Friday, May 19, 2017

Wrath and its daughters


We’ve examined lust and its daughters.  Turning to another of the seven deadly sins, let’s consider wrath.  Like lust, wrath is the distortion of a passion that is in itself good.  Like lust, it can become deeply habituated, and even a source of a kind of perverse pleasure in the one who indulges it.  (Hence the neologism “rageaholic.”)  And like lust, it can as a consequence severely impair reason.  Aquinas treats the subject in Summa Theologiae II-II.158 and Question XII of On Evil.  (Relevant material can also be found in the treatment of the passion of anger in Summa Theologiae I-II.46-48.)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Davies on evil suffered


In The Reality of God and the Problem of Evil, Brian Davies draws a distinction between “evil suffered” and “evil done.”  Evil suffered is badness that happens to or afflicts someone or something.  Evil done is badness that is actively brought about or inflicted by some moral agent.  A reader asks me:

Do you agree with Davies in saying that God does not directly bring about what he calls “evil suffered”?  I want to agree, but yet I don’t know how to reconcile Davies’ position (and what seems to be Aquinas’ position) with God apparently directly willing the end of Ananias and Sapphira’s life in Acts 5, which obviously is an evil suffered.  It doesn’t seem there is causality per accidens like Davies describes God’s causal activity when it comes to evil suffered (e.g., good of one thing curtailing the good of another).

Monday, May 1, 2017

Caught in the web


The Dictionary of Christianity and Science has just been published by Zondervan.  I contributed an essay to the volume.

Philosopher and AI critic Hubert Dreyfus has died.  John Schwenkler on Dreyfus at First Things.

A new article from David Oderberg: “Co-operation in the Age of Hobby Lobby: When Sincerity is Not Enough,” in the current issue of Expositions.  (Follow the link and click on the PDF.)

Philosopher Daniel Bonevac on being a conservative in academia, at Times Higher Education.