Blaming God for our pain: Human suffering and the divine mind
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Believing in God requires not only a leap of faith but also an extension of people’s normal capacity to perceive the minds of others. Usually, people perceive minds of all kinds by trying to understand their conscious experience (what it is like to be them) and their agency (what they can do). Although humans are perceived to have both agency and experience, humans appear to see God as possessing agency, but not experience. God’s unique mind is due, the authors suggest, to the uniquely moral role He occupies. In this article, the authors propose that God is seen as the ultimate moral agent, the entity people blame and praise when they receive anomalous harm and help. Support for this proposition comes from research on mind perception, morality, and moral typecasting. Interestingly, although people perceive God as the author of salvation, suffering seems to evoke even more attributions to the divine.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Ara Norenzayan & Will M. Gervais (2013). The Origins of Religious Disbelief. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 17 (1):20-25.
Konika Banerjee & Paul Bloom (2014). Why Did This Happen to Me? Religious Believers’ and Non-Believers’ Teleological Reasoning About Life Events. Cognition 133 (1):277-303.
Eric Mandelbaum & David Ripley (2012). Explaining the Abstract/Concrete Paradoxes in Moral Psychology: The NBAR Hypothesis. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (3):351-368.
Kurt Gray & Chelsea Schein (2012). Two Minds Vs. Two Philosophies: Mind Perception Defines Morality and Dissolves the Debate Between Deontology and Utilitarianism. [REVIEW] Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (3):405-423.
Benjamin G. Purzycki, Daniel N. Finkel, John Shaver, Nathan Wales, Adam B. Cohen & Richard Sosis (2012). What Does God Know? Supernatural Agents' Access to Socially Strategic and Non-Strategic Information. Cognitive Science 36 (5):846-869.
Similar books and articles
Charles Billingsley (2009). God Laughs: And Other Surprising Things You Never Knew About Him. Regal Books.
Berel Dov Lerner (2000). Interfering with Divinely Imposed Suffering. Religious Studies 36 (1):95-102.
Adam Waytz, Kurt Gray, Nicholas Epley & Daniel Wegner (2010). Causes and Consequences of Mind Perception. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 14 (8):383-388.
J. Brenton Stearns (1981). Divine Punishment and Reconciliation. Journal of Religious Ethics 9 (1):118-130.
Eugene Thomas Long (2006). Suffering and Transcendence. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 60 (1/3):139 - 148.
Arjan Markus (2004). Divine Timelessness: A Coherent but Unfruitful Doctrine? Sophia 43 (2):29-48.
H. Wheeler Robinson (1939). Suffering, Human and Divine. New York, the Macmillan Company.
Added to index2010-06-10
Total downloads62 ( #68,284 of 1,796,243 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #170,249 of 1,796,243 )
How can I increase my downloads?