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God, Evil, and Human Learning
A Critique and Revision of the Free Will Defense in Theodicy
God, Evil, and Human Learning
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Fred Berthold Jr. - Author
Price: $32.00 
Hardcover - 116 pages
Release Date: August 2004
ISBN10: 0-7914-6041-X
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6041-2

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Price: $23.95 
Paperback - 116 pages
Release Date: 
ISBN10: 0-7914-6042-8
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6042-9

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Revises the traditional free will defense regarding the existence of evil in the world of a loving God.

God, Evil, and Human Learning
explores the age-old question: How is it possible to believe in the God of the Christian faith when the world contains so many grievous evils? Author Fred Berthold Jr. examines the most influential argument used by Christian theologians to answer that question, the "free will defense," which holds that God is not responsible for the evil in the world, but that evil arises from the human misuse of free will. He points out the weaknesses of this defense and provides a more adequate concept of free will. Berthold argues that free will is a complex of abilities which are acquired—if acquired—through human learning in the context of experiences of actual goods and evils and their consequences. He revises the "free will defense" and offers a new view of the relationship between God and his creatures.

"Berthold has addressed one of the longstanding issues in Christian theology: the nature of freedom and its relation to evil and theodicy. He has an admirable grasp of the tradition with all of its options and makes telling use of contemporary philosophical resources, both analytical philosophy and process thought. He provides an advance over existing positions and expands the notion of free will—at least for theological purposes—to include human learning so that free will is not reduced to a moment of arbitrary decision." — J. Harley Chapman, coeditor of Interpreting Neville

Fred Berthold Jr. is Kelsey Professor of Religion, Emeritus at Dartmouth College.


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. The Central Importance of the Free Will Defense

3. Why Doesn't God Cause Us to Have a Wholly Virtuous Free Will?

4. Should the Traditional Free Will Defense Be Revised?

5. The Concept of a Limited God

6. The Concept of Free Will

7. A Revised Free Will Defense

8. An Ecological Theology

Notes

Bibliography

Index of Names

Index of Subjects



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