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The Predicament of BeliefScience, Philosophy, and Faith$
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Philip Clayton and Steven Knapp

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199695270

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695270.001.0001

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Divine action and the argument from neglect

Divine action and the argument from neglect

(p.44) 3 Divine action and the argument from neglect
The Predicament of Belief

Philip Clayton

Steven Knapp

Oxford University Press

Is a world with this much suffering compatible with the Christian concept of God? The problem of evil, of apparent divine neglect, is far more serious than many Christians acknowledge. The chapter considers some of the classic responses and rejects them as inadequate. If God were to set aside the laws of nature even once to reduce suffering, then God would incur a responsibility to intervene in most or all cases of suffering. Does that imply that God is simply cut off from exercising any influence on the world? No; an important new position on the nature of mind, “strong emergence,” allows for divine influence on human (and perhaps other) agents without the breaking of natural laws.

Keywords:   problem of evil, suffering, tsunami, theodicy, philosophy of mind, strong emergence, creation, participation, eschatology

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