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Extra resources for Belief, Change and Forms of Life (Library of Philosophy & Religion)

Sample text

He simply thinks it would be a bad thing for God to do, just as it would be a bad thing for parents to do: The creator could help agents towards doing right actions by making these reasons more effective causally ; that is, he could make agents so that by nature they were inclined (though not perhaps compelled) to pursue what is good . But this would be to impose a moral character on agents, to give them wide general purposes which they naturally pursue, to make them naturally altruistic, tenacious of purpose, or strong willed.

21 Speaking as a Roman Catholic, Chesterton says, ' . . 22 In this latter context there is still the possibility of approaching the beliefs with the wonder and strangeness of a child . What is fatal, Chesterton claims, is a kind of half-way position characterised by rationalism and scientism. 'They suggest everywhere the grey gradations of twilight, because they believe it is the twilight of the gods. 23 Chesterton had in mind, of course, writers who thought they could, by their explanations, explain religion away .

33 We have seen already that Swinburne's analysis does not work in the case of physical pain, save in simple, straightfor­ ward cases . Yet one will not get very far by suggesting that mental evils stand to behaviour as toothache stands to the search for a remedy. Karenin was in mental anguish at the loss of Anna to Vronsky. He was certainly frustrated at the failure of his plans. He was spurred on to fulfil those plans. Nevertheless, it woul d be absurd to think that an account could be given of h is anguish or frustration without introduc­ ing considerations of character, considerations internally related to the nature of his subsequent behaviour.

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