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The Reality of God and the Problem of Evil Paperback – December 11, 2006
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"This is a well-written consideration of a perennial topic, written by a veteran teacher who knows how to make abstract ideas understandable through the use of relevant examples.... Recommended for academic and larger public libraries." (Augustine J. Curley, Library Journal, November 1, 2006)
How can a good God allow the tremendous evils that we see around us every day? Some would argue that the very existence of evil disproves the existence of God. Others would say that evil does not really exist. Davies (philosophy, Fordham Univ.) thinks that both of these approaches are faulty. Drawing on the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas but making it his own in a way that allows him to respond to more contemporary statements of the problem, Davies, a Dominican priest, does not try to explain away evil. Instead, he concentrates on showing that a recognition of the existence of evil does not preclude belief in a good God. This is a well-written consideration of a perennial topic, written by a veteran teacher who knows how to make abstract ideas understandable through the use of relevant examples. (Sanford Lakoff Library Journal)
"This is a well-written consideration of a perennial topic, written by a veteran teacher who knows how to make abstract ideas understandable through the use of relevant examples.... Recommended for academic and larger public libraries." (Sanford Lakoff)
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The author, Brian Davies, is a Dominican priest and a professor at the Jesuit Fordham University. He is the literary executor of Thomistic scholar Herbert McCabe. Davies writes from a staunchly Thomistic background, and liberally sprinkles his text with quotations from McCabe. Nonetheless, this book does not read as particularly "Catholic," so much as reads as a rigorously philosophical exploration which follows the arguments to their conclusions. Davies is the editor of Aquinas' "On Evil." He seriously knows evil.
Davies organizes the book into nine chapters.
Chapter One is "The Problem of Evil." In this chapter, Davies "tees up" the issue of the problem of evil by introducing the problem as framed by David Hume. The various fictional interlocutors in Hume's "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion" basically treated God as simply a really powerful person, with no real thought given to what it means to be transcendent and infinite, as wells as the Creator and the sustainer of all existence, as if the difference between God and creation were only a matter of degree. (p. 11.) Under this view, the palpable reality of suffering and evil in the world counts against a divine being who must either be as morally good as we are - caring, sacrificing, concerned - or forfeit some basic attribute of God, citing Epicurus's "old question." (p. 9.Read more ›
Brian Davies explores the RATIONAL implications of the POE, showing that the PEO, once you correctly understand who God is and what Evil is (or rather "isn't") is no problem at all.
Of course the solution of the POE is not a simple to be dismissed in one sentence as I did above, but requires a careful philosophical exploration and Brian Davies provides just that.
This requires a proper understanding of Classical Theism and Thomism, which Davies adequately provides.
Davies examines all the driticism and pits that arise from the POE and carefully responds to them.
Other reviewers had some complaints based more on the "emotional problem of evil":
One claimed the book made "God unattractive"... but that seems to me he bases his review on some sort of appeal to emotion where he perhaps seeks a God who is fully anthropomorphized .
This book however is a PHILOSOPHICAL book, not some pastoral pat in the back meant to console a grieving mother.
Clearly people who are affected by some strong emotion, especially negative ones, are often unable to reason hence this book is not meant for them.
This book is meant for people who want to calmly examine the POE and its relation to God.
Also it will help people detatch from the fallacious and childish notions of a god who is just a "superman in the sky" and understand the God of real theism, which is not some anthropomorphic ideal.
Do I reccomend this book?
YES, but for people who want to tackle the POE rationally and are open to abbandon childish ideals.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book so far as content. I am giving this one star though in order to catch the attention of potential customers and hopefully Amazon that the physical production quality... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Robert