The Problem of Evil
The Gifford Lectures Delivered in the University of St Andrews in 2003
By (author) Peter Van Inwagen
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Problem of Evil by Peter Van Inwagen
Book DescriptionIt is generally supposed that the fact that the world contains a vast amount of suffering, much of it truly horrible suffering, confronts those who believe in an all-powerful and benevolent Creator with a serious problem: to explain why such a Creator would permit this. Many reflective people are convinced that the problem, the problem of evil, is insoluble. The reasons that underlie this conviction can be formulated as a powerful argument for the non-existence of God, the so-called argument from evil: If there were a God, he would not permit the existence of vast amounts of truly horrible suffering; since such suffering exists, there is no God. Peter van Inwagen examines this argument, which he regards as a paradigmatically philosophical argument. His conclusion is that (like most philosophical arguments) it is a failure. He seeks to demonstrate, not that God exists, but the fact that the world contains a vast amount of suffering does not show that God does not exist. Along the way he discusses a wide range of topics of interest to philosophers and theologians, such as: the concept of God; what might be meant by describing a philosophical argument as a failure; the distinction between versions of the argument from evil that depend on the vast amount of evil in the world and versions of the argument that depend on a particular evil, such as the Lisbon earthquake or the death of a fawn in a forest fire; the free-will defense; animal suffering; and the problem of the hiddenness of God.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199245604
(224mm x 145mm x 15mm)
Imprint: Clarendon Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 8-Jun-2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Peter Van Inwagen
Metaphysics, Paperback (August 2014)
An accessible introduction to metaphysics for readers with little or no background in philosophy.
Existence, Hardback (April 2014)
This is a collection of Peter van Inwagen's recent essays on ontology and meta-ontology.
Problem of Evil, Paperback (April 2008)
The vast amount of suffering in the world is often held as a particularly powerful reason to deny that God exists. Highly accessible and carefully argued, Peter van Inwagen's book maintains that such reasoning does not hold, and that suffering should not undermine belief in God.
Persons, Hardback (January 2007)» View all books by Peter Van Inwagen
The nature of persons is a perennial topic of debate in philosophy. This volume brings together metaphysical debates about the nature of human persons with related debates in philosophy of religion and theology. It explores idealist, dualist, and materialist views of persons, and discusses Christian conceptions of the value of embodiment.
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Author Biography - Peter Van Inwagen
Peter van Inwagen is John Cardinal O'Hara Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.
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