Mark Murphy

"Three Frameworks for Divine Action: Morality, Love and Holiness"

by Mark Murphy

Thursday, April 11 7 p.m.

Gautrelet Room

Free & Open to the Public

Mark C. Murphy is McDevitt Professor of Religious Philosophy at Georgetown University and editor of the journal Faith and Philosophy.  He is the author of six monographs, including God and Moral Law (2011) and God’s Own Ethics: Norms of Divine Agency and the Argument from Evil.

Arguments in philosophical theology often must make use of some framework to think about what God would or would not do.  For example, many atheists argue that the existence (and staggering amount) of evil and suffering in the world shows that God does not exist because a good God would not allow there to be so much evil and suffering.  The most common such frameworks by which claims about divine action are justified are the morality framework, on which God perfectly acts in accordance with the norms of morality, and the love framework, on which God acts with maximal love toward creatures.  In this lecture I will give some reasons to reject both the morality and love frameworks.  Instead we should accept the holiness framework, on which it is God’s holiness that is the central basis on which we can explain and predict divine action.  Such a shift in frameworks would massively reorient the way we approach some perennial problems in philosophy of religion, such as the problem of evil.

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Catherine Druhan