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God and Inscrutable Evil Paperback – December 4, 1997
This book will appeal to anyone who has ever asked why there seems to be so much unnecessary evil and suffering in the world. (Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith)
This book includes an impressive discussion of the nature of evil.
The book is full of creative thought experiments, detailed and incisive argument, and exposition and analysis that reveal an impressive command of much contemporary literature on this topic. (R.D. Geivett, Biola University CHOICE, Fe. 99 Vol. 36 No.6)
The most important book-length treatment of its kind in the past twenty years . . . O'Connor's book will most certainly be the locus of debate for years to come. (Daniel HowardSnyder, Seattle Pacific University)
. . . excellent work . . . chock-full of original, creative analyses and arguments. (Del Kiernan-Lewis, Morehouse College The Journal Of Religion)
A number of O'Connor's arguments are persuasive.O'Coonor's central argument against Schlesinger's 'No-Best-Possible-World-Defence' seems well-taken. (Katherin A. Rogers, University of Delaware Religious Studies, Vol. 35, 1999)
This book is an substantial contribution to contemporary discussion of the evidential force of the fact of evil and the rationality of beleiving in God. (Mind: A Quarterly Review of Philosophy)
O'Connor should be praised for forcefully bringing to our attention the centrality of the standard assumption in the debate over God and evil. (Philosophical Review)
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
O'Connor develops what he calls a "reformed logical argument from evil", based on the widespread existence of natural evil resulting from natural processes (NERNP). In developing the argument, O'Connor compares the actual world with a world he calls "Wp" -- a world which contains much less natural evil than the actual world. He concludes that God (that is, the God of traditional or "orthodox" theism) would have created Wp rather than the actual world; hence the actual world is not God-made; hence God does not exist (since God is defined as, among other things, the creator of the world). In other words, either all or some of the great abundance of NERNP in the actual world is inconsistent with the existence of God; hence God does not exist.
In deploying the reformed argument against orthodox theism, O'Connor considers the most important objections that might be raised against it (and which have been raised against other arguments from evil). He considers Swinburne's greater-good defence, Schlesinger's no best possible world defence, and Plantinga's free will defence, and shows how all these arguments fail to defeat the reformed argument from evil. (Interestingly, O'Connor endorses Richard M. Gale's argument which states that Plantinga's free will defence fails because God's actualisation of possible persons in that defence gives God a freedom-cancelling control over those persons.Read more ›
The book is highly technical and while self-contained assumes some familiarity with philosophical argumentation of the analytical variety. More introductory works are Kaufmann's Critique of Religion and Philosophy (Princeton University Press), also Davis's Philosophy of Religion (Oxford University Press), both available from amazon.com.
The book contains an excellent bibilography and notes for further reading.
This book is indispensible to those who want to be on the forefront of Philosophy Of Religion.