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Divine Evil?The Moral Character of the God of Abraham$
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Michael Bergmann, Michael J. Murray, and Michael C. Rea

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199576739

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199576739.001.0001

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Comments on ‘Satanic Verses: Moral Chaos in Holy Writ’

Comments on ‘Satanic Verses: Moral Chaos in Holy Writ’

(p.109) Comments on ‘Satanic Verses: Moral Chaos in Holy Writ’
Divine Evil?

Alvin Plantinga

Oxford University Press

Evan Fales offers ‘an argument from the moral knowledge we share to the conclusion that any sacred text that is morally depraved is either no genuine revelation at all, or reveals the character of a god unworthy of worship. Such a god is moreover not merely unworthy of worship, but deserving of moral censure. We have a duty to repudiate such a god.’ (107–8) This, though impassioned, is pretty abstract; a Christian might agree. But Fales means to go further. He argues or at any rate suggests that Christians who accept the Bible, including the Old Testament, as divine revelation do take as revelation a sacred text that is morally depraved and do worship a God unworthy of worship. In failing to repudiate—a fortiori, in worshiping—such a god, they are themselves immoral. This is strong stuff. Fales himself strikes a defiant pose: ‘who is this Lord that swaggers across the firmament?’ (108) ‘The tragedy of Abraham is…that he does not rebel.’ (106) Is this heroically Promethian? Or is it foolish hubris?...

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