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The Evidential Argument from Evil (Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion) Paperback – October 17, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0253210289 ISBN-10: 0253210283 Edition: First Edition
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Recommended for use in an undergraduate or graduate course in the philosophy of religion." - Religious Studies Review"... all of the essays here are of excellent quality and are generally representative of the best recent arguments on the topic... Although several of the essays are very challenging and not for the beginner, the book as a whole provides an outstanding introduction to the problem of evil." - International Philosophy Quarterly"The dialogue between the essays is well orchestrated... While nominally about evil, many different advancements in epistemology and Bayesian analysis add to its net worth, achieving an even greater good from its already engaging treatment of evil." - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion"For putting such a resource at our fingertips, we are all indebted to the authors whose work is collected here and especially the 'collector' himself: Daniel Howard-Snyder." - Faith & Philosophy

About the Author

DANIEL HOWARD-SNYDER is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Seattle Pacific University.

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Product Details

  • Series: Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press; First Edition edition (October 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253210283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253210289
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #771,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By jlowder@infidels.org on May 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
Anyone interested in the debate over the evidential argument from evil simply must have this book. It includes two influential but distinct formulations of the argument--those by William Rowe and Paul Draper--followed by a number of essays written in response to one another. The list of authors who contributed to the anthology is impressive. Besides Rowe and Draper, the book also contains essays by Richard Swinburne, Alvin Plantinga, Richard Gale, Bruce Russell, Peter van Inwagen, and Stephen Wykstra.
Like Cole Mitchell, I was also somewhat disappointed by the demographics of the book (10 of the book's 16 articles were theistic). Despite this flaw, I was still so pleased with the book that I rated it with 5 stars. Any serious student of the problem of evil will want their own copy of this book.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is a great example of what a good philosophical collection can be -- both an introduction to a problem and a valuable addition to the work on the problem. This book contains many essays (by Howard-Snyder, William Rowe, Peter van Inwagen, Alvin Plantinga, Paul Draper, et al.), but I have found each of them invaluable. The only problem I have with it is that I wish there were more nontheists in the mix (with 10 of 16 articles and 3 of 5 people who were allowed two articles being theistic); but that's just my partisanship showing. No matter what antecedent leanings you have, this book will probably shake you up in one way or another. This is a gem.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Demming on November 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
"The Evidential Argument from Evil" is a collection of scholarly articles written by the top philosophers currently writing in the field. It includes both defenders and critics of the evidential argument from evil. Many of the contributions are excellent and greatly enhance the discussion.

For the most part, the theistic critics of the Problem of Evil tend not to focus directly on the issue of theodicy- providing reasons why God may permit evil in the world. Richard Swinburne is the only contributor who attempts to offer a full-fledged theodicy, though Eleanore Stump offers a discussion on the book of Job that approaches a theodicy as well. The main emphasis is on defenses- merely logically possible accounts- and an appeal to our cognitive limitations. Basically, most of the theistic writers try to demonstrate that we are simply not in a cognitive position to judge with any certainty whether or not God has a sufficient reason for the evils that exist in the world. Since we have no idea whether or not God has a reason, it is a bit hasty to conclude from the existence of unexplained evil in the world that God probably does not exist.

This is one aspect of the Problem of Evil that I do not tend to emphasize in my own analysis of this issue. I tend to think that a bare appeal to our cognitive limitations is inadequate. While it is legitimate to point out that we should not expect to understand God's reasons for any particular evil, it is not legitimate to avoid offering any sorts of plausible reasons why evil and suffering in general exists in the world.

Nevertheless, the theistic critics make a good case that we should not truly be surprised if we are unable to think of the reasons why God allows so much evil and suffering in the world.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Greg Klebanoff (gkleban@comp.uark.edu) on August 20, 1997
Format: Paperback
Daniel Howaed-Snider has put together a truly excellent collection of articles on one of the most difficult problems confronted by the philosopher of religion. I approached the work as a philosophy graduate student and an atheist convinced that the problem of evil constituted a nearly unbridgeable barrier to rational belief in God. Howard-Snyder's book changed my mind. I recommend it to any and all philosophically inclined theists, atheists and anyone else interested in the philosophy of religion. Both sides of the issue are well represented by some of the best contemporaty philosophers of religion
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 12, 1996
Format: Paperback
Howard-Snyder's book is an excellent resource for anyone
interested in recent trends in the philosophy of religion.
Not only does it reproduce in one convenient volume several
of the major papers on the topic in the last 15 years, it
includes several new works by some of the foremost
participants in the ongoing debate (Stephen Wykstra, Alvin
Plantinga, Bruce Russell, and William Rowe, to name but a
few).

Another reason for having this book on hand is its
excellent bibliography, both of the works cited in the
essays which comprise the volume itself, but also of the
wider literature on the subject. As William Alston says in
the book's final essay, these are not likely to be the last
words on the evidential argument from evil: but they do
represent, at least in my opinion, the best collection of
words on that topic produced to date.
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