Personalistic Theism, Divine Embodiment, and a Problem of Evil

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One version of the problem of evil concludes that personalistic forms of theism should be rejected since the acts that one would expect a God with person-like qualities to perform, notably acts that would prevent egregious evils, do not occur. Given the evils that exist in the world, it is argued, if God exists as a person or like a person, God’s record of action is akin to that of a negligent parent. One way of responding to this “argument from neglect” is to maintain that there is a good reason for the apparent neglect—namely, that God could not intervene even once with respect to suffering without thereby incurring the responsibility of doing so on every occasion, which would be deleterious. So God never responds to evil. It is argued in this paper that a profoundly integrated, personalistic model of God and the God-world relation—one that is reflected in a soul-body analogy—provides a way of addressing the argument from neglect without affirming the not-even-once principle.
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Archival date: 2019-07-08
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