In this Book

The Problem of Evil
summary
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.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Preface to the Second Edition
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Introduction: The Problem of Evil
  2. pp. 1-14
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  1. Part I. Statements of the Problem
  1. Explorations in Great Literature
  1. 1. Job’s Complaint and the Whirlwind’s Answer From the Book of Job
  2. From the Book of Job
  3. pp. 17-24
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  1. 2. The Lisbon Earthquake
  2. Voltaire
  3. pp. 25-30
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  1. 3. Rebellion
  2. Fyodor Dostoevsky
  3. pp. 31-41
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  1. Treatments in Traditional Philosophy
  1. 4. No Evil Comes from God
  2. St. Thomas Aquinas
  3. pp. 42-49
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  1. 5. Best of All Possible Worlds
  2. Gottfried Leibniz
  3. pp. 50-58
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  1. 6. Evil Makes Belief in God Unreasonable
  2. David Hume
  3. pp. 59-78
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  1. Part II. Versions of the Problem
  1. The Logical Problem
  1. 7. Evil and Omnipotence
  2. J. L. Mackie
  3. pp. 81-94
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  1. 8. The Free Will Defense
  2. Alvin Plantinga
  3. pp. 95-129
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  1. The Evidential Problem
  1. 9. Evil, Evidence, and Skeptical Theism—A Debate
  2. William L. Rowe, Daniel Howard-Snyder, and Michael Bergmann
  3. pp. 130-165
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  1. 10. Christian Theism and the Evidential Argument from Evil
  2. Michael L. Peterson
  3. pp. 166-192
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  1. The Existential Problem
  1. 11. On Regretting the Evils of This World
  2. William Hasker
  3. pp. 193-209
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  1. 12. Redemptive Suffering as a Christian Solution to the Problem of Evil
  2. Marilyn M. Adams
  3. pp. 210-232
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  1. Part III. Perspectives in Theodicy
  1. Augustinian Theodicy
  1. 13. A Good Creation’s Capacity for Evil
  2. St. Augustine
  3. pp. 235-241
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  1. 14. Augustine and the Denial of Genuine Evil
  2. David Ray Griffin
  3. pp. 242-261
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  1. Irenaean Theodicy
  1. 15. Soul-Making Theodicy
  2. John Hick
  3. pp. 262-273
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  1. 16. Paradox and Promise in Hick’s Theodicy
  2. William L. Rowe
  3. pp. 274-287
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  1. Process Theodicy
  1. 17. Divine Persuasion Rather than Coercion
  2. David Ray Griffin
  3. pp. 288-300
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  1. 18. Evil, Omnipotence, and Process Thought
  2. Bruce R. Reichenbach
  3. pp. 301-326
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  1. Openness Theodicy
  1. 19. God, Evil, and Relational Risk
  2. John Sanders
  3. pp. 327-343
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  1. 20. God’s Providence Takes No Risks
  2. Paul Helm
  3. pp. 344-362
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  1. Felix Culpa Theodicy
  1. 21. Supralapsarianism, or “O Felix Culpa”
  2. Alvin Plantinga
  3. pp. 363-389
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  1. 22. Are Sin and Evil Necessary for a Really Good World?
  2. Kevin Diller
  3. pp. 390-410
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  1. Part IV. Issues in the Problem of Evil
  1. God and the Best Possible World
  1. 23. Must God Create the Best?
  2. Robert M. Adams
  3. pp. 413-427
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  1. 24. God, Moral Perfection, and Possible Worlds
  2. Philip L. Quinn
  3. pp. 428-443
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  1. Natural Evils and Natural Laws
  1. 25. Natural Evils and Moral Choice
  2. Richard Swinburne
  3. pp. 444-458
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  1. 26. Knowledge, Freedom, and the Problem of Evil
  2. Eleonore Stump
  3. pp. 459-472
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  1. Gratuitous Evil and God’s Relation to the World
  1. 27. God and Gratuitous Evil
  2. William Hasker
  3. pp. 473-487
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  1. 28. Theism and Gratuitous Natural Evil
  2. David O’Connor
  3. pp. 488-504
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  1. Skeptical Theist Defense
  1. 29. Skeptical Theism and Rowe’s New Evidential Argument from Evil
  2. Michael Bergmann
  3. pp. 505-529
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  1. 30. The Skeptical Theist Response to Rowe’s Evidential Argument from Evil
  2. Nick Trakakis
  3. pp. 530-552
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  1. Theism, Naturalism, and the Explanation of Pain and Pleasure
  1. 31. The Distribution of Pain and Pleasure as Evidence for Atheism
  2. Paul Draper
  3. pp. 553-575
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  1. 32. The Problem of Evil, the Problem of Air, and the Problem of Silence
  2. Peter van Inwagen
  3. pp. 576-608
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