The Roots of Evil Kindle Edition
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- Publication date : December 22, 2013
- File size : 827 KB
- Publisher : Bastion Books (December 22, 2013)
- Print length : 96 pages
- ASIN : B00HLBWFI6
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,189,296 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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The two extremes that men have been driven to in view of this problem are: God doesn’t exist; or if he does exist, then he must be evil (p.11.) The next two lesser extremes are: God is not powerful enough to restrain evil; or he’s just not loving or concerned enough (p. 12.) The various options that Geisler leads us through in seeking a philosophical response to the problem of evil, are: illusionism, dualism, finitism, sadism, impossiblism, atheism, and theism.
The evangelical theist believes that God is all-loving and all-powerful. But the following syllogism seems to refute his love: (1) God is the author of everything; (2) but evil is something; (3) therefore God is the author of evil (p. 19.) With Augustine’s help, Geisler counters with: (1) God is the author of everything; (2) evil is not a thing, but a privation thereof; (3) therefore God did not create evil (p. 46.) Privation here is not merely an absence of good, but an absence of something that should be there (p. 47.) “Metaphysical evil is no thing and therefore needs no cause…free choice changes metaphysical evil from being a theoretical possibility to an actual reality…The fact of free choice is good, but the act of choosing evil is bad” (Geisler summing up Augustine, pp. 48, 49.)
Augustine is cited many times, and two of his books are suggested for further reading at the back. But I do not see that Geisler mentions what Augustine speculated concerning how the privation of good might have come to pass by the will in the first place, considering that angels and man were created perfect by a good God. In other words, how does a perfect creature come to choose evil instead of good? Augustine proffers the following in his discussion on the good and bad angels in book 12.9 of The City of God: “These angels, therefore, either received less of the grace of the divine love than those who persevered in the same; or if both were created equally good, then, while the one fell by their evil will, the others were more abundantly assisted.” Geisler should have dug deeper like I have just done.
Geisler could have traced the source of evil farther back. He could also have gone deeper into the purposes of God. Tribulation may be permitted in order to our being patient in it (p.58.) But was evil not permitted to effect an even greater good than that: to draw out the excellencies of God’s attributes, like grace and justice? And I think I found some mistakes in here. Was it a ‘risk’ for God to love? (p. 87.) Does risk not imply ignorance? Notwithstanding shortcomings like these, I enjoyed the discourse. In light of continuing and even progressing evil, I agree that this fallen world is the best way to the best possible world (p. 59.) That is the best thought in The Roots of Evil.