Sunday, October 7, 2007

Notes on Boyd's Satan and the Problem of Evil Chapter 5B

Sorry about the long time between posts - I've been out of town for a week.

Last time, I talked about the first major section of chapter 5 of Boyd's book. Today I finish my discussion of that chapter. From here on out (though with some bumps along the way), Boyd begins to really shine as he really starts to work out his theodicy in greater detail without all the open theistic baggage weighing him down. He begins the final half of this chapter addressing the question of why, given that we should be free so that we can love or reject God, do we have such a strong power to reject, kill, and do other bad stuff to other people. His answer relies on the idea that God didn't just create isolated individuals for one-on-one relationships. Free creatures were created to live in a society bound together by relationships and mutual responsibility for and towards one another. We are supposed to freely love and care for one another. But to be free love and bless means that we are also free to hate and curse and when we begin to start down that dark path, everyone suffers at the hands of everyone else whether directly or indirectly and we share a collective responsibility for much of the evil that transpires. Some of what he says about this even directly reflects some of the same kinds of things I've said in this previous post.

The one major logical mistake he makes is with his TWT3 - "Risk entails moral responsibility" - which is neither supported by what he says nor is in the least bit true. I'm pretty sure he had something else in mind when he wrote this. Other than this, though, this second half of chapter 5 is very well-done and I think there's really a lot of truth in it or at least is pointing us in substantially the right direction.

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