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The Evidential Argument from Evil (Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion) Paperback

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

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The Evidential Argument from Evil (Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion) + The Problem of Evil: Selected Readings (Library of Religious Philosophy)
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Product Details

  • Series: Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press; First Edition edition (March 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253210283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253210289
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.9 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: #631,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 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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16 of 17 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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24 of 29 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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10 of 11 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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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Grant McLoone on January 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
The existence of evil - undeserved human and animal pain and suffering - has been a barrier to religious belief for many people. One of those people was this reviewer's mother, raised Catholic but turned atheist after witnessing terrible suffering in her native Scotland during World War II. As she once told me, "when you've seen mothers holding their children, both riddled with machine gun bullets from German planes, it's impossible to believe there's a good God in heaven". Bertrand Russell once made the comment that "no one can believe in a good God if they've sat at the bedside of a dying child."

C.S. Lewis called this issue "The Problem of Pain" in his book of that title. The current preferred term is "The Evidential Argument From Evil" because, as explained in the Introduction, it's not a "Problem" except for people who believe in God.

Readers of this book will discover why belief in an all-good, all-powerful God, in the face of human suffering and evil, is not necessarily "cognitively dissonant". It provides a balanced, fair treatment of the issue by both believers and atheists.
The book is quite technical at times. Several of the essays feature complex equations purporting to illustrate various logical propositions. There is also a good deal of philosophical jargon used. Nonetheless, while the book is not as readable as anything by C.S. Lewis (or Ayn Rand for that matter), it provides the best treatment I've seen in print of the arguments for both sides in this perennial issue.
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