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Suffering Belief: Evil and the Anglo-American Defense of Theism (Toronto Studies in Religion) Paperback – March 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Studies in Religion (Book 23)
  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Lang International Academic Publishers (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0820439754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0820439754
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,961,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

«As a philosopher of religion who has defended theism for many years, I find it hard to convince myself that the criticisms of belief in God to be found in this book can all be refuted. I recommend the book highly to theists, agnostics, and atheists alike.» (Clement Dore, Chair of Philosophy, Emeritus, Vanderbilt University)
«Professor Weisberger's work is the most clear, careful, and comprehensive review and evaluation of the recent literature on the problem of evil that one could hope for. It is valuable both as a source book and as a complete study.» (Michael Hodges, Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University)

About the Author

The Author: A. M. Weisberger, who was Chair of Philosophy and Religion at a private liberal arts college for many years, received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University. Her interest in issues of suffering and justice has been a dominant force in her research, which spans the areas of philosophy of religion, practical ethics, and Holocaust studies. She has published on a variety of topics in professional journals in philosophy, religion, and the sciences.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Brian Ursrey on December 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
As a former student of Dr. Weisberger's, I am significantly influenced by her teachings on Atheism and the Problem of Evil. This book does wonders in further examining the issues surrounding belief in the Western concept of God: omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient. Her clear analysis of WHY the burden of proof must lie with the theist is one that is cogent and not easily refuted, though the theist would most like to. By showing where this burden of proof lies and why, Dr. Weisberger then proceeds to show the fallacies of theistic responses to the problem of evil. Written in an overall manner appropriate to philosophy or religion students, this book is also extremely readable by those not familiar with these fields of study. Excepting one analysis, the book flows very easily, without a lot of philosohical jargon, and holds the readers interest. This is clearly the best book I've read in terms of clarity and breadth for the problem of evil. This book ought to be on every reading list for students in philosophy of religion, theology, or seminary. Anyone who has questions about the blind faith in God would be well served by reading Dr. Weisberger's book. This kind of critcal work is an absolute must in this time of rejuvinated Christian belief.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
A clear and masteful examination of the problem of Evil takes two tracks: the logical, derived from a priori reasoning, and evidential. The Theist is required to show how her belief in an all-knowing, all-powerful and all-good God is possible, given the unquestionable facticity of Evil in the world. While the processes of nature are not, per se, evil, their effects are sometimes regarded as evil. Intentional Evil is therefore the most problematic, and receives deep and careful treatment. Her argument does not, however, operate against the existence of God; just the absolute attributes of God. For those whom these attributes are necessary for their faith, this book will be quite uncomfortable. Dr. Weisberger profoundly disturbs our unexamined assumptions. The argument from epistemic distance is shown to be inadequate. Since the burden of proof is upon the Theist, and that proof must derive from lived experience, no way is found to maintain these attributes of God. But the data of sense is not the data of consciousness, and spirituality is of the data of consciousness. Socrates maintained that no one intends to do evil, but simply fails to use good judgment in carrying out her intentions. This position seems untenable as we contemplate the Shoah of mid-century Europe. A certain moral inversion arises whenever power and money become ends, rather than means, and people become means rather than ends. Free will, operating through institutions, confuses what is procedurally correct with what is morally right. We do not need God's negligence to explain evil, nor question her attributes to explain evil.Read more ›
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Roy E. Overmann on December 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
Dr. Weisberger's book will become the standard critique of the existence of an "all-powerful? god. She covers the complete ground on this issue and anyone who reads the book would be hard-pressed to make a logical argument for an all-powerful god. My only criticism of Dr. Weisberger is her apparent reluctance to come to the undeniable conclusion: What is a non-all-powerful god good for? Consequently this book become a brilliant argument (unacknowledged by the author) for the irrationality of belief in a good god.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John W. Loftus VINE VOICE on June 29, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're interested in the problem of evil for Christianity then you must deal with this book. Her arguments are scholarly, rock solid, persuasive and important. I only wish she would update it, since she doesn't deal with recent developments from William Rowe's evidential argument to theists like Wykstra who argue for the CORNEA defense. Still, if you want to deal seriously with this whole issue, her book is one of the best in this area.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
Andrew Cronan from Philadelphia, PA
Dr. Weisberger's book is a concise yet precise examination of the age-old but apparently intractable Problem of Evil. Most astute here is the author's assertion that the burden of proof lies with the Theist. That is, since all the premises of the inconsistent triad are those asserted by the Theist and all previous attempts to resolve the inconsistency fail, the intractability of the Problem endures. While the traditional discussion is accurately and interestingly presented, some current contributions are also examined. Plantinga's theodicy rightly receives very little attention while Hick's epistemic distance and Dore's revised soulmaking are the subject of thorough treatment. Chapter Six, with its attention to the "Pollution Solution," includes treatment of a version previously unknown to this reader. Here again Weisberger demonstrates the pitfalls of such a proposed solution. Any rational thinker concerned with the Western God cannot avoid this book.
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