Theology in Action

February 9, 2011

Shook on theology:-

“There are two basic ways to design nonexistence proofs. The “dialectical nonexistence proof’ argues that two or more characteristics of a specific god are logically incompatible. A definition of something having logically incompatible characteristics can only be the definition of a necessarily nonexistent entity. Successful dialectical nonexistence proofs can show that specific kinds of gods cannot exist. For example, many Christians believe both that god is perfect and that god can suffer along with us. Maybe these two characteristics are contradictory. Figuring out how a perfect being can suffer requires conceptual refinements to god to avoid the negative verdict of a dialectical nonexistence proof. And even if these refinements go badly and one characteristic of god must go, theology can revise its conception of god. Avoiding dialectical nonexistence proofs is, from a flexible theology’s point of view, just another way for humanity to learn more about god.”

Eric MacDonald comments:-

“This is not a caricature. This is the way theologians actually go to work. For example, Chapter 4 (“Divine Agency, Remodeled”) of Marilyn McCord Adams’ book Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God, is devoted to precisely this process of redefining God in such a way as to accommodate both God’s goodness and the manifest evils of the world. It is simply preposterous to suggest that this is an appropriate procedure for learning anything about anything. It’s a bit like making the crime fit the punishment.”

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