Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
I argue that the best concept of God, for the purposes of inquiring into God's existence and nature, is one derived from considering the human predicament and how to satisfy the existential yearning of human inquirers. Other popular methods of conceiving of God, such as some perfect being theologies and scriptural theologies, miss this vital motivational component in their God-concept construction. The concept of God on offer in this project, God as Rescuer, characterizes a being who is willing and able to rescue humanity from the predicament of the possibility of personal death, moral failure, and apparent gratuitous evil. It will turn out that this conception of God is not so unlike traditional conceptions; in order to rescue humans from their predicament, God would have to be extremely powerful and intelligent, morally perfect, everlasting, and relational. Equipped with this conceptual foundation and after addressing a number of objections, such as religious skepticism motivated by concerns about divine ineffability, we can examine the epistemological implications if such a being were to satisfy the concept of God as Rescuer. The properties that this being would have if it existed, and the reasons humans would be justified in ascribing them, indicate that certain religious epistemologies are misguided, fideism, and natural theology.
Neptune, Clinton, "God and Rescuer" (2021). Dissertations. 3938.
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