Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-x

This collection would not have been possible without the generous support of the John Templeton Foundation and the University of Notre Dame, especially the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts. I would also like to thank my colleagues and students who contributed in various ways to making this collection...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-8

In recent years, discussion of the problem of evil has been advanced by using resources of contemporary metaphysics and epistemology such as Alvin Plantinga’s application of modal logic to logical problem of evil and William Rowe and Stephen Wykstra’s application of probabilistic epistemology to the evidential...

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1. A Modest Proposal? Caveat Emptor! Moral Theory and Problems of Evil

Marilyn McCord Adams

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pp. 9-26

James Sterba has challenged philosophers of religion, not only those who work on the problem of evil, to take moral theory more seriously, for multiple reasons. Most obviously, good and evil, right and wrong, motivation in voluntary action, make up a large part of the subject matter of ethics. At least since positivism...

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2. Kant, Job, and the Problem of Evil

John Hare

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pp. 27-42

In his brief work “On the Miscarriage of All Philosophical Trials in Theodicy” (1791), Immanuel Kant uses the story of Job to examine the problem of evil.1 This work is not well known in the contemporary discussion of the problem of evil, but it fits the context of the present volume because Kant uses the tools of his...

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3. Good Persons, Good Aims, and the Problem of Evil

Linda Zagzebski

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pp. 43-56

Standard formulations of the argument from evil claim that an omnipotent being who is perfectly good would not permit, or probably would not permit, the vast quantity and severity of evil in the world. These arguments almost always have an implied assumption about the motivational structure of a good being...

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4. Does God Cooperate with Evil?

Laura Garcia

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pp. 57-89

The question “does God cooperate with evil?” has an obvious answer for most theists, certainly for those who conceive of God as a being that exists necessarily and is essentially omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect. Since cooperating with an evil act is immoral, necessarily, God does not cooperate with evil acts...

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5. The Problem of Evil: Excessive Unnecessary Suffering

Bruce Russell

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pp. 90-107

By “allowing unnecessary suffering” I mean “allowing suffering the allowing of which is not needed to bring about greater good or to prevent greater evil.”1 To allow excessive, unnecessary suffering is to allow way more than is needed to bring about such good or to prevent such evil. Like Peter van Inwagen, I use the term...

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6. Beyond the Impasse: Contemporary Moral Theory and the Crisis of Skeptical Theism

Stephen J. Wykstra

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pp. 108-140

Does contemporary moral theory have untapped relevance to the problem of evil?1 As a novice to moral theory, my hypothesis is that it does. To test this, I shall here look to moral theory for help in addressing a worrisome objection to “skeptical theistic” defenses (including my own) against evidential arguments...

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7. Perfection, Evil, and Morality

Stephen Maitzen

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pp. 141-154

Many people believe in the existence of God as described by classical monotheism, a personal agent whose essence includes perfection—that is, unsurpassable greatness—in knowledge, power, and goodness.1 Or, to put the point more cautiously, many people say they believe in the existence of such a being. A number...

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Conclusion

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pp. 155-164

In her contribution to this volume, Marilyn Adams cautions us to focus on how horrendous moral evils can be. She also cautions us to attend to the fragility and gross imperfections in human agency. She then takes from theology the idea that our relationship with God should be one of a developing friendship, in order to...

Contributors

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pp. 165-166

Index

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pp. 167-171