Sunday, April 26, 2015

Kenneth Surin & Impassibility (PhD Edit)

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Kenneth Surin (1982) writes that God is considered by some within orthodox Christian theology to be unable to experience pain or sorrow.

However, others concede that concluding God is impassible is a questionable view within traditional thought. Surin thinks that perhaps God limits his omnipotence by identifying with human suffering. Surin (1982: 97).

I conclude that God suffers but cannot alter his essential infinite and immutable nature.

Statically my PhD questionnaire survey results showed:

Question 17: God cannot suffer.

Seventy-two (33.8%) respondents chose ‘D’, while 78 (36.6%) respondents preferred ‘DS’. Therefore 70.4% of respondents reason that God suffers in some way. It can be deduced that many of these persons would assume God suffers simultaneously with his creation when they experience the problem of evil.

SURIN, KENNETH (1982) ‘The Impassibility of God and the Problem of Evil’, in Scottish Journal of Theology, Volume 35, Number 1, pp. 97-115. Edinburgh, Scottish Academic Press.

SURIN, KENNETH (1986) Theology and the Problem of Evil, Oxford, Basil Blackwell Ltd.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Richard Swinburne (PhD Edit)

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Richard Swinburne (1998) notes that many theists and atheists, due to Plantinga’s (free will defence) work, have accepted the logical problem of evil has been eliminated, and yet the evidential problem remains. Gratuitous evil.

He explains that whether or not the logical problem has been eliminated depends on how it is defined, and this ends up being a debate between certain theists and atheists on what hypothetical state of affairs would mean that God does not logically exist.

Michael Peterson (1982) reasons that Plantinga’s free will defense is sound in regard to the logical problem of evil and can be used to show that God must allow gratuitous evil or deny human free will. Peterson thinks Plantinga’s defense does not succumb to gratuitous evil.

Philosopher Doug Erlandson (1991) writes that theist and anti-theist have been debating the problem of evil for centuries, and the basic differing philosophical assumptions made by the two groups means that the debate shall continue.

Within my PhD work and online I have taken a compatibilist theistic position contrary to that of Plantinga's incomaptibilism, although in agreement with Plantinga on holding to traditional, Biblical Christian theism.

I reason a Reformed theistic, compatibilism reasonably deals with the logical problem of evil and gratuitous evil and the evidential problem of evil; and is more reasonable than incompatibilism.

ERLANDSON, DOUG (1991) ‘A New Perspective on the Problem of Evil’, in Doug Erlandson PhD Philosophy,, Orange County, Covenant Community Church of Orange County. 

PETERSON, MICHAEL (1982) Evil and the Christian God, Grand Rapids, Baker Book House. 

PETERSON, MICHAEL (1998) God and Evil, Boulder, Colorado, Westview Press.

PETERSON, MICHAEL, WILLIAM HASKER, BRUCE REICHENBACH, AND DAVID BASINGER (1996)(eds.), ‘Introduction: Saint Augustine: Evil is Privation of Good’, in Philosophy of Religion, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

PLANTINGA, ALVIN C. (1977)(2002) God, Freedom, and Evil, Grand Rapids, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

PLANTINGA, ALVIN C. (1982) The Nature of Necessity, Oxford, Clarendon Press.

PLANTINGA, ALVIN C. (2000) Warranted Christian Belief, Oxford, Oxford University Press. 

SWINBURNE, RICHARD (1998) Providence and the Problem of Evil, Oxford, Oxford University Press.