The idea that God, understood as the most perfect being, must create the best possible world is often underacknowledged by contemporary theologians and philosophers of religion. This book clearly demonstrates the rationale for what Justin J. Daeley calls Theistic Optimism and interacts with the existing literature in order to highlight its limitations. While locating Theistic Optimism in the thought of Gottfried Leibniz, Daeley argues that Theistic Optimism is consistent with divine freedom, aseity, gratitude, and our typical modal intuitions. By offering plausible solutions to each of the criticisms levelled against Theistic Optimism, he also provides a vigorous and original defence against the charge that it deviates from the Christian tradition.
Engaging with both the Christian tradition and contemporary theologians and philosophers, Why God Must Do What is Best positions the idea of Theistic Optimism firmly within the language of contemporary philosophy of religion.
In writing this rigorous and spirited apology for the claim that God must do the best, Daeley has breathed new life into the philosophical doctrine of optimism. This book is a must-read for philosophers of religion. * Lloyd Strickland, Professor of Philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK * Theistic Optimism - the view that God must do the best - is out of favor among contemporary analytic philosophers of religion. Justin Daeley offers a lively, comprehensive, and persuasive defense of Theistic Optimism, appealing to both contemporary and historical sources and contributing original arguments to an age-old debate. * Katherin Rogers, Professor of Philosophy, University of Delaware, USA * Justin Daeley offers a systematic exegesis and defence of the Leibnizian view that God must do the best. Along the way, he engages with many important related topics in philosophy and theology. Specialists and non-specialists alike will find much of interest here. * Klaas J. Kraay, Professor of Philosophy, Ryerson University, Canada *