The Best Book on Theodicy

A nod to old Tom Aquinas again featuring Thomistic Philosopher Edward Feser. According to Feser, Brian Davies’s The Reality of God and the Problem of Evil  treats this subject in a masterful way. In essence, it is the privileging of ethics from a human vantage upon God. I sort of have my own view from an ironic and rhetorical perspective which is developing but will be in a future post. I wholly agree with Davies though in his insightful analysis. Here is Edward Feser being interviewed  by Connor Grubaugh over at First Things.

This is the best book in print on the problem of evil. It develops two key Thomistic insights: First, you cannot properly understand the problem of evil without understanding the nature of God’s causal relationship to the world. Second, you cannot properly understand the problem of evil if you conceive of God in anthropomorphic terms—as something like a human agent, only bigger and stronger. If the world is like a story, God is not a character in the story alongside other characters; he is like the author of the story. And just as it makes no sense to think of an author as being unjust to his characters, neither does it make sense to think of God as being unjust to his creatures. While God is perfectly good, it is a deep mistake to think that this entails that he is a kind of cosmic Boy Scout, and that the problem of evil is a question about whether he deserves all his merit badges. Davies also shows how, from a Thomistic point of view, the approach to the problem of evil taken by contemporary philosophers of religion like Alvin Plantinga and Richard Swinburne is misguided and presupposes too anthropomorphic a conception of God.

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