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132 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Free WIll Defense Prevails, July 12, 2002
This review is from: God, Freedom, and Evil (Paperback)
Alvin Plantinga, O'Brien Philosophy Professor at Notre Dame, shook the philosophy of religion world with this book when it was first published in 1978. His debunking of the atheistic evidential argument from evil is strictly a DEFENSE, not a THEODICY. A defense is merely a logical way out. A theodicy would attempt to give the specific reasons God allows evil. Plantinga does not claim to know the thoughts of God, so by offering a defense, he modestly shows that it is logically compatible for God to coexist with evil. His argument is NOT one by analogy (contra another reviewer), rather it is a strict application of the rules of logic.
Even though the book is more accessible to the public than most of his others, I imagine that someone without any basic training in philosophy may struggle with the read (but a struggle is not a good excuse not to read a good book!). In addition to the defense against evil, his exposition of the Ontological argument is very interesting, and worthwhile for anyone who intends to properly understand that argument. Those in the field of philosophy have almost universally accepted it as the theistic solution to the problem of evil. If you are an atheist, I challenge you to study his arguments to understand the rational case he is making. This will definitely be an exciting and fun read for the philosopher, as well as to the thinking and outspoken theist and atheist.
(By the way, if you are looking for a good THEODICY - try MAKING SENSE OUT OF SUFFERING by Peter Kreeft, philosophy professor at Boston College.)
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 16, 2007 7:29:52 PM PDT
Marvin Migl says:
Thank you for your great description of the book and further recommendations!! There's a reason why this review gets 39/41 helpful!

Posted on Sep 19, 2007 12:33:23 AM PDT
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Posted on Mar 10, 2011 10:09:28 AM PST
J. Fincher says:
Plantinga was countering Mackie's logical problem of evil, not Rowe's evidential problem of evil.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 10:44:35 PM PST
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Posted on Jan 13, 2013 2:37:10 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 25, 2015 9:27:51 AM PDT
:) says:
'omnipotent' and 'omniscient' does not get at how God made the world..if God has made the creation project to be furthered by humans then we have a much different case on our hands. The God revealed in Jesus shows us that God is working in the world through humans (the same way He has functionally made the world to work) to undue the problem of evil and suffering. And the problem of good is just as 'bulletproof' as the problem of evil. This good is what God is bringing about but only within the framework that He has provided for the world.
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