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Description - The Problem of Evil by Peter Van Inwagen

It 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 Details

ISBN: 9780199245604
ISBN-10: 0199245606
Format: Hardback
(224mm x 145mm x 16mm)
Pages: 198
Imprint: Clarendon Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 8-Jun-2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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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.

Books By Peter Van Inwagen

Thinking about Free Will by Peter Van Inwagen
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Metaphysics, 4th Edition by Peter Van Inwagen
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Existence by Peter Van Inwagen
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Problem of Evil by Peter Van Inwagen
Paperback, April 2008