Divine action and the argument from neglect

Philip Clayton and Steven Knapp

in The Predicament of Belief

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199695270
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731945 | DOI:
Divine action and the argument from neglect

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Is a world with this much suffering compatible with the Christian concept of God? The problem of evil, of apparent divine neglect, is far more serious than many Christians acknowledge. The chapter considers some of the classic responses and rejects them as inadequate. If God were to set aside the laws of nature even once to reduce suffering, then God would incur a responsibility to intervene in most or all cases of suffering. Does that imply that God is simply cut off from exercising any influence on the world? No; an important new position on the nature of mind, “strong emergence,” allows for divine influence on human (and perhaps other) agents without the breaking of natural laws.

Keywords: problem of evil; suffering; tsunami; theodicy; philosophy of mind; strong emergence; creation; participation; eschatology

Chapter.  10239 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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