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By John Hick (eds.)

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So we need not' wish' that the God of love, rather than some inferior God, might exist. Any inferior God would be derivative, at best a demon, and an addition, not an alternative, to God. Such a demon would indeed be a state of affairs, but like all such states it would have proceeded from the Source of states of affairs, and hence could not be exclusive of this source. To prevent misunderstanding I must add that, in rejecting the statement that the existence of God is the best possible state of affairs, I am not denying that the idea of a 27 Faith and the Philosophers God of love is the supremely beautiful abstract idea.

With human love it is very different. Not only do we value a man more than an insect, and some men more than others (and this I believe God also does), but we do not even bother about some creatures, including some men; no, we ignore or perversely misinterpret them. God neglects no creature and no aspect of any creature, and he never sees them in distorted perspective, or with mere indifference. If the insect wants to bite us and we want not to be bitten, God does not merely take sides for us or for the insect.

They feel, but cannot think him, even in the rudimentary way in which they do think some of the things they feel. Men, however, can think as well as feel God, and they can feel him so vividly as to be also thinkingly conscious that they do this; but again, they can think so intensely, and at the same time so mistakenly, about what they feel, that they may think they do not feel God at all, on any level of awareness or with any degree, however slight, of intensity. Here I hold that they misjudge themselves.

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