Steven Nadler


On his book The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Story of Philosophers, God, and Evil

Cover Interview of January 29, 2009

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“A glimpse into the intellectual life of early modern Europe.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“Is God a rational being like us, a kind of “person” who always acts for the sake of some good and according to objective values?  Or is God ultimately an arbitrary being on whose incomprehensible will alone everything depends and thus who is not bound by any objective values independent of what He wills?”

On the second:

“Can God’s will serve as the source of, or even as a guide to what is moral?  Or is morality, good and bad and right and wrong, something completely independent of any religious or theological doctrines?  Does God will something because it is independently good, or is it good for the sole reason that God wills it?”