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The Problem of Evil (Oxford Readings in Philosophy) Hardcover – January 10, 1991

ISBN-13: 978-0198248675 ISBN-10: 0198248679

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Readings in Philosophy
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (January 10, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198248679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198248675
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,350,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"This is an excellent work. The diversity of views represented make it most valuable as a text. I would recommend it highly."--Steve Lemke, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary


"An excellent text, with several of the most important articles."--P.H. Sedgwick


"An excellent selection of key texts on the Problem of Evil and it makes them readily accessible to students. A very good comprehensive introduction."--Peter Davie, Christ Church College, Canterbury


"Those who are seeking, for themselves or their students, a compilation of the best work done on the problem of evil in the analytical tradition over the past three decades could ask for nothing better."--Ethics


--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Robert Merrihew Adams is at University of California, Los Angeles. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By J. Davenport on October 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is an absolutely first-rate collection by one of the world's leading scholars in the philosophy of religion. It is used as a standard textbook by professors teaching philosophy of religion in colleges and universities throughout the English-speaking world. The previous reviewer obviously has no philosophical background and did not appreciate that this is a collection of opposing views on a controversial question. The editor herself is a defender of theism, and the fundamentalist reproaches in the previous review should be entirely ignored.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Reader on January 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
Edited by Marilyn and Robert Adams and published in 1991 by Oxford University Press "The Problem of Evil" is a compilation of essays on the problem of evil. Contributions are from many of the leading theistic and atheistic commentators in the field (Rowe, Mackie, Plantinga etc.)

Within the philosophy of religion the problem of evil is generally recognized to be the strongest argument against theism (belief in an all-powerful, all-knowing and all-good God). It asks the simple but profound question, if God exists why is the world characterized by death, disease, disability and a litany of other ills? There are three broad formulations of the argument from evil; 1) the logical argument - God and evil are incompatible, 2) the evidential argument - God is unlikely given evil; and, 3) the existential argument - the impact of evil on belief. Many of essays in this collection are concerned with the logical argument.

Premise A. An all-powerful, all-knowing God could create a world without evil
Premise B. An all-good God would desire a world without evil
Premise C. Evil exists
Conclusion. An all-good, all-knowing and all-powerful God does not exist

Simply put the logical argument asserts that God and evil cannot co-exist. The logical argument is not contending that evil provides evidence against God, or that God is less likely in a world with evil than in a world without evil, rather, it is making a much bolder claim; the claim that God and evil are mutually exclusive, if one exists then the other cannot. And, since evil appears to exist God does not. While it possesses some prima facie plausibility, the logical argument has proven to be doubly flawed.
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3 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Pugh on March 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This volume offers a splened overview of the problem of evil in Christian theology and secular thinking.
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5 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Susan B. Shroy on August 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
Pike, Chisholm and Hume all assume that man's definition of "evil" is correct rather than God's definition. They then base their entire logical argument based on this faulty "fact", which they never bother to prove.
Their entire argument crumbles because of this faulty foundation.

To argue using Hume as a logical anchor simply dismisses or hides the fact that Hume was all over the place regarding the existence of God during different phases of his life, which also describes his own confidence of his position.

"Where men are the most sure and arrogant, they are usually the most mistaken." David Hume (1711-1776) (Draper?s Quotations for the Christian World #458)

"God is an ever-present Spirit guiding all that happens to a wise and holy end." David Hume (1711-1776) (Draper?s Quotations for the Christian World #5389)

The "Method of Isolation" is an impossible situation to create in reality, so there is no actual ability to test this
method, and as such is irrelevant. Since this method can not actually be tested because the "world" in which it should be tested doesn't actually exist, the test itself can not exist either. Since this isolated world does not exist it reduces the arguments both for and against this argument, to the level of babbling.

The argument of an organic whole does not explain the weaknesses of the method of isolation.

My wife's labor during labor was the most intensive pain that she had ever felt. Watching her
suffer was the second most painful thing that I have endured. The most painful being a kidney stone. Both of these painful circumstances, viewed through the method of isolation technique would be viewed as intrinsic evils because they both included misery and pain.
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