God and Inscrutable Evil; In Defense of Theism and Atheism

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Overview

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 d_tente 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Theological Studies
[A] careful . . . analysis of the challenge that the existence of evil presents to 'orthodox theism' . . . a remarkable amount of material in compressed format, something that will well serve readers.
— T. Michael McNulty, S.J., Marquette University, Milwaukee
Perspectives On Science and Christian Faith
This book will appeal to anyone who has ever asked why there seems to be so much unnecessary evil and suffering in the world.
The Journal of Religion
. . . excellent work . . . chock-full of original, creative analyses and arguments.
— Del Kiernan-Lewis, Morehouse College
Mind
This book is an substantial contribution to contemporary discussion of the evidential force of the fact of evil and the rationality of beleiving in God.
Philosophical Review
O'Connor should be praised for forcefully bringing to our attention the centrality of the standard assumption in the debate over God and evil.
Theological Studies - T. Michael McNulty
[A] careful . . . analysis of the challenge that the existence of evil presents to 'orthodox theism' . . . a remarkable amount of material in compressed format, something that will well serve readers.
Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith
This book will appeal to anyone who has ever asked why there seems to be so much unnecessary evil and suffering in the world.
From the Publisher
This book includes an impressive discussion of the nature of evil.
CHOICE, Fe. 99 Vol. 36 No.6 - R.D. Geivett
The book is full of creative thought experiments, detailed and incisive argument, and exposition and analysis that reveal an impressive command of much contemporary literature on this topic.
Daniel HowardSnyder
The most important book-length treatment of its kind in the past twenty years . . . O'Connor's book will most certainly be the locus of debate for years to come.
The Journal Of Religion - Del Kiernan-Lewis
. . . excellent work . . . chock-full of original, creative analyses and arguments.
Religious Studies, Vol. 35, 1999 - Katherin A. Rogers
A number of O'Connor's arguments are persuasive.

O'Coonor's central argument against Schlesinger's 'No-Best-Possible-World-Defence' seems well-taken.

Mind: A Quarterly Review of Philosophy
This book is an substantial contribution to contemporary discussion of the evidential force of the fact of evil and the rationality of beleiving in God.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847687640
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 12/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 290
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

David O'Connor is professor of philosophy at Seton Hall University and the author of The Metaphysics of G. E. Moore.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Introduction: Theism's Problem of Evil 1
2 In the Spirit of Hume 29
3 Theism and Gratuitous Evil 49
4 Orthodox Theism and the Reformed Logical Problem of Natural Evil 77
5 Swinburne's Greater-Good Defense 93
6 Plantinga's Free-Will Defense 113
7 Schlesinger's No-Best-Possible-World Defense 149
8 The Empirical Problem of Evil 1 175
9 The Empirical Problem Of Evil 2 183
10 Skeptical Theism and Friendly Atheism 199
11 A Wider Detente 227
Notes 237
Index 267
About the Author 275
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