Search results for: gratuitous-suffering-and-the-problem-of-evil

Gratuitous Suffering and the Problem of Evil

Author : Bryan Frances
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Suffering that is not coupled with any redeeming good is one of our world’s more troubling, apparent glitches. It is particularly vexing for any theist who believes that the world was created by a supremely morally good, knowledgeable, and powerful god. Gratuitous Suffering and the Problem of Evil: A Comprehensive Introduction is among the first book-length discussions of theistic approaches to this issue. Bryan Frances’s lucid and jargon-free analyses of a variety of possible responses to the problem of gratuitous suffering will provide serious students or general readers much material with which to begin an extended contemplation of this ancient and contemporary concern. The perfect size and scope for an introductory philosophy class’s discussion of the problem of evil and suffering, and deliberately crafted to be approachable by all interested readers, Gratuitous Suffering and the Problem of Evil is philosophy doing what it does best: serious, engaged, rigorous explorations of even the darkest truths. The book offers many useful pedagogical features, including chapter overviews and summaries, annotated suggested readings, and eight-eight discussion questions.

God and the Problem of Evil

Author : Chad Meister
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The problem of evil has produced many responses and elicited vigorous debate. In this multiview book, five philosophical theologians discuss and defend different solutions to this ancient problem: Phillip Cary on the classic view, William Lane Craig on Molinism, William Hasker on open theism, Thomas J. Oord on essential kenosis, and Stephen Wykstra on skeptical theism.

Suffering Belief

Author : A. M. Weisberger
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Reviews major attempts among contemporary Anglo-American theists to reconcile the enormous degree of apparently gratuitous suffering in the world with the existence of an all-perfect deity of the traditional western variety. Focusing on the kinds of evil that seem most to jeopardize faith--genocide, natural catastrophes, animal suffering, and disease--concludes that there is little basis for believing in such a god and compelling reasons to abandon such a damaging construct. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Necessary Evil Or Unnecessary God

Author : Frank Vincent Scarpa
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In this thesis, I discuss the philosophical problem of evil and, as a response, John Hick's soul making theodicy. First, I discuss the transformation of the problem. I examine how the problem has shifted from logical to evidential in recent history. Next, I offer a faithful rendition of Hick's position - one which states the existence of evil does not provide evidence against the existence of God. After reconstructing his argument, I go on to expose its logical faults. I present four main contentions to Hick's theodicy. First, I analyze the psychology of dehumanization to question whether we have any evidence that soul making is happening in response to the suffering in the world. Second, I argue that Hick's theodicy is self-defeating if accepted because it undermines the central point on which his argument depends. Third, I claim that Hick's theodicy is self-defeating given his eschatological views. Finally, I discuss how Hick's theodicy does not account for the animal suffering that widely exists in the world now, and that exists in our evolutionary history. My hope is to show that Hick's theodicy fails to solve the problem of evil. I claim that the amount of gratuitous suffering in the world does provide evidence against the existence of God.

God And Evil

Author : Michael L Peterson
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This concise, well-structured survey examines the problem of evil in the context of the philosophy of religion. The main problem of evil consists in reconciling belief in a just and loving God with the evil and suffering in the world. Michael Peterson frames this issue by working through questions such as the following: What is the relation of rational belief to religious faith? What different conceptual moves are possible on either side of the issue? What responses have important thinkers advanced and which seem most promising? Is it possible to maintain religious commitment in light of evil? The author relies on the helpful distinction between moral and natural evil to clarify our understanding of the different aspects of the problem as well as avenues for response. Thus, the reader of this book gains not only an intellectual grasp of the debate over God and evil in professional philosophy but also the personal benefit of thinking through one of the most important issues in human life. }This concise, well-structured survey examines the problem of evil in the context of the philosophy of religion. One of the core topics in that field, the problem of evil is an enduring challenge that Western philosophers have pondered for almost two thousand years. The main problem of evil consists in reconciling belief in a just and loving God with the evil and suffering in the world. Michael Peterson frames this issue by working through questions such as the following: What is the relation of rational belief to religious faith? What different conceptual moves are possible on either side of the issue? What responses have important thinkers advanced and which seem most promising? Is it possible to maintain religious commitment in light of evil? Peterson relies on the helpful distinction between moral and natural evil to clarify our understanding of the different aspects of the problem as well as avenues for response. The overall format of the text rests on classifying various types of argument from evil: the logical, the probabilistic, the evidential, and the existential arguments. Each type of argument has its own strategy which both theists and nontheists must recognize and develop. Giving both theistic and nontheistic perspectives fair representation, the text works through the issues of whether evil shows theistic belief to be inconsistent, improbable, discredited by the evidence, or threatened by personal crisis.Peterson explains how defensive strategies are particularly geared for responding to the logical and probabilistic arguments from evil while theodicy is an appropriate response to the evidential argument. Theodicy has traditionally been understood as the attempt to justify belief in a God who is all-powerful and all-good in light of evil. The text discusses the theodicies of Augustine, Leibniz, Hick, and Whitehead as enlightening examples of theodicy. This discussion allows Peterson to identify and evaluate a rather dominant theme in most theodicies: that evil can be justified by designating a greater good. In the end, Peterson even explores how certain types of theodicy, based on specifically Christian renditions of theism, might provide a basis for addressing the existential problem of evil. The reader of this book gains not only an intellectual grasp of the debate over God and evil in professional philosophy but also the personal benefit of thinking through one of the most important issues in human life. }

The Problem of Evil and Animal Suffering

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The thesis looks at what is called the "logical problem of evil": the existence of an all good, omniscient, and omnipotent God is logically incompatible with the existence of evil; there is evil; therefore, we have strong logical reasons not to believe that such a God exists. Several solutions have been proffered to overcome this logical problem, but they fall short. The first goal of this work is to debunk the medieval (mis)conception that evil is a no-thing and not a some-thing. The second goal is critically to assess some responses to the problem of evil, first by examining St. Augustine's free-will theodicy, then turning to the more contemporary view of Marilyn McCord Adams. Ultimately, I argue that both accounts fail to defeat the general problem of evil adequately in addition to not satisfactorily addressing the specific problems they both claim to overcome. Lastly, I make the case that the logical problem of evil is not the primary cause of concern for the theist in defending his or her view of God and evil but rather that the evidential problem of evil is. More specifically, I will contend that the problem of animal suffering as part of the evidential problem of evil is the most worrisome in that the more common justifications for God's creating or permitting evil applies only to the human animal, leaving a vast number of sentient beings susceptible to evils for no readily apparent reason. Though I do not make the strong claim that the problem of evil in any of its forms gives incontrovertible reason to deny God's existence, I will agree with J. L. Mackie in asserting that, at the least, the existence of evils makes the belief in God irrational. Wherein Mackie asserts that we can make this claim based on the LPE as it concerns God's omnipotence, I will take a different route to the same conclusion by instead arguing that the belief in God is evidentially unsupported in light of the gratuitous evils instantiated by animal suffering.

The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition

Author : Joseph Francis Kelly
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Evil presents a profound and eternal challenge to humanity - why do we do what we know to be wrong? Why does not an all-good and omnipotent God step in and put an end to evil? The Problem of Evil looks at people's efforts to deal with evil, starting with ancient Israel and moving through the great figures of the Western tradition to the twenty-first century.

The Problem of Evil

Author : Michael L. Peterson
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Of all the issues in the philosophy of religion, the problem of reconciling belief in God with evil in the world arguably commands more attention than any other. For over two decades, Michael L. Peterson’s The Problem of Evil: Selected Readings has been the most widely recognized and used anthology on the subject. Peterson's expanded and updated second edition retains the key features of the original and presents the main positions and strategies in the latest philosophical literature on the subject. It will remain the most complete introduction to the subject as well as a resource for advanced study. Peterson organizes his selection of classical and contemporary sources into four parts: important statements addressing the problem of evil from great literature and classical philosophy; debates based on the logical, evidential, and existential versions of the problem; major attempts to square God's justice with the presence of evil, such as Augustinian, Irenaean, process, openness, and felix culpa theodicies; and debates on the problem of evil covering such concepts as a best possible world, natural evil and natural laws, gratuitous evil, the skeptical theist defense, and the bearing of biological evolution on the problem. The second edition includes classical excerpts from the book of Job, Voltaire, Dostoevsky, Augustine, Aquinas, Leibniz, and Hume, and twenty-five essays that have shaped the contemporary discussion, by J. L. Mackie, Alvin Plantinga, William Rowe, Marilyn Adams, John Hick, William Hasker, Paul Draper, Michael Bergmann, Eleonore Stump, Peter van Inwagen, and numerous others. Whether a professional philosopher, student, or interested layperson, the reader will be able to work through a number of issues related to how evil in the world affects belief in God.

The Problem of Evil

Author : Daniel Speak
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The most forceful philosophical objections to belief in God arise from the existence of evil. Bad things happen in the world and it is not clear how this is compatible with the existence of an all-powerful and perfectly loving being. Unsurprisingly then, philosophers have formulated powerful arguments for atheism based on the existence of apparently unjustified suffering. These arguments give expression to what we call the problem of evil. This volume is an engaging introduction to the philosophical problem of evil. Daniel Speak provides a clear overview of the main lines of reasoning in this debate and argues for the defensibility of theistic belief in the face of evil. He fleshes out the distinction between theodicy and defense and guides the reader through the logical, evidential, and hiddenness versions of the problem. In an accessible and beautifully written account, Speak describes the central issues surrounding the problem of evil in a way that clarifies both the complex reasoning and specialised terminology of the topic. The Problem of Evil is an ideal introduction to contemporary debates over one of the most gripping perennial questions. Read either on its own or alongside the primary materials it deftly covers, students and scholars will find this volume a terrific resource for understanding the challenges to religious belief raised by evil.

The God Beyond Belief

Author : Nick Trakakis
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This study of Professor William Rowe’s defense of atheism on the basis of evil assesses the literature that has developed in response to Rowe’s work, closely examining two strategies: mystery – the idea that God may have reasons beyond our comprehension for permitting evil; and theodicy - explanations as to why God allows evil to flourish. The book unearths difficulties in both, concluding that the God of theism must be "beyond belief."

William L Rowe on Philosophy of Religion

Author : William L. Rowe
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William Rowe is one of the leading thinkers in contemporary philosophy of religion. Although he is best known for his contributions to the problem of evil, he has produced innovative and influential work across a wide array of subjects at the interface between philosophy and religion. He has, for example, written extensively on the existentialist theologian, Paul Tillich, on the challenging problem of divine freedom, and on the traditional arguments in support of the existence of God. His work in these areas is distinguished by its clarity, rigour, originality, and sensitivity towards the claims of his theistic opponents. Indeed, Rowe's work has played a pivotal role in the remarkable revival of analytic philosophy of religion since the 1970s. The present collection brings together for the first time Rowe's most significant contributions to the philosophy of religion. This diverse but representative selection of Rowe's writings will provide students, professional scholars as well as general readers with stimulating and accessible discussions on such topics as the philosophical theology of Paul Tillich, the problem of evil, divine freedom, arguments for the existence of God, religious experience, life after death, and religious pluralism.

The Many Faces of Evil

Author : John S. Feinberg
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Author : William Lane Craig
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The question of whether or not God exists is profoundly fascinating and important. Now two articulate spokesmen--one a Christian, the other an atheist--duel over God's existence in an illuminating battle of ideas. In God? A Debate between a Christian and an Atheist, William Lane Craig and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong bring to the printed page two debates they held before live audiences, preserving all the wit, clarity, and immediacy of their public exchanges. Avoiding overly esoteric arguments, they directly address issues such as religious experience, the Bible, evil, eternity, the origin of the universe, design, and the supposed connection between morality and the existence of God. Employing sharp and humorous arguments, each philosopher strikes quickly to the heart of his opponent's case. For example, Craig claims that we must believe in God in order to explain objective moral values, such as why rape is wrong. Sinnott-Armstrong responds that what makes rape wrong is the harm to victims of rape, so rape is immoral even if there is no God. By assuming a traditional concept of God in their discussion, the authors ensure that they are truly addressing each other's viewpoints and engaging in a disagreement over a unified issue. The book is composed of six chapters that alternate between Craig and Sinnott-Armstrong, so that each separate point can be discussed as it arises. Ideal for courses in the philosophy of religion and introduction to philosophy, this lively and direct dialogue will stimulate students and anyone interested in the existence of God, regardless of whether or not they believe in God.

To End All Suffering

Author : Michael Collender
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Both Buddhism and the Christian gospel promise the ending of suffering. However, each defines and interprets morality, compassion, proof, and truth according to starkly different worldviews. This is why adjudicating rival claims between these religions has proven so difficult. Two alternate approaches have emerged: treating religious claims as mere personal opinions, or postulating some higher standard outside of religion to which each religion much submit. However, both of these approaches to comparative religious research implicitly deny that any religion can present a story about the totality of reality, including ultimate standards for proof and truth. This book takes a different approach entirely, demonstrating a way that religions can self-critically engage one another using their own respective standards. Within this framework, early Buddhist philosophy and the Christian faith enter into philosophical dialogue. In the process, To End All Suffering pointedly demonstrates that on its own terms, Buddhism cannot account for the very doctrines necessary to show that the Buddha's teachings end suffering. Written primarily for Christians and Buddhists interested in interreligious dialogue, To End All Suffering is a course book suitable for individual study or for college or seminary courses in comparative philosophy or religion.

God and Evil

Author : Chad Meister
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Leading thinkers in Christian philosophy and apologetics take on the problem of evil and suffering. Essays from Gregory Ganssle, Yena Lee, Bruce Little, Garry DeWeese, R. Douglas Geivett and others provide critical engagement with the New Atheists and offer grounds for renewed confidence in the God who is "acquainted with grief."

The Triumph of God Over Evil

Author : William Hasker
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Noted philosopher William Hasker explores a full range of questions concerning the problem of evil. Hasker forges constructive answers in some depth showing why the evil in the world does not provide evidence of a moral fault in God, the world's creator and governor.

God and Inscrutable Evil

Author : David O'Connor
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In this important new book, David O'Connor discusses both logical and empirical forms of the problem of inscrutable evil, perennially the most difficult philosophical problem confronting theism. Arguing that both a version of theism ("friendly theism") and a version of atheism ("friendly atheism") are justified on the evidence in the debate over God and evil, O'Connor concludes that a warranted outcome is a philosophical detente between those two positions. On the way to that conclusion he develops two arguments from evil, a reformed version of the logical argument and an indirect version of the empirical argument, and deploys both against a central formulation of theism that he describes as orthodox theism. God and Inscrutable Evil makes a valuable contribution to contemporary debates in the philosophy of religion.

Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview

Author : J. P. Moreland
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Winner of a 2004 ECPA Gold Medallion Award! Winner of an Award of Excellence in the 2003 Chicago Book Clinic! What is real? What is truth? What can we know? What should we believe? What should we do and why? Is there a God? Can we know him? Do Christian doctrines make sense? Can we believe in God in the face of evil? These are fundamental questions that any thinking person wants answers to. These are questions that philosophy addresses. And the answers we give to these kinds of questions serve as the the foundation stones for consrtucting any kind of worldview. In Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview J.P. Moreland and William Lane Craig offer a comprehensive introduction to philosophy from a Christian perspective. In their broad sweep they seek to introduce readers to the principal subdisciplines of philosophy, including epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of science, ethics and philosophy of religion. They do so with characteristic clarity and incisiveness. Arguments are clearly outlined, and rival theories are presented with fairness and accuracy. Philosophy, they contend, aids Christians in the tasks of apologetics, polemics and systematic theology. It reflects our having been made in the image of God, helps us to extend biblical teaching into areas not expressly addressed in Scripture, facilitates the spiritual discipline of study, enhances the boldness and self-image of the Christian community, and is requisite to the essential task of integrating faith and learning. Here is a lively and thorough introduction to philosophy for all who want to know reality.

Is a Good God Logically Possible

Author : James P. Sterba
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Using yet untapped resources from moral and political philosophy, this book seeks to answer the question of whether an all good God who is presumed to be all powerful is logically compatible with the degree and amount of moral and natural evil that exists in our world. It is widely held by theists and atheists alike that it may be logically impossible for an all good, all powerful God to create a world with moral agents like ourselves that does not also have at least some moral evil in it. James P. Sterba focuses on the further question of whether God is logically compatible with the degree and amount of moral and natural evil that exists in our world. The negative answer he provides marks a new stage in the age-old debate about God's existence.

Faith Reason and Compassion

Author : James Earl Gilman
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What is the relationship between faith and reason? How should faith and reason situate themselves in relation to each other? These are the chief questions that James Gilman seeks to address in Faith, Reason, and Compassion: A Philosophy of the Christian Faith. An innovative new book in philosophy of religion, it treats the problems typical of the discipline in an untypical way, with a methodology that presupposes a particular religious tradition, in this case Christianity, and that reenfranchises emotions (e.g., compassion) as crucial to shaping solutions to philosophical problems. Developing a methodology on the basis of three principles: the principle of symmetry, asymmetry, and supersymmetry, Gilman confiscates these three terms from physics and deploys them collectively as a metaphor in service to a method whereby the problems belonging to philosophy of religion can be critically and constructively treated. While ideal for courses in philosophy of religion, this book stretches across disciplines and is also ideal for use in Christian ethics and theology courses.