 then it is of no importance who does the thinking so long as their mind is trained in the appropriate way.

That is, there is surely a moral limit on the evil parents may, in the name of love, effectively inflict on their children just by conceiving or creating them. Under the analogy, God seems to have trespassed over that limit. The parental analogy line of thought can get around this objection once we recognise that God is not a person or agent in the anthropomorphic sense of a being who performs loving acts. Rather God is love itself – as he is goodness itself and truth itself – and his ‘acts’ under the analogy are the manifestations, the instantiations, of love in the world.

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