Hans Jonas' Feeble Theodicy: How on Earth Could God Retire?

Paul Clavier

Abstract

In this paper, we criticize Hans Jonas’ analogy between God’s power and the operation of physical forces. We wonder why, if omnipotence had proved to be “a self-contradictory concept”, does Jonas still need to invoke the occurrence of horrendous evils to support the view that “God is not all powerful”. We suggest that “God’s retreating into himself in order to give room to the world, renouncing his being and divesting himself of his deity” are beautiful but inconsistent metaphors of creation. Our central claim is that God’s alleged retirement, even if it were conceivable, would not the least diminish his responsibility in the occurrence of evil. 

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