Evils and Personal Identity

Evils and Personal Identity - Evils and Personal Identity...

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Evils and Personal Identity An Agapeistic Argument (for the Tough-minded Theist) As I mentioned in the last section, the Jewish and Christian traditions hold that the essence of ethics consists in love for particular people, not in the maximizing of an impersonal quantity of happiness or pleasure. This kind of person-directed love is expressed by the Greek word "agape" (ah-gopp-ay) in the New Testament. The argument from evil can be reformulated so that it presupposes an agapeistic instead of a utilitarian ethic. God wants to love everyone. If x wants to love y, then x wants y to be eligible for x's love. God is omnipotent. An omnipotent being can give anyone/everyone every good. Being eligible for God's love is a good. If x wants y to have condition F, and x is able to give y condition F, then x does give y condition F. God gives everyone the condition of being eligible for His love. If x wants to love y, and y is eligible for x's love, then x does love y. If x loves y, then x wants y to receive every good. Therefore, God makes everyone receive every good. Evil is the absence of good. Therefore, no one suffers any evil. Some theists (the really tough-minded) would reject premise 1. I will call these the hard-boiled theists. It is hard to see how any form of the argument from evil could touch hard-boiled theism. For many of us, hard-boiled theism comes quite close to dystheism, since, by limiting the scope
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Evils and Personal Identity - Evils and Personal Identity...

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