God and Evi

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God and Evi

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God and Evi An introduction t o the Iss~es

Michael L. Peterson ASBURY C O L L E G E


A Member of t l ~ ePersseus Books Group

NI rights reserveci, Pril~teciin the United States of Amefica, No Tart ofthis yublicaticjn may be rcprodueed ur ~ra~lsrnittcd in any fcxm mor by any means, electronic or mechanicai, incl~~ding p110tocop~;rec~rdjllg,or any Information starage and retrieval permission in writillg from the publisher. system, witht~~xt Copyright- 8 1998 by Wcswicw Prcss, A i2ilember of Pcrseus Books: Group Pubiished in 1998 in the United States ofAnlerica by Wesmietv Press, 5500 Central Avenue, I-lnutcter, Colorado 250303-2877, and is1 the iiilited Ecrgdom Ity KTesrciie\v Hill, Oxford OX2 9JJ Press, 12 Hici's Copse ltoad, Gu~~lr?lor I i brary of C:ongress CZatalog~lg-inPuI>tiea.tlic>~~ Data b3ererson, h4iclrael I,. 1950Grrd and cvil : an introd-ctcfict~~ to the issues / by Michael L,, b3ererson. p, cm, Ir~ctudesbi bliographicaf references and index. lSRN 0-8X 33-2848-9 (hc), - XSBN 0-8133-2849-7 (pb) 1. Good and cvit . 2. [email protected]>il-Philosog>11y. I. 'I'irfc. BJl4QX.P47 1998 2 E 4-d~2 1

98-18429 CTP

'The paper used iit this publica~onmeets the requirements o f the American Na&onal Standard for Permanence of 13agter f i r Printed 1,ibrary Materials Z39.48-198.1.

For my sons, Aar~PzaPzd Adam

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The Problem of Evil and Its Place 11 in Philosophy of Religion Evil in H u l ~ ~ aExistence, n I Evil and Rcligio~lsBelicf, 6 The Philosophical Difficulty, 8 The Classification of Evil, 10 Notes, 14 Suggested Readings, 15

The Logical Problem of Evil 2 Staten~entof the Problem, 17 The Structure and Strategy of the kgument, 19 Versions of the Logical Argument, 23 The Burden of Proof, 27 Notes, 5 X S~lggcstcdReadings, 31 3 T l ~ eFunction of Defense The Free Will Defense, 53 The Colllpatibilist Position, 35 The Incompatibilist Rejoinder, 37 The f:urrcnt State of the Debate, 41 Notes, 43 Suggested Readings, 45

The Probabilistic Problem af Evil 4 An Initial Skirmish, 47 A Modified Probabiliy Argument, 49

Three Probabilistic Argumellts fro~nEvil, 52 Reformed Epistemolog!? and Evil, 56 Notes, 61. Suggested Readings, 64


The Problem af Gramitous Evil Can There Be an Evidential Argument from Evil? 67 Versions of the Evidential Argummt, 69 Analyzing the Evidential Argument from G r a t u i ~ u Evil, s 73 The Appearance of Evil, 74 Notes, 79 Suggested Readings, 8 1 6 The Task of Theodicy The Prospects for Thcodicy, 85 Augustine's Free Will Theodich 89 Lribniz's Best 130ssiblrWorld Theodic~~? 92 Hick's Soul-Making Theodic): 94 Whitehead's Process Theodicj: 99 Theodicy and the Assessment of Theism, 103 Notes, 105 Strggested Readings, 108

The Existential Problem of Evil 7 The Experience of Gratuitous Evil, 111 Evil and Personal Idencirp, 114 The Logic of Rcgrct, 117 Existential Authcnticiq and Evil, 119 Thc Defeat of Horren&,us Evil, 124 Notes, 127 Suggested Readings, 130 Index



This jrolumc is an introduction to the problem of evil as it is currently discussed in professional philosophy. I have designed the book for use in an academic setting, with hopes that both student and scholar may find many points interesting and provocative. I also trust that the scrious and thoughtful person outside academia may benefit from my treatment of this perennially important subject. No project of this sort is a purely priirate undertaking. Over the years, I have benefited fro111 hclpful discussions on the problei~lof evil ~ 6 t hAvin Hantinga, Edwarcf Madden, Peter Ham, Wilfiam Idasker, David Basingrr, Bruce Reichmbach, and Jerry Walls. I have appreciated the mcouragemcnt of the Asbury College administration during my uriting. I am also thankful to Pew Charitable Trusts for fulldillg my research during the 1992-1993 acadelnic pear. I am not completely sure why I continue to be fascinated by the problem of evil in all of its permutations. In part, I am astonished by the great profusion of suffering and evil around us and am driven to ponder it on behalf of those who ask, "Why?" And, in part, I am stagt o the gered at the capaciv for evil ~vithinus and am thercbp dra~v1-1 issues concerlling God and evil. Although I am conscious of the strange mixture of good and evil in our bvorld, I am more mindful of how important it is to orient oileself properly toward these realities. I dedicate this book to my sons, Aaron and Adam, in ~vhomI take great pleasure and delight. They are certail~lptwo immeasurable goods in my life that show me just how much value there is in a ~vorld that contains evil. Their goodness even makes me a better person, My fatherly hope for them is that thcy will resist evil in all its forms and that thcy will love and seek the good in all things.

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The Prob ern of Evil and Its Place in Philosophy o f Ke

Something is dreadfully wrong with our ~vorld.An earthquake kills hulldrcds in Peru. A pancreatic cancer patient suffers prolonged, excruciadng pain and dies. A pit bull attacks a mo-year-old child, angrily ripping his flesh and killing him. Countless lnultitudes suffer the ravages of war in Somalia. A crazed cult leader pushes eighq-five people to their deaths in WBco, Texas. Millions starve and die in North Korea as famine ravages the land. Horrible things of all kinds happen in our world-and that has been the story since the dawn of civilization. Today's news media thrive on things that are wrong in the ~vorld,on bad things that h a p p n to people every day. Rlevision parades vivid images of war, ixurdcr, devastation, and suffering before our eyes. Newspapers report rape, abuse, maylncm, and disaster.

an Existence In June 199 1, Time magazine asked the question, "Why?"-"Why does evil happen?"' In the cover essay, journalist Lance Morrojv reviews the rz~ultitudeof eviils that haunt our cox~scioust~ess-from Hitler's Auschwitz to Saddanl Husscin" invasion of K~~wait, from KKK hangings of black men in prc-civil rights Mississippi t o the AIDS epidemic. Kight there in a pok3ular ixagazinc, Mr~rrowraises age-old questions in an article starkly titled "Evil." Is evil an entity! Or is evil the immoral and inhulnane actions of persons? What about bad and hurtful things that are out of our control, such as disease, floods, and mental illness? Is nature responsible? Why does evil seem


12robigmoj'E27i1 and I2hilnsophy [email protected]

so fascinating and alluring to the hulnan lnilld while good seems so uninterestiilg and boring! Does evil serve some purpose, or does it just happen! Why has the human race not seemed able to understand evil, to conquer it, to shut i t out! ThoughtFul people raise penetrating questions about evil and seek to nnderstand what it reveals about the hun2an condition. In a feafi~reartiTork Times Ma~azinc,Ken Koscnbaul-n seeks to probe cle in the the meaning of evil. The cover of the magazine reads "Evil's Back," and Rosenbaum's article inside carries the title "Staring into the Heart of the Heart of Darkness." Koxnbaum's piece sets the stage by recounting how Susail Smith of Buffalo, South Carolina, murdered her mro young soxls, He reheal-ses the f'acts that a whole tlation now knows aXI too well: Susan Smith drowned her two little boys by strapping them into the child safety seats in her Mazda and sending the car rolling down an embankment into Jobn D. Long Lakc. She then manufactllrcd an "ordeal" to deflect attention fro111 her crime. Playing on racial prejudice, shc claimed that an AFrican American car jackcr had kidnapped hcr two childrm, and she pled desperately on television for a search for the car jacker a i d the children. Yet, kzithin nine days, she confessed to killing three-)rear-old Michael a i d f o u r t e e n - m o - d Alex. Itosenbaurn observes that one Local tabtoid called Sxnith" action an "evil deed." What is imyressive about this pronouncemmt is that the secular rze\\rs media would make it. In a day when electronic and bxintcd media typically prefer to assume a "relativity of valuesm---avoiding difficult issues about ixoralit~thcolog>r,the ixeaning of life, and our place in the cosmos-it: was blurted out. There it was. Sol-nething was actually declared "evilv--pure, unadulterated, ullmistakable evil-by the press. No141 all the hard questioils are laid on the tabie and have to be faced: What is evil? Why d o humans have the seemingly vast capacity to harm others? If there is a good God, why does he permit innocent people to suffer!2 There is something about the Susan Smith case that evokes our harshest moral judglnents and gets us asking all of thosc hard questions. Kosenbam cannily observes that "the great tabloid stories arc the ones that raise thcologiml questions.'Yct he quiclcly aclcnowledges that we canilot talk about evil-)r about good, for that matter-~rithout solne definitions. Those definitioils lead us to larger theories about the origin and existeilce of evil in our midst, and those theories lead us to even larger conceptions of the meaning of life and the nature of ~vhateverSupreme Being might exist."

Although our age is acutely conscious of the bnidespread existence of evil in humall life, past ages have certainly been akvare of its profound significance. AImost no other theme recurs in great literature more often than that of humanity's capability for evil. I n ancient Greek tragedy? for example, the tragic hero is a person of noble status and lofty aspirations who is eventually undone bccausc of a profound character flaw, k n o w as hztbrts (pride). All of the tragic hero's other virtucs become disjointed as his flaw subtly ruins his life. Russian author Ftrodor Dostoejrsky treats scornfully the comforting llotion that humans are always rational and good. In a famous passage from 7 % ~ Broth~rsKara~~azuv, Dostoevskp protests such wild optimism about humankind: "I can't endure that a man of lofty rnind and heart begins with the ideal of the Madonna and ends with the ideal of Sodom. What" still more awful is that a man with the ideal of Sodorn in his soul does not rcnouncc the ideal of the Madonna, and his heart may be on firc with that ideal, genuinely on firc, just as in the days of youth and innocencc,"4 Our hui-nan inaibifiq to 1ivc up to our owvn high ideals is a perpetual puzzlement. The paradoxical depravity and perversity of hulnalliry are treated quite poignantly in Dr. Jebyll n ~ z dMr. Hyde. Robrrt Louis Strvmson's frightening fable records how the decent Dr. Jekyll came under the power of a transforming drug: "It severed in me those provinces of good and ill which divide and compound mall's dual nature. I \ras in no sense a hypocrite; both sides of me wcrc in dead eamest; I was no morc ixyself when I laid aside restraint and plunged in shame, than of knowledge or when I laborcd, in the eye of day, at the f~~rtherance the relief of sorro~rand sufkring."j As time %rent on, the thought of evil represented in the person of Mr. Hyde no longer filled Jekpll with terror: "I sat in the sun on a bench; the animal within me licking the chops of memory; the spiritual side a little drokmed, promising subsequent penitence, but not pet moved to begin. I began t o be aware of the telnper of my thoughts, a grcatcr boldness, a contempt of danger, a solution of the bonds of obligation."" The apelike creature had diabolically gained control of Jekyll: This was the si~ockl~lg tiling; that the slime of the pit seemed to ~tttercries and voiecs; that the amorphous dust gesricl.rlated and 811ncd; that what was dead, and had no shape, sho~xldusurp the offices of life And this again, that tile ii~surgenthorror was knit to him closer than a wife, closer


12robigmoj'E27i1 and I2hilnsophy [email protected] tl-ran an eye; lay caged in l-ris flesh, where l-re l-reard it rrittxtter and felt it struggle to be born; and at every hour oft.rreakness, and in the corlfidence of sltlmber prevailed against him, and deposed him O L Xof ~ life.7

Dr. Jekyll confesses the terrible truth that he is radically both natures: "It was the curse of mankind that . . . in the agonizcd womb of consciousness these polar wins should be continuously struggling."g Paul, tlzc early C.:hl-istian evangdist, recognizes the war ~vitbinhimself: "I do slot understand my own actions. For I do slot do what I want, but I do the very thillg I hate. . . . I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what X do."Vn a sirnlfar vein, St. Augustine recounts his unhappy predicament in his Confcssio~zs:"I was bound, not with another's irons, but by my own iron will. My will the enelny held, and thence had made a chain for me, and bound ixe."[email protected] personal aspect of cvil most closcly coincides with what the Judeo-Christian Scr-ipturcsdescribe as "sin. " Once we recogilize the existence of something that can reasonably be called persollal evil, we must then also recognize that it has collective as well as illdividual dimensions. Organized crime syndicates, militant emerging nations, oppressive social structures, and profit-crazed multinational corporations are, in a real sense, the social extensions of personal evil. On both individual and corporate levels, one of the saddest features of hulxan evil is its strangc adrnixtllrc with good or apparent good. Marriages are wrccked for lack of mutual understanding, educafiond col-nmtlmiticsarc m k n n i n e d by disagreement about how to pursue colnmosl ideals, political parties are throknn into disarray by excessive ambition, and nations are ripped apart by struggles for power. Although we are perplexed by humanin's capaciq for evil, even the best of us are someti~ueshurt and even crushed by the ilupersonal forces of the universe. These forces know nothing of human agendas or purposes and tend to thwart all that we hold dear. Herlnan Melville deals 144th this thcrnc in Moly Dick. w of Cod, on the one hand, and what it admia about cvil in God's cceated order, on the other. Many persolls think that the Christial Godif He really exists a ~ isd the source a ~ guaraltor d of value-\wuld not dtow the world to be as it is. This is the crux of the issue for Christian beliet:, it has traditionally been knowrn as the problem of cvil. Throughout historj: Christian theologians and philosophers have ~vrestledwith this problem. Thoughtfill and sensitive laity have also felt the need for at least a gcncral explanation of how to relate God and evil. The conundrum seems unavoidable. Aficr rc\?iewing all the evils that haunt our contenlpr>rary consciousness, Lance Morrow raises this prccisc problem at the end of his Tirne magazine article.17 Son~ethinkers believe that unless Christian believers have an acceptable solution to the problem of evil, they have 110right to hold their distinctive theological position or to ask others to adopt it.18 Philosopher T. W. Settle argues that grappling with the problem of


12robigmoj'E27i1 and I2hilnsophy [email protected]

evil is a "prolegomenon to intellectually honest theology."" Thor Hall proposes that the ability or illability to generate an allswer to the vexing problem of evil is the lionus test of the "reasonableness of thcology." Hall says that Christian thinkers must "he capable of handling honestly the actualities of human existence (realities which we all know) while at the same time providing a fralxework for explicating responsibly the essential affirmations of the faith (affir~nationswhich arc given \niithin the historical traditian)."zo The positioll that is put under direct pressure by the presence of evil is known as "theism." Theism ~naintainsthat there exists a Suprelne Being who is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good. William Rowe calls this position "restricted theism."2l Theism as such is not itself living religion but forms what we might call the basic conceptual foundation for several living religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Thc total bclicf fraixeworks of these actual religions involve adding certain other signiticant religious beliefs t o restricted claims contheism. Restricted heism conjoined with other rcligio~~s stitutes what Kowe calls "expanded theism." The presellt study treats Inally of the i~nportalltdiscussions related to the basic theistic foundation of Chrisrian belief (i.e., restricred theism). After all, insofar as evil presents a challenge to theism, it presents a challenge to any version of expanded theism. Howriver, this study also considers some issues related to larger sets of Christian beliefs (i.c ., various dof the C:hristian faith.

Ty&er! Twer! burni~gbright 1%theforests of' the n&bt, W ~ Lim~.e.lo~$al ZL ha;l.cdor eyle G"og/[email protected] [email protected]!pf-ll. ~ y r n ~ ~ e ~ ' r y ? In tvhat distant d e e p or skies Burrzed thefir6 ofthifze eyes? On 117hatwings dafpe he aspigee? Whnt the hand dar~seize thefir&?

Whar I J ~ C~ ~ P % zwhat ~ c It-hg ? ~ h a i?~ z In tvhatp6mace was thy brain? Whnt the anvil? what dreadgrasp I h v e its dead& termrs clnsp?

Whg~zt h stars ~ threa~dolv~ztheir spears, And 137~~.tergd h e l ; t ~~7Ztb e ~ ~ th~iartggrs, ])id he smz'lg his wofpk t o .re&? ])id he [email protected]& the Lg$.%zb $.%zake Bee?

q g e ~ !T~ger!Itgrvtia8 b~$&ht: IB the for^gs~'s of the %&h$, W ~ &immor~al G h a ~ dor eyle Darg @me thy fearful syrn metry l.3"

We also find the problem of moral evil in great noirels. Dostoevsky's classic The Rruthcr.r Ithe theist must clarify and rccollcilr the propositio~lsthat supposedly generate the contradiction. It is comlnonlp ageed that the alleged contradiction is not immcdiately forthcolning from propositions (G) and (E,). So, the critic must invoke the strategy previously explained for exposing ilnplicit contradictions-that is, she must add certain propositions to (G) and


The Logical Problem of Evil

(El). Let us review a representative selection of auxiliary propositions often cited by the atheistic critic: ( 1.1) God is a real being transcendent from the world (2.1) God can bring about any logically possible state of affairs, including the elimination of evil (3.1) God kno\vs everything that it is possible to know, including how to eliminate evil (4.1) God always seeks to promote good and eliminate evil (5.1) The existence of evil is not a logically necessary state of affairs.

Now, from (G), together with (1.1)-(5.1),

it follows that

(-El) Evil does not exist, a conclusion that clearly contradicts (El). At this point, the atheist seems t o have made good her charge of inconsistency by deriving fiom the theist's position two logically incompatible propositions: (El) and (-El). Obviously, by the law of noncontradiction, these nvo propositions cannot both be true at the same time and in the same sense. Hence, anyone holding both propositions is irrational. The reasoning behind this indictment is not hard to grasp and resembles the third example above, in which unstated belief (14) had t o be supplied in order t o set up the contradiction. Theists say that God exists and has a definite character. It is natural to presume that God's character can be used as a basis for explaining (and perhaps predicting) his actions, even actions related to evil in the world. For present purposes, this means that the terms in proposition (G) have specifiable meanings that can be delineated in additional propositions such as (1.l)-(4.1). Furthermore, there is no logical necessity that evil exist, as indicated by (5.1). From (G) together with (1.1 )-(5. l), it is a fairly elementary exercise in deductive logic t o derive (-El) Evil does not exist. Yet evil does exist, and its existence is recognized by the typical theist: (El)

Evil exists.

The classical logical problem as rrpresellted by Version I is thus forged. This is the kind of case that Macke and many other atheistic critics articulate. Other propositions would have to be stated in order to forge Versions II and III. For instance, a proposition much like the folloiving ~vouldbe needed in Version 11:

(4.2) God" ggodness wodd scck to prcvent or eliminate large amounts, extrelne kinds, and perplexing distributions of evil. Something like

(4.3) God's goodness would not allow gratuitous or pointless evil to exist. would be needed to articulate f ~ ~ lVcrsion ly III. But wc need not pursue discussion of these versions here. The strategy is the same for all jrersions of the logical problem of evil. The atheistic critic derives a contradiction from a set of propositions that the theist allegedly accepts. How shall the theist respond?

The Burden of Proof In assessing the state of thc debate bemecn the theist and the atheistic critic, it is helpful t o rcvicw how the logical problem of evil develops. The theist holds a set of beliefs, and the critic claims that they are inconsistent. This places the initial burden on the critic t o state the inconsistency, to drakv it out, to make it obirious. The critic's stratem then, is to attempt to generate a contradiction h m a designated set of the theist's own beliefs. Otherwise, i t ~vouldnot be possible to make the accusation that the theist" belie& are incot~sisterltstick, Once the critic has made the opening fora): thc theist illust respond by showing what is wrong with thc critic's case. Consider Version I of the logical problem of evil, which we have chosen as a no del. Here the critic maintains that the theist holds contradictory beliefs, (G) and (E,). In order t o bring this contradiction to light, the critic lnust show that (G) ultimately entails (-E,). If the critic can do this, she will thereby show that the theist's position in-

volves both ( E l ) and (--h), the belief that e ~ iexists l as well as the belief that evil does not exist. This is a plaill contradiction. For Version II, the critic's strategy would be similar. She ~vouldneed to deduce two propositions from theistic commitments: one stating that there are amountc, kinds, and clistributions of ez5l that God \;vould not allow and onc indicating that those amounts, kinds, and distt-ib~ltions exist. This ~vouldconstitutc a contradiction, For Version 111, thc required atheistic strategy is now quite familiar. It must be proved that the theist is commitred to the belief that God bvould not a11014 rratuo itous e ~ i and l to the belief that gratuitous evil exists-again, n ~ contradictory beliefq. The significance of the charge of logical inconsistency is not difficult to comprehend. Two propositions that are inconsistent cannot both be true at the sarne tixl~eand in the sarne sense, such as

(2f ) &nt is a grcat philosopher and

(22) It is not the case that Kant is a great philosopher.

Any position involving such a contradiction, then, cannot be ~vhollp true, In the issue over God and evil, the critic decZares that it is not possible for both (G) and some (E)-like proposition t o bc true and yet that, on sorne grounds or other, the theist is committed to both. Although the burden of deducing a contradiction from thcistic beliefs rests squarely on the shoulders of the atheistic critic, Alvin Plantinga has correctly stated the coilditions that any critic lnust meet: "To lnake good his claim the atheologian must proiride some proposition which is either necessarily true, or essential to theism, or a logical consequences of such propositions."'z Clearly, there is no logical problem for the theist if he is not committed to each proposition in the set or if the set does not rrrally entail a contradiczion. If the critic uses an additional proposition. that is necessarily true, then the theist must accept it because it ixust be accepted by all rational people. If the additional propositioll is esse~ltialto any theistic position, then the theist must accept it by virtue of beillg a theist. And of course, the theist lnust accept any logical callsequence of his propositions as well. The critic's aim is to show that it is not possible that both (G) and (El ) be true. If she can come up with an additional proposition

set of propositioilsthat the theist must accept and derij~ea contradiction froin it together with the other relevant theistic propositions, the theist is in serious trouble. Theistic defenders, such as Plantinga, maintain that i t is enormously difficult to come up with a proposition that meets the conditions of being necessarily true, essential to theism, or a logical consequence of such propositions. On these grounds alone, theists illay argklc that it is far from clcar that it is not possible for both ( G )and (EI) to be truc. Exteilding the theistic respoilse further, Plailtinga pioileered a method for showing that it is possible for both (G) and (E,) to be true-a method that can presumably be used against the charge of inconsistency aimed at (G) and any (E)-like proposition. Succeeding at this task is equivalent to denpil~gthe claim made by Mackie and others that i t is not possible for both (G) and (El) to be true. According to Plantinga, the theist need not show that both propositions are in fact true in order to rebut the critic's charge. Rebutting the charge of inconsistency relies on making some fine distinctions in the meanings of key theistic terlns (e.g., omnipotence) and then on supplying addiof a theistic tioilal propositions that reflect a possible ullderstal~dil~g worldview. These maneuvers directly challenge the critic's auxiliary definitions and thus block her ability to deduce a contradiction from theistic beliefs. In Chapter 3, I elnbark on a hll-scale discussioll of what l'lantinga and other theists have done to defend against Version I of the logical problem of cvil. I particularly focus on a conteinporary theistic rcspan" "own as thc Frce Will Dcfense, which has already become classic, Ho~ve\ier,1 will first bliefly rehearse some of the basic mows that theists can make to defend against Versions 11 and 111, although these versions, ulllike Versioll I, have not attracted widespread interest. In addressing the challenge posed bp Version II, theists have lnaintained that critics have not successfully shown belief in God to imply that he would limit the evil in the world to manageable amounts, kinds, and distributions. Theists can construe divine goodness, power, and knowrlcdgc. as ablc to allow very large ai-nounts, extreme kinds, and perplexing distributions of evil. God ~xightdo this for a number of different reasons: for example, to preserj7ea wide range of free humall choices or to allow the regular operation of impersoilal natural objects. Theists taking this line in effect argue that they need not accept some of the additional propositions that critics use to deduce a contradiction from key theistic beliefs. So, i t is not clear that

critics can establish that theists hold beliefs that imply both that God limits the amounts, kinds, and distributions of evil and that those limits have bee11exceeded. Theists who respond to Version III grapple with the charge that they are committed to the yroposition that God would not allow gratuitous evil, as ~ve11as the proposition that gratuitous evil exists. The working assumption of the atheistic critic here is that theism recognizes the existence of very sc\lerc evils as long as they havc some point or meaning. Ho~vejrer,certain stock responses suffice to refute the critic's formulation for Versioil 111. Thc theist can take a wry traditioilal approach and argue that he is not really com~nittedto (E,)that is, that he does not belieire that gratuitous or pointless evils exist. He can argue that his position necessitates that all evils, no matter how severe, must be meaningful or justified. Many theists understand their position in prcciseIy this wily The theist who has this orientation ~llightevm venture some explanation or range of explanations dcsigned to cover paidctxlarly troublesome evils. Some theists, however, coilstrue their position differently and actually accept (E3).These theists must take a different tack, then, in defellding agaillst Version III of the logical problem. They can seek to point out that the additional assumptiolls that the critic emplojrs to derive the contradiction-such as (4.3)-are neither essential to theism nor necessariljr true. Since this line of discussion is very rare in the philosophical literature on the logical problem of evil, I will wait to analyze it fully ulltil Chapter 5, where it surfaces in relation to the evidential problem. We can now see that tbc issrzc before us turlls on the abiIiq of critics, on the one hand, to show that theists lnust accept all of the propositions they use to drd~lcra contradiction and on the ability of theists, on the other hand, to show that they need not accept all of them. The only appropriate grounds for insisting that theists must accept the propositions are that they are either necessarily true, essential to theism, o r a consequence of such propositions. Habring framed the debate in this manner, I must note that an impressive number of critics have been convinced that serious logical difficulties exist for thcism, and thcy havc labrlrcd vigorously to bring them to light. Likewise, there are a ll~zmberof theists who have taken seriously the lnatter of logical inconsistency and have kvorked diligently to defelld against such attacks. At present, there is a large consensus that theistic maneuklers have been very effective and that the burden still rests on the shoulders of the critic to produce the contradiction. In the next

chapter, I \\.ill turn t o the line of debate in the philosophical literature that is \%idelpthought to support this sentiment. Notes X . 'The following works employ tttese differctlt labels for the problem: Wlllialn XXmve, PhZ'10~0phyof R e l i ~ i o n :An Ipztf*p.odzaction(Encino and BeImont, Caiif.: nickenson, 1978), pp. 80-86; Micl-rael L. Peterson, ""Christian Theism a11d rite Problem of I:xri.il,'"fozjs~nnl @'$beE ~ n ~ g e f i c 'gf bl c o l f ~ i c gSl~ c k rtli~cds:A St$641!of eo! 21 (1978): 3 5 4 6 ; and Nvin Plantia-tga, God and OtIi"ef# ithe Ratzonnl J%sr~ific~c.zlon of' Belzef in C7'0d (Ithaca: Gi~rnellU~liversirjrPress, X 967), p* 128. 2.1. L. Markie, ""Eil ilalld Oxnnipotexlrce," Mind64 (1955): 200. 3, Ibid. 4. David Hurne, Dialoggggs Cr~nce~~i.tz'~g8 Natzgral Rel&Z'on, ed. Henry ID. Aike1-t (New York: Hafner, l04S>,p. 66. 5, H. J. McGloskey, "The Probient. of Evil," fizitr~~znl of Bible n~zdR e l z ~ b l r ~ ~ 30 (1962): 187, 6. I will follow Xzlantinga3 discussion throughout this exposition. See his 1974. Peterst~n,Michaet . ""Evil and Inconsistency. " Lci~phin(A gst~*alia)18 (July X 979):20-27. 13ectrsan, Michael L,, eb. 279e [email protected] of Evil: Selecgcd R e a d i ? ; ~Notrc ~, Dai~le,Ind,: University of Notre Dat-rte Press, 1992. Petersoil, Michael, Wiltiarn Hasker, Brrrce Keichenbach, and Davtcl Basinger, IZeaso~i!and Reltgiozi Beliej An I7il?t~~odi?.l,cirz'01:~ to the 13hZ'Io~-ophj~ ofltingais well known for applying this line of reasoning in a very specific manner to the precise way in which the charge of inconsistency was formulated. Against the logical problem, he crafls a defense. Unlike Augustine's discussion, ~vhichaffirms the reality of creaturelp free will, Plantinga's discussion turns on the pure logical possibiliv of such. As Plantinga recognizes, the success of the defense hinges on a certain understandillg of what is meant by a persolz's bei~zg f k e with respect to alz acgion. For the Free Will Defender, if a person is free with respect to an action, then he is free either to perform or to

refrain ~ o the m action. No causal laws and alltecedent conditions determine that he -will perform or not perform the action. In other words, at the time in question, it is ~vithinthe person's power to perform the action and within his power to refrain from performing the action. What it means for a person t o g o ,uroncQ ,pith respcct t o a morally rignz$cant action is for it to be wrong for him to perform it and he does or Fvrong for him not to and he does not. According to Plantinga, a preliminary stateincnt of thc Frcc Will Defeilse bvould go as follo~vs:A bvorld contailling significailtlp free creatures (\\rho can freely choose benveen good a ~ evil) d is more Iraluable, all other things being equal, than a world containing no free creatures whatsoever, God, of course, can create free creatures, but then he cannot caase or dctermilze that they only pelfor~uright actions. Doing this would preempt their significant freedom. Hence, there is no way for God to creatc creatures capable of moral good without thereby crcating crcaturcs capable of moral evil. Conversely, God cannot eliminate thc possibility of moral evil without eliminating the possibiliw of moral good. The fact, then, that some creatures have gone kzrong in the exercise of their freedom since the dawn of creation does not count against God's oln~lipotenceor goodness. Having gained a sellse of this perspcccive, we may now state the central claim of the Free Will Defensc: I t is possible that God could not have created a universe containing moral good (or a5 much moral good as this one contains) without creal-ing onc containing moral cvil.

The Compatibilist Position Critics, of course, are not ullfalniliar with the recurrillg theme of free uill in ~nuchtheistic thought. h t o n y Flew and J. L. Mackie raised a very important objection to the Free Will Dcfense that had to be met before the defrnse could be totally effective. The objection rests on the claim that it is logically possible that there could be a world containing significantly frcc beings who always do what is right. Sincc there is no contradiction or inconsistency in this claim, it lneans that there arc possible worlds containing moral good but no moral evil. Since God is omnipotent-and thus can briilg about any logically possible state of affairsGod lnust be able to create a bvorld containing moral good but no lnoral evil. 111 other kvords, God lnight have made people so that they always freely do the right thing. As Flew expresses it, "If there is no contradiction here then Omnipotence might

have made a bnorld inhabited by bnhollp ~rirtuouspcople."3 If this is sr], then, as Flew says, ""the Free Will Defense is brokell-backed," and "\re are back again with the original intractable al~tinomy."" Flew is not alone in voicing this line of reasoning. Mackie puts it forthrightly: If God has made men such that in their kee choices they sometii-rites prefer wlitat. is good and sometimes \%?hatis evil, why could he 110t have rnade rnen such that they always freely choose the goad? If tliere is n o logical i~npossibilityitit a mail's seely choosing the good on one, or on scverat occasions, there catlIlot be a logical impossibility in his freely choosing the good on every occasion. God was not, then, hced with a choice between nitakiilg innocent autoi-ritata and making beings who, in actirlg freejy, \%rouIci sometimes go wro~lg:there \%?asopen t o ltirn the obviously bctrcr possibiliy of making bei~lgswho would act k e l y b t ~ t always g o right. Clearly, his failure t o avail l~imsetfof this possibility is inconsistent- with his beillg both omnipotent and ~7hoXlygood."

The positio~lchalnpioncd here is known as compntibilism. It is the view that keedonl and determinisnl-even divine detern~inism-are compatible. Put another Ivaj; the compatibilists' point is that the propositioll

( 2 3 ) God brings it about that human beings always choose what is right is logicaly consistent with the proposition (24) humall beillgs have free choice. This position directly opposes the Free Will Defense, which, as Ivr have already seen, relies on an i~zcvnzpatibilistpositioll: the view that ( 2 3 )and (24) are logically inconsistent. As wc would expect, the controversy behvccn Frce Will Defenders and critics historically rcvolved aro~undthe issuc of how key concepts such as omnipotence and free will should be understood. Although the Free Will Defellder may agree with critics that a world in which all persoils freely choose to do what is right is indeed a possible bnorld, he seeks to qualifp our understandings of free will and omnipotence in a Ivap that avoids the dilelnma presented bp the critic. Obviousll: the critic here believes that an omnipotmt deity can create just any

logically possible ~rorldhe selects. A ~rhollygood deity kvould select the bvorld that is best on the whole, a j4rc1rld that we bvould surely deem to be one in which everyone freely does what is right. At this point, we have come to the hotly contested claim that God could have created any possible world he pleased.6 The defender counters that God, though omnipotent, could not bme created just any possible world. At this point, WC must pause to consider how Frcc Will Defenders have co~llcto frame the issue of free will and omnipotcncc in terms of contemporarjl ideas about possible \vorlds.

The Incompatibilist Rejoinder Since Plantinga is credited with first putting the Free Will Defense in t c m s of thc logic of possible worlds, WC will consider his vindication of incompatibilism.7 We may say that a possible world is a way things could have been, a total possible state of affairs. Among states of affairs, some are actual, and some are not. For example, the iCentz$clzy Wildcats' bctei~wthe c c ~ a i n z z i nbasketball ~" [email protected] NC:AA history is a state of affairs, as is Abtpaham Li~zculn'sbctei~zgthe firrt presidcfzt of the U ~ h Stntcs. d However, the former is actual, whereas the latter is not. Although the latter is not actual, it is still a possible state of affairs. Possible states of affairs must be distinguished kom impossible ones, and impossible ones ixust be further distinguished. Both Reth's hnving climbed Mt. E~crcstin five minutesfigt and John ir hnving squa~qd thg circle arc impossible states of affdirs. The foriller is causally or naturally impossible; the latter is impossible in the broadly logical sense. A possible world, then, is a possible state of affairs in the sense that it is possible in the broadly logical sense. Although a possible world is a state of affairs, not every state of aftBirs is a possible world. To have the status of a possible world, a state of affairs must be cvmplctc or maximdl. Socgpatcs' having been executed by dnilzkilzg hemlock is a possible state of affairs, but it is not complete or inclusive enough to be a possible world. Cornplctcness must now bc defined. A statc of affairs S includes state of affairs S' if is not possible that S obtain and S' fail to obtain. Like\yiselsc, the colljunctive state of affairs S bat not S' is not possible. A state of afr of affairs S' if it is not possible that both obfairs Sprecl~desa ~ o t h estate tain. 111other words, S precl~4desS' if the colljul~ctivestate of affairs S and S' is impossible. Now, a complete or maximal state of affairs-that is, a possible ~vorld-is one that either includes or precludes every other

state of affairs. It should be obvious that exactly one possible world is actual alld that at ~nostone possible world is actual. Corresponding to each possible world W" there is a set of propositions that we may call the ltvob on W. A propositioll is in the boob on W just in case that state of affairs to which it corresponds is included in W. Wc ~xightexprcss this idea alternatively as follo~rs:A proposition P is trup in a ~vorldW if and only if P a?o%ldh n v ~been trup if W had been actzlal---if and only if it is not possible that W is actual and P is false. The book on W, then, is the set of propositions true in W: Books, like bnorlds, are ~naximalor complete. A book on a world is a maximal consistent set of propositions. The additioll of just one propositio~lt o it al\\raps yields an explicitly inconsistellt set. There is exactly one book for each possible world. Possible worlds possess some interesting features. For example, a bwoposition p is possible if it is true in at lcast one world and impossible if truc in none. A proposition p is necessary if it is truc in all possiblc worlds. Another feature of possible tvorlds is that persons as wcll as other thillgs exist in them. Clearls each of us exists in the actual ~rorld,but we also exist in a great man)! ~rorldsdistillct froln the actual twrld. These other twrlds are simply possible but unactual.8 To say that something exists in a possible world means that it ~vouldhave existed had that world been actuail, As we begin to turn our thoughts back toward God's relation to possible ~vodds,tvc must notc that it \i\?orsldnot be technically propcr to say that God clpenter any possible tvorlds or states of afiairs. What God crcatcs are the heavens, the earth, and so forth. In performing such actions as creati~igthe heavens a ~ the d earth and all that they contain, God brings about a multitude of states of affairs. For example, God created Socrates, but he did not create the state of affairs colxisting in Socrates' existence. Strictly speaking, we must say that God nctgnlizps a state of affairs, such a5 the state of affairs consisting in Socrates' existence. Accuracy, then, demands that we speak of God as actgallzi~ga possible tvorld, which is of coursc a total state of affairs." After this brief explanation of key ideas rclatcd to the logic of possibfc worlds, wc can now rcturn to our original q~lcscion:C;otrld Cud have actualized just any possible ~rorldhe chose? The se~renteenthcentury Gerlnan philosopher Gottfried Leibniz believed that it is uithin the scope of olnnipotence to bring about any possible t.orld.lO Flew and Mackie, moreover, have already argued that there are possible worlds containing moral good but no moral evil. We know that

the books 011 such ~rorldsform eiltirely coilsistent sets of propositions. Furthermore, as Flew and Mackie insist, if divine omnipotence can bring about any logically possible state of affairs, even a complete possible world, then God must be able to bring about a world containing lnoral good but n o moral evil. Thus, God can make people so that they always freely do what is morally right. The Free Will Dcfender rcsponds that it is not objrious that God, though omnipotent, can bring about j ~ ~ any s t possible world he pleases. Eve13 grailting that God is a ilecessary being (i.e., one that exists in every possible bnorld), not every possible world is such that God can actualize it." In worlds in which the omnipotent God chooses to create free persons, we must remember that the free actions of those persons cannot be determined by causal laws and antecedent conditions. More broadly, if a person is free with respect to t cgggse it ; ~ be u the an accion A, then God does not Itvi?g& it n l ~ u gor that shc does A or refrains fro111 doing A. For if God byin&$ it ahoztt or cags-rs it $0 be casrr in any manner ~vl~atsoever that thc pcrson eithcr does A or does not d o A, then that persol1 is not really free. Plantinga dubs Flew and Mackic's contelltion "Lribniz's Lapse." It is the contention that

(25) God, if omnipotent, could have actualized just any possible world he pleased. The Free Will Defender claims to the contrary that the following is possible :

(26) God is omnipotent, and it was not uithin his power to bring about a world containing moral good but no inoral evil. Plantinga takes for granted that God cannot actualize a state of affairs including the existence of creatures who fi.eely take some action or ~cg He then considers lveak acother; this wotald be ~ ~ ' r oactualization, tualization, which is all the critic really needs for his casc. What is at issue, then, is whether there is solncfhing God cotald have done, some series of actions he could have takm, such that if he had, a given possible world W jvould have been actual. Lct is say that W contains inoral good but no inoral evil. To develop his case, Plantinga provides an argument based on the peculiar behavior of counterfactual condidonals. Rehearsing Plan-

tinga's o~z.11 example, we may imagille Curley Smith, sometime ma)Tor of Boston, who was offered a $35,000 bribe to allow a disputed freeway to be constructed. Suppose he accepted. Now, ponder:


If Curley had been offered $20,000, he would have acccptcd the bribe

and (27.1) If Curley had been offered $20,000, he bvould have rejected the bribe.

Next, think of the possibk worlds that include the antecedent state of affairs consisting in Cgulqy's bein8 offelfled $2620,000.Then think of two possible ~vorlds,W and W", which arc exac~balike up to thc point in time when Curley responds to the bribe offer. Lct us say that in U: Crrrley acccps the bribc, and in kP, Curley does not. Le.t us call tfic states of affairs shared by W and W* an initial world segment a1d even suppose that God could actualize this initial world segment. If Curley accepts the bribe, then God could ilot have actualized W*; if Curley rejects the bribe, then God could not have actualized W" So, there is a possible world W* in which Curley does not go Ivrong with respect to the bribe offer, but whether W* is actual was partly up to Curlep and not completely up to God. Therefore, we have an instance of a possible world- W*,in h i s casc-that God cotrld not have brought about. Plantinga diagnoses Curley as suffering from what he calls trannvorld depfpa~lity,a terrible malady. M e r defini~lgthe concept of an ilzdividg4al nat8sre or esselzce as the set of all properties a person or thing possesses in every possible world where he or it exists, Plantinga clainls that it is possible that Curley's essence sufkrs from transworld depravity. He states: "If an essence E suffers From trans~rorlddepravity, then it was not within God's pokver to actualize a possible world W such that E contains tile propertics i s f & ~ i ~ c afree n t ~in W and al~j~gys does g?Itla$ is r&bt in W."12 He then ventllres the further observation: It is possible that every crcaturely ess~ncc-e\~ery esscncc, including the propert). of being created by God ufkrs from trmsprorld depravity. From this, it follo~rsthat it is possible that God could not have created a bvorld containing moral good but 110 moral evil. Now the Free Will Defender has made his case against the critics. He has argued that, although there are possible worlds containillg

moral good but n o lnoral evil, it is not within God's power to bring them about. Although W* is possible, it is nut possible for God to bring it about. This establishes that the Free Will Defender's claim that

(26) God is onnnipr~tent,and it was not ~vithinhis power to bfing abo-bat a world containing moral good but no moral evil is possible. Hence, Leibniz's L a p s e t h e claim that God, if omnipotent, can create any possible kvorld-is false. The critic's case fails. Theism has been defended. Fundamental to the Free Will Defender" scase, of course, is a certain understanding of the metaphysics of eeedom and its relation to divine omnipotmce.l3 Theists who have an incomyatibilist ul~derstanding of this matter can then defend theisin bp arguing that bringing about a ~vorlcfeontaini~lgmoral good but no moral evil is a cooperatijre venture. It rcquircs thc uncocrccd concurrence of significantly free creatures; it is not up to God alone. The power of an olnilipote~lt God is limited by the frredoln he confers upon his creatures, given that he chooses to create free creatures at all.

The Cwrent State of the Debate It is now widely acknokvlcdgcd that the Frcc Will Defcnse adequately rebuts the logical problem of evil. As it has turned out, athcistic critics made their best case that the theistic belief3

(G) h omnipotent, omniscient, wholly good God exists and


Evil exists

arc inconsistent. Theistic defenders----i\lvin Plantinga, Keith Yandell, Stephen T. Davis, and othersarticulated and amplified the Free Will Dek~lseto shmv that these belief5 are ilot inconsistent. 'Thus, Version I of the logical problem has been laid t o rest. Version II in our taxonomy of the problem is based on the charge that the proposition

(G) h omnipotent, omniscient, wholly good God exists is inconsistent with the proposition

(Ez) Large amounts, extreme kinds, and perplexing distributions of evil exist. According to Plantinga, the salne type of dcfcnsive xnaneuver used against Version I applies t o Version 11. Focusing simply on the alnount of moral evil, Plantinga recommends that the theistic defender argue that somethillg like the follo\\ring claim is possible:

(28) God is omnipotent, and it was not within his power to bring about a world containing as much moral good and less xnoral evil than this one, Again, thc theistic defender here would need to e~nploythe same basic assertiolls previously made in arguing against Versioll I-that God, though omnipotent, calnot actualize a state of affairs consisting in an agellt freely doing what is right, that all crraturely essellces might suffer eom transworld depravity, and so forth. h successhl defensc against Version II shows, in effect, that God's existence is compatible with the existence of as much evil as the real world does, in fact, contain.14 In any event, the theistic defcndcr's strategy against all versions of the logical problcrx is t o show that the two kcy theistic bclicfs in question arc not inconsistent, that thcy arc logicall]? compatible. This is not to say that he must show that they are both true. This \%~ould be too strong a requirement for the defender and illappropriate to the nature of the issue. A kind of minimalist response is all that the purely logical problem of evil really requires: Accusations that theism is inconsistent can be met with vindicatiolls showing that i t is not. As theists have solidified their defensive position, they have exposed one of two hllacics bp critics who adb~anccany version of the logical problem of evil. It appears that critics either beg the guestition by selcctin6 propositions to whiril the theist is not comrnittcd or Iif~ozzl: of cofztext propositio~lsto which the theists are colnmitted and impute new meanings to them that are not fully coililected with the theists' own theological background beliefs. So, the critic might find a set of propositions that invo1j.e a logical contradiction, but doing so is irreleFrant unless the propositions genuinely represent theistic belief.

In the final analysis, the logical problem of evil does not seem to be a promising avellue of attack against Christiall theism. Ironically, the atheistic challenger begins by accusing the theist of committing a logical mistake and ends up embroiled in logical fallacies herself. Although Version I is by far the most popular formulation of the problem, it appears no ixorc effective than the other two fonnulations. All of the fonnulations of thc argurxent arc now thought to exhibit ccrtain sy~~dromatic errors. Adlnittillg that the Free Will Defellse is successful but relnaining convinced that a viable argulnent from evil can still be mounted, srlmc critics have shieed the attentioil to what we may call the ejiidential yrobleln of evil. They agree that defense against the logical problem establishes that no claim about evil, conjoined with other key theistic beliefs, sets up an automatic contradiction. These critics lnalntain that, although evil does not: reveal theism to be inconsistentt the facts of evil constitute evidence against thcism. Using the language of possible ~vorldsthinking, they admit that thc Frcc Will Dcfense shows that there is at least one possible bnorld in kvhich the propositions "God exists" and "evil exists" are both true, but they n~aintainthat this does not shcw that it is reasonable to think that God exists despite the evil in our world, the actual world. Interestingl)r, theists seeking further understanding of the intellectual commitments of their faith have also considered whether the logical problem expresses the only rational concern rciatcd to God and evil. Thus, they also express strong interest in solxe kind of evidential problem of evil. The next chapters are de\?otedto analyzing the exact structure as well as the proper strategy for such a response.

l . A v i r ~Pta~~dnga, God n~zdOther Minds: A '[email protected]'$ha Rac.innn;lJ25s88ficn $ion of Rdz'g'ilaz G d (Tthaca: Cornell i1712iversircy Press, 1967), pp, X 31-1 55; ~l 1974), Xzlantinga, Y7fe N ~ g u r eof Necg~xiql( O x f o r d : G l a r e ~ ~ d o13rrcss, pp. 164-195. 2. Augustine, 0r.t Free Choicg of'ghe Will, trans, *411na Rex~jaminand L, H. EIackstaff (New h r k : Babbs-Merrili, li964), bk. 2, chap. l , p. 36. 3, Antony Flew, "Divir~eOmnipotence a ~ H ~ udn ~ a nF;reeCf~)m,"in Ncw E;says in Philosopd3z"cd 2'hcolo8yl, ecis. ,411t01ly Flew and Alasdair MacTrztyre (New York: Macn-tillan, 1955), p, 149. 4, Ibid. 5 . J, L, Mackie, ""Ei(.iland Omnipotence," Mind64 (1955): 209.

6, See Robert M, Adat-rits, LCMustGod Create the Itcst?" in 726 PfpobIe~f$ of' E P ~ /Se/gc$~-ed ; [email protected];En&sfed. Michael Peters011 (Notrc I>ame, h-id.: Ut1iversir-y of Notre Dame 13ress, 1992),pp. 275-288; in tlie same volume, also see Philip I,. Quinn, "God, Mord Perfection, and Possible Worlds," pp. 289-3132, 7 , 'The classical locatiotl of ,ALfvix~Plantinga" ideas on the logic of possiMe worlds and inodal logic is his Nat5et.r: oj"N~cessz'q~~, cited in Notc l . S, Ptantinga, C;od, Fffleedam, and E ~ i (Grand l Kqpids, Mich.: Eerdmarrs, X977), p* 39. 9. 'I3here are a multitude of things that exist but that Gad did nor create. In addition to the fact that God has not created states of affairs, he has not created himself or nurn bers, propoktt ems, properties, and so forth. These havc no begini2ings. God" activity results in sorne states of affairs being or becoming act~xaf,See Plantinga, 7 b e Natuf*gof'Nc~essz'q~~ p. 169, 10. Gottfiied Wilhelm von LJeibiliz, "Xeudiicy: ESSGE~S 0% the Cgorrdng~sof God, the Fr#r:edomoj'Man, a n d $he &k&in of Evil, ed. Austt n Farrer, trails. E, h%,Huggard ( k ~ n d o nRouttcdge : 8r Kegan Pa~xt,1952), p. 127-129. X X . From this point: forbvard, \vc assume that God is a necessary and not a cantingat being, that God exists in all passible worlds. l'lze question before us, tl-ren, is whetl~erGod can actualize just any possible world that i~~cludes his existence. iYe foflow~Planbnga" discussion of \~~hictit wc~rldsGod cotrid havc created, kom his N&CZ.L~*C @OJgccssz"[y,pp. 169-174. 12. Pla~itti~lga, Chd, Freedurn, a ~ z dE ~ i kp. , 53, X 3, A complete statement of the Free FViH Dcfense ~~o-itlci need to take into accoullt a11 of the eleinel~tsthat 131tandnga b~tildsinto it, such as a concept of essences, a hller treatnlelitt of cor~~iterfactr~aIs of freedollit, aiitd so forth. See his Natzgrc of'Ngc~rssz'ty,ppp,X 72ff. 14. Many thinkers, both theists and tl~eircridcs, havc Xong accelttcd the limits to what an o~~iti~ip~)telitt being can pril~cipletl-rat there are no ~zop2Io~Tiicnl do. In other wc~rds,God has the ability to bring about any z'~zt:~*i~zsicrsk.I[~pc~~s bl~rstate of affairs (i.e., a state of affairs the description of which is not logicatty inco~itsistent).God could bring about, for example, white polar bears and tI-iangfes because they are intrix~sicallypossible, but he could not bring about rnarried bachelors and square cirdes bccause ttiey are intrinsically impossible. Howcver, Planti~lgarevises the cotlcept of omnipotcxlce to aIlo\v for the (Le., intrinsihct ttiat there are states ofafcatrs that are passible z'7.z tbe~$gclve~catiy) b ~ r that t are not possible for Chd to bring about. Tllis poiritt depel-rds on a proper ~11lderstandi1.1g of the logic of free witl. If a persoil is free with respect to an action, then whether she perforrns or rekair-ts &am performing that action is up to her, ~ z o God. t A l t h o ~ ~ ga fworld ~ in which all persons a1\%raysfreety d o what is right is cereainly possible, it is not a state of affairs that was within God's pawer to create; all of the kee crcattires in that world would have to l-relp bring it about by their olirn choices. The Free Wi11 De-

fe~lderit~siststhat God cann" hz$gf*:mal.z'unnI Juzgr~ialfbrPhilosopj~yofRelz&t"opi!16 (t984):213-224. Hoi tenga, Dewcy. ""Logic and the Pro ble1-11 of Evil." A kfze~#ican Pi?z'lusopk3ical 4 (1967): X 14-1 26, QgarzerI,~ b n e , G. Staniley. """l'hcFrce-kviitl Defcnse l3efcnded." " c [email protected]~$icism 50 (1976):435446, Mavrodes, George. "The Problem of Evil ." "1 Bgli!jeSi~itG d : A &$$z&djf in the E p i a ~ ~ ~ oofRglg&io~i!. Io~y New York: Ibndoxn EIouse, 1970, chap. 4, C)akes, Robert A, ""Actualities, Possibilities, and Free-will "fheodicy." '?he Ne~vSeholns~icZsm46 ( X 972): X 9 1-20 1. 13ike, Nelson. ""Iflantinga on Free Will and Evil." R~eli~ioz~s S$z$diw l 5 (1979):449473,

PLarrtinga, B v i n . "Existence, Necessit~and God," The N;em ,5'cholastz'cisliaz 50 (1976): 61-72. . ""Tl~eFrce bVill Defense." h In2hilnsopI3j~in: r(t~$er.ic&, edited by Max Black, London: George AIlen and Unwin, 1965. . Chd nrtd Qti$g~* Minds: A Stgdjf ofthe Rgtional Jzgstg$cation ~fRalz"@' ~ P ZGod. Ithaca: Cornell Ux-riversiv Press, 1967. . hz"losophy70 (1973): 539-552, Quinn, Phitip L, "God, Moral Perfectiotl, and Possible Worlds." h Chd: Gm~~tcn'~pot.arj~ Disczzaion, edited by Frederick Sontag and M. Darrol Bryant, New York: Kc~seof Sharon Press, 1982, pp. 197-21 3, Kc?\vc, Wilfiam L, "Rlantinga on PossiMe iVorfds and Evi1," fi~uuz?.~i.tnl oj'philosophy 70 (1973): 554-555. Sennett, Janles F. ""The Free Will ITefc-nse a ~ l dDeter~ltillisnl.'' Fgkgh and Philosophy 8 (1981 ): 340-353. Smart, Ninian. ""C)mniyatence, Evil and Superinel-E." Philosophy 36 (1961): 188-195. Stcw~ar t , Melville, 2 ge G~~eatct.er-C;ood ~ I ~ ~ [email protected]*y P : on the R~.k.ziofzalz-'q of' F~z'lrh.Ncw York: St. Martin", 1993. Wainwkght, William. "C:ii.iristian Theism and the Free Will Defense." hgtc~#P/$ilosophyof'flelgion 6 ( X 975): 243-2 50. national Jogsen~aIjb.~* Walls, Jerry. '"I'hc Free Wilt Dcfcl-Ese, Calvinism, bVcsiey7 and tbc Goodness of God," CC;'hr.af$ian c5'chalgr"s~evz'ew1 3 (January 1983): 19-33,

The Probabilistic Problem of Evi From the atheistic critics' point of view, the beautp of the logical argurxent from evil is that, if it could be made t o work, it would be a tour de force for atheis~x.Critics could then ignore any allegedly favorable evidence for God's existence and declare theism patently irrational. Hobnever, with what appears to be the decisive defeat of the logical argulnent from evil by the Free Will Defense,] some critics have developed a different kind of argumeilt from evil. This other type of argument seeks to establish that the existence of God is still somehow rationally unacceptable given the facts of evil. Philosophers ~vieldingthis kind of argument say that evil so~uehowcounts against the existcncc of God, although it is not inconsistent with the existcncc of God. Since the mid- 1970s, the number of these argkllnents in the philosophical literature has grown significantly. Such argulnents have been ~rariouslylabeled evidential, inductiire, or a posteriori? but one of the more prominellt formulations is now called the probabilistic argumeilt from evil. It is to this argumeilt that I 12014~ turn, leab~ingconsideration of a more broadly conceived evidential argument until the next chapter.

h Initial SKrmish Proponents of the probabilistic argument maintain that evil ixakcs the existellce of God imp~pobableor unlikeb. Let us consider an early exchange ben4reen noiltheistic and theistic philosophers along these lines. Consider how J. W. Cornman and Keith Lehrer preseilt the problem in the guise of a provocative thought experiment:

If you were all-good, all-k~lowing,and all-powerfut and you were going tt were scxltient beixlgs-beings that t o create a universe in ~ ~ h i cthere are happy and sad; enjoy pleasure, feel pain; express love, anger, pity, l-ratred-what kind of world would you create? . . . Try t o i~ltaginewltnt such a \voriA WCIUIBbe like. FVould it bc like the one wl~ichactually does exist, this world wc live in? bVould you crcatc a world such as this or-zc if you had tl-re power and know-how t o create any logically possible \%rorld?If yorrr anst;Grcris ""no," as it scerns t o be, then yorr sftorrlct begin t o undersra~~d why the evil of suffering and pain i1-t this world is such a problcnl for allyone who tl-rinks God created this world. . . . Girrcn this \%rorld,then, it seems, we should cotlcltrde that it is z'mpgeoktaktk: that it was created or sustained by anytfiing wc would call God. Thus, 81~~11 this particular world, it s e e ~ ~that t s we should c o n c l ~ ~ dthat e it is impmba6k that: God-who, if he exists, crcated the \%rorfd-exists, Consequexlrtl!?, the belief that God does not exist, rather tfian the belief that he exists, W O L I / ~seen1 to be jz&s"r~z$edby $he eviide~zeewe find in tl-ris world."

Herc wc find the language of probability. rrrentire structure of belief and kno~rledgeultimately rests. Foundatio~lalbeliefs are "basic" and not "&eritred" &om other beliefs.22 The "strong" foundationalist wants to place very strict rrquirrments on what sorts of beliefs car1 be in the foundations. Wanting to allow only belie& about jvhich i t is ilupossible or nearly impossible to go wrong? the foundationalist asserts that the only beliefs that can be properly basic are thosc that are either r e v - c ~ i d g n or t incorr&ible. Selfevident belicfs arc seen to be true by anyone who understands them (e.g., the simple trklths of arithmetic, such as 2 + 2 = 4). Incorrigible beliefs are those that deal with one's immediate experience and thus are thought to be immune from serious doubt (e.g., reports of consciousness, such as "I am feeling pain" and "I seem to be seeillg something green"). h strong foundationalist, then, maintains that

(SF) A person is rational in accepting a givcn belief only if that bclief is self-evident or incorrigible or is derived form sclfevident or incorrigible belie& using acceptable lnrthods of logical inference. The "ekridentialist challenge" t o religious belief, then, is for religious belief to [email protected] these requirements of ejridence. Many nontheists (e.g., W. K. C;lifford, Antony Flew, and others) embrace evidentialism and strong foundationalism, but a number of jvellknown theists do as well (e.g., l)escartes, Lockr, and 1,eibniz). Historicallj~,the twin assumptions of e\ridentialism and strong foundationalisrn have created a certain way of thinking about how rcligious bclief ixust be justified. The theistic e\ridcntialist is obliged to give positive evide~lcefor belief in the existe~lceof God, kvhereas the evide~ltialistcritic either must provide evidence for rejectillg belief in God or must point out that the theist's evidellce is insufficient. Plantinga has identified tjvo serious difficulties with strong hundationalism. For one thing, strong foundationalisrn is self-rrferrntially

incoherent. It simply does not meet its o~z.11standards of evidence, for it is not self-evident, incorrigible, or logically derij~ablefrom beliefs that are. For another thing, strong fou~~dationalism is overlp restrictive in regard to what kinds of beliefs can count as properly basic. Strong foundationalisrn rnistakenlp rules out various kinds of beliefs that arc properly basic but that arc neither sclf-evident nor incorrigible. In fact, a careful analysis of our native noetic powers (such as perception and memory) shows that they produce iflgrnedinte or d i ~ p g c t beliefs in us. Such beliefs as "I see a tree in the quad now" and "I had breakfast three hours ago" are "properly basic" for me although they are not held on the basis of other belief5 in my ejridential set. When one is in normal circumstances and one's cognitive powers are functioning properly, one is entitled to accept the beliefs formed by these native cogniti~epowers, such as perception and memory. Now we arc ready t o understand the Reformed cpistelnologists' contention that belief in God call be a properly basic belief. Plantinga sklggests that all rational persons have cognitive faculties that, under appapriate conditions, can forln such a belief in them. Thus, I might accept the belief that

(41) There is such a person as God without appeal to my other beliefs. That is, it can be part of the foundations of my noetic structure without being derived by argkllnents koix bundational belie&, Thc rclcvancc of Reformed epistemology to the discussion of God and evil is that it changes how we think about the rationality of the parties involved. Alld it is a llatural colnpollent in defensive maneuvers by theists. For one thing, Reformed epistemolog!? explains how the theist may be rational ~vithoutmounting, say, a pprbbailistic argulnent for divine existence that is aimed at overturning the yrobabilistic argument from evil. The theist may siinply hold belief in God as basic (\\?ithour:argmentj. Then, when a critic adtrances soi-ne version of the problem of evil and thc theist feels its probative force, the theist must deal with the oL7jcction. The objection is a potential defeatgr of the basic belief in God; it threatens the theist's s~loeticstructure. But the only action rationally required of the theist, according to Reforlned epistemology, is to depat the defeater, so to speak. This may be done by defgnse, showing that the critic's case against theism does not succeed, whatever that case map be (e.g., logical or probabilistic

probleln of evil). Of course, it is eiltirely possible for the antitheistic critic to respond bp trying t o defeat the defeater defeater and so on. Thus, although one may be rational in believing in God without discursive reasoning and argument, this would be a situation in which reasoning and argkxment is needed. However, the point of theistic argurxentation in this casc has changed frolx thc positive enterprise of showing that bclicf in God is rational because it is derived from basic beliefs to the project of showing that antithcistic attacks do not rcveal it to be rationally substandard.

I . h-rtong ~lontheisticgl-rilosophers who recognize that the logical probCOP$lem is not: cffecti~reare: Edward Maddex? and Peter Hare, Evil nrtd 17epctof ir;Ud (Sprii~gfield,Ill .: Cirarles C. Tlroxnas, 19681, and Williarn XXowc, (Enci~itoand Itetl-ritont,Calif.: Dickenson, 1978). Pj~z'losaphyof-'Reli~ion 2. For the i11ductive argument, see Rruce Reichenbach, "The Ilrductive 1 7 (1980): Argumellt from Et't1," Amwz'c~n12bilosophz'cal Qfbartc~~I,y 221-227; for the a posteriori argument, see Atvin Pla~ittinga,God and Other LWinds:A Agzbdy c~-$he fCnti:z'ortnlJ~~stz~ckal-z'un of' B e l z " ~ -E& ( kehaca: Cornef l Universiq, I967), p. 128. 3, Tames W, Cornt-ritan and ICeith Lebrer, Philosophiical Prohle~~s [email protected]%mgg8.s:An lr:zt$*oduction(New York: Macmillan, X 970), pp, 340-341 (italics rnine) . 4, Here we follow PLantinga" strayof oudining the argunitent, See PLantinga, G d , Fr6gdomI n~.tdE d (Grand bpids, Mich.: Eerdrna~~s, 1977), pp. 59-64. 5, XZlantingafirst introduced the notion of all evil beix~gbroadly rnoral evil in dealing with the argut-ritent that the existellce of God is i~~consistent with the existe~lceof i2atrrraX evil. This notion is then a~rallablcto be imported into his discr~ssionof tlic probabllisric problem. 6, Plantinga, Ct'od, Frgada~~~ and L?:t?il, p. 64. 7 . Of co~rrsc,classicai tt~eismas \%.ellas the major moxlrstlteistic religions that espoclse it acknobviedge that God's kuitful and creative power can create many orders of ration&? kee beings other than hul-ritan beings. Wllnt is repugllailt both to commox? sexlse and to a sophisticated ttledogical uxlderstanding is the llotlon that reference t a nontluman creatures who are rational and kce plays a rritajor part i r ~tl-re explanation of the evil we experience, Clne can add to tl-ris the assessmellt titat it is extremely unlikely that \%.hat~~ecall natrrral evil in our wodd is really broadly moral evil. First, natural law themes can be drawn kern biblicd sources as well as rritajor theologies of the Ckristia~itfaith. Such themes ellvisage the natural world as cor~stitcrtedby imgersoxlal objects operating and

interactirlg according to their own inherent natures, Seco~~d, deniat of or at least de-emphais 0x1 the role ofdemorls or devils in our w r i d can be adduced kom such sotrrces by fair and ir-ttelligel-ttintcryretattan. S, Avin Planringa, """l"1e Probabilistic Argtrt-rte~~t fr.ol-rtEvil," Pi3ilusopk3ical Sgudz'lrs35 ( X 979): 1-53, For tttose \%rishingto fblfow the subsequent discussiol-ts of PIax~tinga"work in this area, see Kcith CIirzan, "Plantinga on AtheProbabilistic Induc~on,"&phi& 27 (1988): 10, a ~ l dPlaliti~lga,LCEpi~temic ity and Evil," Arlrshi~z'od i fzko~ofi~k56 (I988), reprinted in IDaniel Evil (Bloorningtan: InFIobvard-Snyder, ed,, 2he Evbdgngial A~gz~~~.aze~ztJkon2 diana Ulliversity Press, 1996), pp, 69-96. 9. Planti~lga,""-X)robabilisticArgrrmexlt," pppp, X 5-1 8. IO. Ibid., p. 15. 11, Ibid.>p. 18. 12, Planting3 thczrotrghly discusses this and other diffictrlties in ibid., pp. 21-30, 13, Cjf course, the classical or LaPlacean theory of probability also assumes it is a ratio brit one cseablished a priori based 0x1 equiprobable outccsxnes. 14, Wesley Sailnon, "Religion and Science: .A New I,r>ok at Hume" DiaI ~ ~ ~ e sPl~z'lir~~ophic~li ," Scz#dies 33 (I9";j"): 143-1 76, ,4ctually, Safmorl proposes that wc evaluate the dcsigi-t argumcx~tclairn that it is highly probable that this world was created by a benelirolcnt, intelligelit Supreme Being, In evaluati~lgthe argument from the perspective of eequel~cytheor~i,he concludes that it i s ii-nyrobable that this world was deslgr-ted by an all-knowing, all-pokverfkrl, and all-good being, particularly give11 the evil that it co~ltains. 15. Planrnnga, "Probabitistic Argument," p, 33. In the same articte (pp. 32-30), Plal-ttiilga also col-tsldersthe possibility that the kcquency clairn here i~~volves the frequency with jiil-tich one class of propositions are true relative to ar~otherclass ofpr~positiorls. 16. Pial-ttir-tgaalso calls tt~csebelief sets "~loertcsrrucrurcs" aal-td makes ixnknoliitcdge, See l-ris portallt observations on frolii they ft~nctionin h~xma~i ""Pobabitistic *4rgument," pp. 44,628, and 51. I 7. See Michael 13ctcrson,Wit liam Haskcr, Bruce 12cicbel-tbach, and David Bas, nger , R~nsonand Relg&iozss Bciie$ AB Iatrod2.tctz'on $0 the Phikosophy oj' Itgl&a;)n, 2nd ed. (NewYork: C)xhrd University Press, I998), pp. 87-91 and 81-100. 1S, For more criticism of the frequentist argu~~itent ahanced by Sdr-rton,see Nancy Cartiv15ght, ""Commex~tson WesIey Salmon's '"Sclex~ceand Keligiol~:A New Look at Hurnc" 12i~lo~aze;r;"Y~l~ilosuplha"cal Stztdz'es 33 ( 1978): 1.77-5.85. Mthough freqrxentist metllods may not be feasible for arritfing at cr~rcial the initial asessments or estimates that can, in turn, be L I S C ~in cafculati~~g probabiliy of (C), Bruce 1teichei-tbacb7a theist, still thinks it worth\%rhilc:to consider Sati-rton"~proposal that Itayes's Theorem be used for calculation

purposes, Where P(B/A) mealls the probability of E; on A, Reichenbacl-rformulates Kayes? Theorem in this fashion:

The parts of the theorern have the foliowing meanings:

P(K/CA) = P(B/A)


13((C/A&B) =



P(B/"A&C:) =

the prior p~obgbilz'ythat the origi~ialhypothesis is true, givcn the backgrorxnd evidence the prior prvbnbility that the original hypothesis is false, gi~renthe background cvide~lce the probabiliv that the effcct will be observed, give11 tl-rat the hypothesis is true the probability that the effcct will be obscrvcd, given that the hypothesis is htse the probability tl-rat the hypo the"^ is true, given the background evidence and the fact titat the effect is obser\red,

Now the way is prepared fir construixig a probabilistic argrrmexlt from evil along Uaycsial-t lines. Reichenbach sets up the frame~iorkfor the Bayesian-ppe argu~tenth111 evil:

Then, casting the cridc? argtlmcl-tt in terlns of tfic alnoul-rr ofnat~rralevil in our world, Iteichenbach interprets the parts of tl-re theoren~as follo\vs: 13((G)/(N)) =

P((G)/(?.J)) = P((E)/(N)&(G))


the prababititry that a. persorlal, Zo~ring,omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly good God exists, gillell the f~trnittirearid strticrtire of the w r l d (iliclrxdix~gsentier~tcreatures, insexltient creatures, physical objects, any morally suffia i d taws of nature but exclgdi~~q cient reasorl, defense or tt-xeodiqfix evil, any construed evidence ;for God" eexistcnce, or evil) the probability that a God as described above does not exist, given the furiiittire and structrrre of the world the probability of there being the an~ountof eli.21 that exists in orir world, givejl that the world described above obtair-ts arid the God described above exists



P((G)/(N)&(E)) =

the probability of there being the amouilt of evil that exists in our wc~rld,given tltauhe \%rorfddescribed atrove obtains and the God described above does nclt exist the probabifiy tha"i:od as described above exists, give11 that the world described above obtains and there exists the amount of natural evil that our

Of course, the critic advanci~lgthis kind of Itayesian argunlent claims, in the end, that P((G)/(N)&(E)r = .S. Relchenbact~rightly observes that P((G)/(N)&(E)) cannot be computed by the atl-reistic critic wt thout dcternli~li~lgthe prior probabilities, P((G)/(N)) and P((G)/(N)). For ~ L I L Z C ~context, see Uruce XXcicbe~~bacEx, Evil n~gdn CJood CJod (New York: Fordhanl rjni\iersitjr Press, 19821, pp, 26-27. 19. W. K. Clifford, ""'Fhe Ethics of Belied?"~Wklzd87 (1978): 429432, . Theistic I ~ l d ~ ~ c tArgul-tle~~t ive from Evil?" I~~ite:ernt%tio~~t%Z Jozzr~zaI jbr 12bilnsophy nfReli~iun:22 (1987):81-87. Qakes, lXabert A, ""Cod, Suffering, and Cox~clusivcE.\ride~-tce."&pi$ia (Az$stralia) it4 (July 1975): 16-20. 13cterson, Michael. "ltceent Work on the 13rablcm of Evil." Aifmefeic~n12bilnsopI3icnI QztartcrCv 20 (1983): 521-339. 13ectrsan, Michael L., ed. 279e [email protected] of Evil: Selecgcd R e a d i ~ m s ,Notrc Dame, Ind.: Univcrsity of Notre Dame Press, 1992, Petersoil, Michael, Wilfiarn Hasker, Brrrce Xteichen bach, and Davtcl Basinger, Rcgsc~rtalzd R [email protected] Retiq: A $2 I ~ t ~ ~ o d ~I;O~ &l;rz i oPhilosopb n of Rcird Plniversi~Press, 1998, chap, 6. Plantinga, Alvin. ""X=,pisternicProbability and Evil ," A~rchiviod i fi"lofoji"a (Italy) 56 ( X 988): 557-588 . iseribr~tionof Evil: A Tl~eodicy," I2hil~sophicai1>er~pectives 5 ( 1991): X 35-1 65. Brtlce XXusscfull acknowledges Ar~g~s$ent fkom this kind of problem in "Defensetess," bin 7be E~~identz.zlal E ~ i l ,ed. IDaniel Howard-Sr1-t7del.de ( Ifloomi ngton : Indiana University Prcss, lY96), pp. 194, l99ff. 6, Peter van Inwagell discrisses the difficufties surroundi~lgthe argut-ritent over the arnorrnt and kinds of evil in his ""The Probiern ofEvi1, the Probtern 5 (199 1): of Air, and the Problem of Silence," Philosophical 13g~slfiect-zz7es 135-165, especially pp, 140-1 52. 7 . St~chan. appraisai of the situation seems more intellectrrafly hoxlest and rnore philosoptlically proxnising than del-tj'inp that there reafly is as mueh evil or tl-tnt rrituftitrzdes of people are really as ul-thappy as is iinibdiy supposed, It is better fir the theist simply to admit that there are a great maxly severe evils in the world and the11 t a argtle that the existel-tce of God is llelthcr precluded nor n~adeunlikely thereby. The argllnlent can be constructed either fro111 the logic of essc~~tiaf ttteistic coxlcepts ur from the additiotla! cotlcepts ir~cluded in sarne e x p a ~ ~ d;form ~ d of tftelsm that is represented in a Xivii-tg faith tradition, ssrch as C;l~ristianity, Althczugh strclt theistic maxleu\rers seem reasonable, pertlaps there is at least one sense in which the evidel-ztial argtlmel-tt kom the amounts, kinds, and disrril;liutior~of evil is ii~lmediateiydestrt~ctiveto religious belief. The argrrmexlt clearly discredits belief in a delry who places a felicitorrs limitation 01-1the evils that lrulnall beings can experience and about wham sixnplisttc answers for evil may be given. Th~xs,the god of popu1~"fotk religion peddled in the name of historical, ortltodox Christianiq-really is dead, The burden, then, falls upon the shoulders of thoughtfufulChristian theists to articulate a concept of God that is 111ore sopllisticated a i d profo~xndthan popufar theism envisioxls. 8. 7 . W Cornrnan and Keirfi Lefirer, 1>hilosophical1>roblgmsa d A ~ ~ E . c aazents: An I~trodaectio~$ (New York: h%acmiIlan,1970), p. 347; Edkirard Maddell and Peter Hare, Evil grid the Concep~of C;c.d (Springijeld, Ill.: Charles C;. Thomas, 19681, p. 3; Dalliel Howard-Si~yder,""l'be Argtlmel-tt fi-om Inserurablc Evil," in his Evidential A ~ q u ~ s $ e n t fEvil i o ~(Bloomington: ~ Indiana Universiry Press, X 996), pp, 29 1-292, 9. WiIliam Itowe, ""Tfie Problem of Evil and Soine Vaneties of Atheism," Amtsrica~zPhilosophical Qzir%rter1",~ 16 ( 1879): 336. I have changed nsxnlbers and added parentheses to Ro\%rc?argrrment in keeping with the convcntioll ;for lluxnbering used thro~tphoutthis book, 10. Ibid., p. 337.

1l , In terms we used earlier, (E3) Grat~zitclusevil exists counts as negative er~idenceagai~lst

( G ) AI omnipotent, omnisciet~t,jiiholly good God exists,

~legatiifeer~identiairelationship to (G) in jiihich But what is the sig~~ificant (E3) sta~lds?Rrrrce Russell explains that ttterc are really m70ways ofcor~ceiving of this evidential relationship, one z'~tdi?.l.ct.zve and the other nbdacctive. AIthough we callnot psrrstxe this distincdon here, the reader is encouraged to read R~tsself'S 'Wefenseless,"" pp, X 93-2 X 8, 121. Stephen Wyksrra, ""'l'he I3trmean Obstacle to Evldel-zdal hguments fi-om S~~ffering: O n AvoiQi~lgtl-re Evils of "ppearance,"' I~$er~~zac.innn;lJo~~~ nlili.l$%trPj~iltrscphjf~'[email protected]"on X 6 ( 1.984):80-8 l . 12%. lZichard Srvinburne, 2be E~igg~-zce of Chd (Oxford: Clarel-Edan lzress, 1970), pp. 245,254. 14, For example, Swirtbr~rnecircs an example o f a betiefformed 0x1 the basis of scl~soryexperience: ""If say 'ttil~cship appears to be mokring" am saying that I am i~~clined to beliecre that the ship is movii~g,and that it is my present sensory experience which leads me to have this ir1ciina6ol1 to belief." See his Existence of'God, p. 246. For a fuller discussion of these cognitive and Pf*operFgncgolirers and their function, see Afiin Pia~ltinga,Wa~.r#gnt tiun (New York: Oxhrd U111versit.y Press, 1993). it 5. Wykstra, "Humcan Obstacle," p. 85. 16, Ibid., p. 89. X 7 . Ibid., pp* 89,9l. 18. WiXliarn Rowc, and the '~bcisricEIyyothcsis: A lXcsponsc t o J1;1~a#nt%lf-;3~ PhiIusopby of"Relg3ion16 ( 1984):99. Wykstra," hic~:ep-pzatin~~t%I X 9. Xi,owe observes that ~ 7 ecould, of cottrse, imagine a ~rersiotlof expanded theism that conjoins a praposidan such as ""E7il

The goods for the sake of which God rnLlst perinit suffering wilt. be realized only at the e ~ l dof the wortd with standard theisnl. This version of expanded theism is not rendered unlikely by ttte items that render restl-icted theism ~tnXikeXy-See ibid.

Suggested Radings Aston, William, "The Inductive Argut~le~lt from Evil and the Human Cognitive Condition." Phz'kos~~phz'cnl Pe~~spccgi~cs 5 ( 1991): 2947. Bear)?, MichaeI D. ""'l'lze Problein of Evil: l'lze Ux-rans\vered Questions Argu" kSuzdt.htvenPifilo~~phy R e v i e l ~4 ( 1988): 57-44, rrite~lt,


'Ihe l3faoble~$ of C;r&ggit~gs Evil

Chrzan, Keith, "Necessary Grat~ritousEvil: An Cjxymoron Revisited," Fgitlj alzd P/$z'losophyX 1 ( 1994): 134-1 37. . "W~CXI 1s a Graruirac~sEvil Xtcally Grattlitaus?" fizt.gr.l.znt-z'o~nI]otc~~nt%lf-irrPhz"losopk3~1 n_f"Religi;on 24 ( 1988): 87-9 l. Dore, Cternexlt. "Does Strffcring Serve Valuable Ends!" 111 Thehm, Dordrcchr: D. IZcidel, 1984. Faca of Evil: Theolo~z'cal ,I?tfte:msand the P~~olibm Feinberg, Joh11S, ?he LW~PZJI of7Evil,2nd ed. Grand bpids, Mich,: %iondervan,1994. Gcach, Petcr. Piw~kdanceand Evil. Gambndgc: Cambndgc Ux-rivcrsiy Press, 1977. Hasker, iVilliam, ""Chrzan on Necessary Grattritous Evil," Faith and Phiinsopby l 2 (1995):4 2 3 4 2 5 . . "The Necessity of Grattiitous Evil." Fgigh and Phiilosopk3~1 9 (1992): 2344' . ""Pravidcncc and Evil: Three l'heorics." Raeti8iaws S~udkes28 (1992): 91-105, Hick, John. Evil and tik G d of'IJc~~e. 2nd ed. New York: Harper 13r: Iridgc, ~ tual history, sec A r t h ~ ~Lov~u); ll&e r Mass,: Harvard Unikrersity Press, 1936)14. John Hick, Evil arid the God of-Love, 2nd ecd. (San Frarrcisco: Harper Sr IXORT,19781, pp. 82ff. 15. Augustine, On Free Wiill,trans. J.H.S. Burleigh, in A ~ ~ z ~Ea~*Lier ~ z ~ e : W~*i$ip.t&$, 3. 9. 26, 16. Augtlstinc, Cz'g~ofC;od, I. 1. 23. 17. Augustine, f='~tci~i~*idio~, trans. J, E;. Shay in Baszc W~*i;t.i~as of'Sc. A~8z"tsZ r i n ~(2 vols.), ed., FVhitney J. Oates (New b r k : Random House, 19481, .27 1.8. Ibid., 24.96. 19, Ibid., 8. 27. 20. Gottfii-iediVilhelm van I,eib~riz, "X;heudicjf:ESSGE~S 0% the Cgotrdng~sof (;uA tht~eFz~gedu~6 ~J'LMcz-n, m d $he O$~inuf'Evil, trans. E. M . H uggard fi-om C:. J. Cerhardfs edition of the CoIlectcd Philosopbicnl Wnt#ks( 1875-1 890) (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1952.). 2 1. Gotrfrictd Wif helm vor-1 Lei bniz, Ygeodic~trans. E, M . Huggard ( b r - 1 don: Rc~uticdge& ICegan Paul, 1952), paras, 30-33. 22. Ibid., para. 2.01. 23. Ibid., para. 127. 24. Ibid., para. 9. 25. The reader remember Plantingaysremarks 011 Leibniz's Lapsc that was discussed ii-1 Chaptcr 3. 26, Hick, E~lil,p. 255, 22. Ibid., p*256, 28. Ibid., p. 281. 29, Ibid., p. 287. ~iiillll

30. Ibid., p. 272. 31. Ibid., pp* 329-330, 32, Hiclr speaks of "evil. wfilch is utterly grattlitous" (ibid., p. 324); of ""evil in so far as it is p~lrelyand unambiguously eli.21" (ibid., p. 325); and "horrors ~vhichwill disfigure the universe to the end of time" (ibid., p*361 ). 33. Hick (ibid., p. 330) even quotes ShAcspeare ( I < i g Lcgr): ~ ''h Rics to wailtoll boys, are Itre to the gods, They kill us for their sport.?' 34, Ibid., p+ 334. 35. Ibid., p, 176. 36. Ibid., p. 344. 37, Ibid., p+ 350. 38. Ibid., p. 363. 39, Many of Hick" statements about the Ilature of evil indicate that sin and sufferit~gare to be regarded as ""gexluinefy spit! and utterly inimical to God's wifI and p~~rpose" "(ibid., pp. 15-16); he also says: ""For it is an inecritable deliverance of our moral conscio~xsness,of jtrhich nothilsg must be allowed to rob LIS, that evil in all its forms is to be abhorred and resisted and feared" "bid,, p. 363). 40. Aift.ed North Whitehead, Pr~ee,cfa n d i"Et7nlz'tyf(New York: Macmill~n, 1929), p* 343, 41. Michael Petcrson, "God and Evil in l)rocess 'rfrzeodiqr,,"YinlZrocess7%gol0g3f3 ed. Rondd Nash ( G r a ~ dbpids, h%ich,:Baker Book House, 19871, p. 123, 42, See, for example, Charles Hart-shorne, "Omxlipotence,"' in Afz Eacyclopedia oJJIZet!z"gZo~ eb. V. Fenn (New Yorkz: 13hhllosophical Librar): 1945), pp, 545f. See also C:harles Hartshorne, (Jl.rzn$atencc a~zdOther ~ ' ~ " J ~ O ~ D & Z C LW2'~akcs (Alba~~y: State Uni\rersiry ofNew7 York Press, 1984), pp. 1If: 43. l3avid Iby Griffin, God, 130wer, and Epil (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1976), p. 280, 44. ,4lltred North Wttircltcad, R~k&ioni f z the IM;nkz'~z&(New York: MacmilZan, 19261, p. 98; also sce his I3'i.aceaand Reality, pp. 524-525. 45, Sonte prcxcess philosophers 1-rac.e atte~~tpted to prcnride a prcxcss aecount of persotlal irnmczrtality, that is, life after death. See the discussiotl of ' o ~- s thls in DaGd Ihy Griffirl, Ep61 Revisited: Rgspourscs and R e c o ~ s i d c ~ ~ n t z(AI (iba~ly : State Universiq of N e w York Press, 1991), pp. 34-40, 46. See the f~zll-scalediscussiot~of process thcodicy in Petersorl, "God and Evil in 13rocess'I'k~eodicjr,"pp. it 2 1-1 39. 47, Naney Frarrkenberr~""Some Problet-rts in Process "fheodi~y~" Ri"~elz~ i o a ~ S t ~X7 d i(1981): ~s 181-184, 48. I supgcsted that Christiall theists could take thls kind of approach in 11ty wcr~rkEvZI a d $he C;h~ez'st.z'gnCt'od (Grand Rapids, h%ich.:Baker Book House, 1982), particularly cltag, 5 , pp. 101-1 33. X: also recommended it in the book I wrote with WiiZla~nHasker, Ur~rccIntributions to Theodicy, special iss~reof Faz'gh nrtd Philosophy f 3 ( X 996). Basingcr, David. ""Uivil~eOxnnipotcnce: Ptantiinga vs, Griffirl." Procgss Studhas 11 (1981): 11-24, Daris, Stephell T., ed. Evzcognl-erz"~-g E ~ i l L: i ~ Options c ip.~"Irgeodz'cy.Atf anta, Ga.: b o x Press, it98 X . Fdcs, Evarr. "Antedilurrian "fheodicy: Str~nlpon the Fall." Faith n~zdPhilosophy 6 ( l989): 320-329. . ""Shauld Gad Nor Have Created Adam? Fait/? a d 13/2ilosophy 6 (1992):192-218, Ferrb, Nets, E ~ i l;lnd the CJ3rG~ianFai~h.New York: Harper, 1947. 12cllrintcd by Books for Libraries Press, Ncw York, 1972. Griffin, David Rny E ~ i Revisited: l Responses n~zdReeunsiderations. Af bany : Seate University of New Vc>rkPress, X 99 I . . CGod, Po1i57eq annd Evil: 14 12rocgss ?%ea&cjf. Philadelphia: bVcsrminstcr Press, 1976. Hare, Peter, "Review of David Xby Griffin, a d , P P P E ;l~zd ~ E~il." P$eocess S~z.~dz'gs 'S' ( 1977):44-5 1. Hartshorile, C:harles. "A S,e\-\lr Look at the Problct-rit of Evil," "I ci,'~rr*g~zt Philosophical Issgfes: Essgjrs Hoptor of'[email protected] Ducasse, edited by F. C. l3ommcyer. Sprtrlgficld, f 11.: Charles C . 'l'homas, 1966, pp. 20 1-212. Hasker, Wiuiam. ""Sffering, Soul-hlaking, and Sal~fation,"h z t e r ~ z a t i o ~ a l Phikos~~phical [email protected];.l;~28 ( X 988): 3-1 9. Hick, ]ofin, Eviln;yrd the God @love. 2nd cd. New York: EIarper 8r lXowJ 1978. . ""God, E\i1 and Mystery*"Rel&io~s,5'tzdies 3 ( 1668):5 39-546. . "The Problem of Evil in the First and I,ast 2"hings." fig$r.utnl c~'"Ir3eolr~z'calS t u d z ' ~19 ( f. 968): 591-602. Ibne, G. Stanley, "The Concept of ITiville Goodness a~itdthe Problem of Evil ." Rek&z"uus '$tz&digsf l ( (1975): 49-72 .

m -

. "Evil and Privation." hter~zalti;onnlJournt%l jbr Pi3ilosophy c?f" Reli~ i o r lt X (1980): 43-58. . ""TIC Failcrre of Soul-Making 'rfieodicy.'Y~rzt.errraziournl Jotb~erratjbr PhiIttsophy of'R~I&io~z 6 6 1975): l -22. . ""So-ttl-Maliing 'Theadicy and Escttatology," %Suphi& (Az&s$rglza)X 4 (July 1975): 24-31. I,e.c\liis, C . S , The P~pobLc;lazc?f'Pgin. New York: h%aclltillan,1962. Maddexl, Ed\\~arcS,and Petcr Hare, E ~ i arid l $he Concgpt: ofC;ud, Springfield, 111.: Charles 6, l'lzoxnas, 1968. Jacques, Ct'od a ~ $he d Perfimissicjn oJ-'E~?il.Milwaukee: Brrrce Pubh%aritair~, lishixlg, X 966, 13cterson, ~Vichael.""God and Evil in 13rocess Thcologr." h~n12rocess Y79ealo&jt7 edited by Rondd Nash. Grand Rapids, h%icl--t,: Baker Book Hosxse, 1987, pp. X X 7-1 39. . "lXcce~-EtbVork 017. the Probleln of Evil." A ~ ~ e j e i c a12bilosaphz'cal n Qzfartt:r1",y20 (1683): 321-339. Petersoil, hiiichael, ed. Y'hg P~oblemof &P$/:Salcczgd R c g d i ~ g s .Notre Dame, Ind. : Ux~ivcrsiyof Norrc Dame f3ress, 1992, Peterson, Michaei, Williant Hasker, Bruee Reichenbacb, and David Basinger. Rcgsort alzd Relgious Reli$ An In ~~poduction t o the Philosophjf of Rcli&z"on, 2nd ed, New York: Oxford Universi~Prcss, 1998, chap. 6, pp. 1X6-145. l n Ct'ood God. New York: Fordbnt-rt University Reiche~~bach, Bruce, E ~ i n~zd Press, 1982. . ""Natural Evils and Natural Law: A 'rheodicy ;for Natural Evils." h;t-ernt%$infzt%l Philosophical Qsfartt:r1",~ l 6 ( 1676): l 76-1 66. Joztmal Swinburnc, &chard. "Does ?'X~cismNeed a 'Theodicy?'T~nnadz"g;~z of12bilosophy t 8 (1988): 287-31 X. . "Kno\vledge from Experience, and the Problem of Evil." In 7be R n tzl"oaali2-yoj' Rt:r!&kozits Belig; Essajfs i.1.2 Hornor of Basil Migchell, edited by bVilliam Abrafialn and Stcve1-1Holtzcr. Oxford: Czlarendon Press, 1987, pp, 141-167. . ""Natriral Evil." A~merz'cgnPljilosophickal Qggnrterly X5 (1978): 295-301. . "The Problei~t-ritofEvil." In The &ZZstgnce crlf'C;od. Oxford: Clare~~don Press, 1979, pp. 200-224. . "A l'lzeodicy of I-Ieavcmi and Heill." h~n Y72e E~is$g;elzceand Nat:z$re of C$od, edited by &fi-ed Freddoso. Natre Dame, Ind.: Notre Da~~t-rite U-~liversity Press, 1983, pp. 37-54. bVhitncy, Barry L. Evil and the Izrocess Chd. Ncw York: MelXc1-113rcss, 1985.


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The Existentia Problem o f Evil

As noted earlier, the problem of evil may be divided into theoretical and existential dinnensions. We are far~jiliarwith the various versions of the theoretical problem: the logical, probabilistic, and evidential formulations. Yet writers 011 the theoretical problem frequently d u d e to another kind of problem lying beyond the scope of the logical, probabilistic, and epistemic concerns that give shape t o the ~rarious theoretical expressions. This other dimension of the probleln of evil is more dimcult to characterize. At the very least, i t is rooted in the actual experience of evil and how that experience supports disbelief in God. It has been called a practical problem, a psychological problem, and a moral problc111.1 Mvin Plantinga has catled it the "religious bxoblcm of evil,"2 and Marilyn A d a ~ l ~has s called it the "pastoral problcm of evil."WWhat is clear is that, For some people, the existcntial feel for evil somehow leads to the rejectioll of religious belief.4 Although there is no definitive study ofthe existential problem of evil, I shall explore major aspects of it here and tie together sejreral important ideas about it ~ o r n the current Literature.

The Experience of Gratuitous Evil What one ~llightcall the "phenomenology of e\ri19'----thatis, the study of the awareness of evil in human consciousness and how we assign mealli~lgto it-is a rich field of investigation. Jeffrey Burton R~lssell insists that evil is "perceived immediately, directly and existe~~tiallp."" Many other authors also believe that there is something forceful and primal about the way evil is experienced." John Bowker ~vritesthat

"the sheer bloody agonies of existence" are something of which "all m m are atvare and have direct experiencr.''7 Actually, it is not the experience of evil per se that has such intensiry but the experience of evil as meaningless, pointless, gratuitous. It is this aspect of experience that is expressed in the bitter lament of the ordinary person as well as in the sophisticated reasoning of thc antitheistic philosopher.Wrcat literature also provides extremely effective rcprcsentations of this exbxricnce: Consider the writings of Dostoevsky,%Albert Camus,'o and Migtlel dr Unamuno. H There is something about the experience of evil as gratuitous that can and often does render faith in God untenable. Man)! persoils say that they find themselves gripped at the core of their being by the horror of evil and that this awareness is profoundly transforming. Those who have this kind of perception of evil often report that they cannot experience the universe as theistic-tha they could never ~llanifestattitudes of praise, adoration, gratitude, and worship toward God. AFtcr reflecting on thc horrible and absurd evils in the world that the divine being is supposed to allow, John Stuart Mill says, "When I am told that . . . 1 must . . . call this being bp the nalnes which express and affirln the highest hulnall moralit5 I say in plain terlns that I will not. Whatever power such a being map have over me, there is one thing which he shall not do: he shall not compel me to worship him."l2 h long as theism is understood to entail that there are no gratuimus evils and as long as human beings expcrience much evil as gratuitous, then therc will be a continuing tension b c w c n theistic belief and common experience. Somc defensive lnalleuvrrs by theists such as Plantinga seek to show that the facts of evil do not rellder theism improbable. Other theists, such as Stephen Wykstra, argue defensivel!~ that we are in no position cognitivelp to affirm the existence (or likely existence) of gratuitous evil. In a sense, Plantinga sums up the net result of all such defensive strategies when he writes: The theist nlay find a ?*eLz~z'u~s probble~~it in evil; in the presence of his own suffering or that of sorneolle near to him hc may find it difficuft to maintair-t what he takes to be the proper attitude towards God. Faced with great persollnf s~~ffering or misfc~rtune,he may be tempted to rebel agair~stGod, to shake his fist: in God's face, ,or cvcn to give up belief in God altogether. But this is a probXsm of a different dime~-tsion.Such a grobfem calls IIQX for philosophical enligl~tennlent,but for pastoral care.13

So, presumably? at the strictly philosophical level-the level of logically reconciling jrarious claims, coilfirming and disconfir~niilg them-the critic's argumena can be staved off, and the intellectual doubts of believers can be assuaged. If there is any remaining objection to religious faith, then it must be emotional or attitudinal or practical in nature. Plantinga correctly intimates that therc is more to the problcill of evil than abstract exercises in juggling propositions. But how we conceive of this other dimellsioll in relation to the theoretical dimension is of major importance. To suggest that further philosophical enlightenment is slot relejrant to the attitudinal or experiential dimension bifirrcatcs reason and experience. When defense against the problem of evil is coupled with Reformed epistemologh which affirms the theist's intellectual right to believe in God basically, man!. theists believe that virtually everything rclatcd to the issue of God and evil that is philosoyhically important has been addrcsscd. Frorn another ycrspcctivc, Mal.llyl-x Adams indicates that the pastoral or religious problem of evil "has a philosophical dilnension in that it lnight be partially alleviated by some sort of explanations of how God is being good to created persons, even byhen he permits and/or causes evils such as theseeWl4 For Adams, to deny the bifurcation between theoretical considerations and the actual experience of evil is to move in a more appropriate direction. After all, there are many convincing philosophical and psychological studies, quite unrclatcd to the issuc of God and evil, that argue for the intimate link bcmecn "logic and e~notion"or "bclicf and cxpericnce." These studies show that what a person believes coilditions the railge and qualiy of his experience. 15 It is not surprising that, in discussing the problcln of evil, critic Sidney Hook observed that "no monotheistic religioll ~vhichconceives of God as both omnipotent and benevolent, no metaphysic which asserts that the world is rational, necessary, and good has any rooln for genuine traged~r."lbh e r e we may assume that Hook's term ""gc.nuinc tragedy" rcfers to gratuitous evil. The point, then, is that what onc believes about theism and its implications affects his experience of thc world. Mit: can see why theistic believers who ullderstalld the existence of God to exclude gratuitous evil would ellcounter significant dissollance in the face of intense experiences of evil as being gratuitous. John Hick captures something of this dissonance when he argues that a theology cannot be repugnant t o the moral sense on

which it is based.17 In this same vein, we can comprehelld why nontheists who ponder the credibility of theistic belief3 have great difficulty seeing how they fit with the experience of real life. Adams is correct in suggesting that the religious probleln can be somewhat alleviated by relevant explanations. In other words, a person's beliefs about God and their logical implications map necd to bc clarified, amplified, or modified. Or she map necd to bc encouragcd, in an emotionally supportive context, to sec that thc beliefs shc holds about God really call for attitudinal change or for a different personal response. Recognizing the seriousness of the religious problem, theoloaian Thomas Oden has articulated a "theodicji for pastoral practice." The pastoral approach Oden outlines clearly discouna false and hannful answers for evil, offers some general explanations for why evil exists, suggests how some good may still be brought out of unnecessary evil, and presents some general themes about God" love and care for persons in spite of the contingcncics of hurxan existencc.l8 One does not have to follow this sort of pastoral process very long to see that it cannot go far simply on the conceptual resources of restricted theisn~.Standard theistic belief3 about the divine attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, and perfect goodness inlply only the broadest outlines of ho\\r to thinlr about the relation of God and evil. Although sheer defense may be efkctivel~rbased on restricted theism, any sufficient explanation of evil, which obviously takes us into the area of theodic): rcquircs additional rcsourccs, drawn from various doctrines and teachings of a faith tradition.

Evil and Personal Identity We are now in a position t o see how the experiellce of gratuitous evil supports the factual premise of the argument. For the person offering the argument from gratuitous evil, the factual clairn-such as Ro\ve7s (RI)-has strong experiential ~veight.Though the argument itselfits constituent propositions and their logieal and epistemic rcladonsf o m s the thcorctical dilllension of the problem, it is intimately rclatcd to what \ve arc calling the existential dilllension. Afier all, thc argtllnent must be advanced by somcolle who thinks it is sound, that is, a person who believes the premises to be true and that they lead to the stated conclusion. We geilerally assume that the critic who believes there is gratuitous evil is expressing lnoral protest, indignatioll, and outrage. We typically see him as wishing violently that things

were not the way they are and insisting that God, if he exists, is blameworthy for allo~lingthem t o be the way they are. That is a large part of the existential dimension of the problem. Rut once a person experiences the ~vorldas containing gratuitous evils and is morally repulsed bp their horrors, an interesting and subde considcratian arises. It is a deeply existential consideration pcrtaining to the person's value prcfercnces toward himself and toward the world in general. According to a certain way of thiilking about such things, a persoil can be girtentially azlthelztic or existentially honest in raising a theoretical statement of the problem of evil only if he genuinely regrets his own existence. This consideratio12provides the basis for an intriguing theistic response to the problem of gratuitous evil, a response that does not advance an explanatory theory of why God justifiably allojvs the evils of the world. Although i t would be interesting to explorc other nuances of the attitude of rcgrct in rclation to other statements of the problelll of evil, I will focus here on thc most formidable of all statements: the argurxent from gratuitous evil. The particular theistic strategy here rests on certaill value preferellcrs or attitudes. The first step in developillg this respollse is to call upon each indi~ridualwho thillks about it--in this case, the atheist advancing the problem of gratuitous evil-to declare his attitude toward his own existence. Williarn Hasker straightforwardly poses a question to each person who rnight advance the problem of evil as a reason for 1: exist?He explains the exact meanrajecting theism: A m PoIgd ing of the question as follows: The question is imt whether my life is all that it ougl-rt t o be o r all that it cor~ccivablycoufd be. It is not whetfier tile pleasure-pain batajlce in my life ta date has bccx-1, on the whole, ;fa~.orableor unhvorabls. Ir is not wl-rether my life is, in general, a benefit t o tl~osewho are affected by it, It is not- even the questiorl whether my fife, all tilings considered, ctzriarc deeply interesting, tains more good than evil. Ai of these q~~estions and the allsMiers to them, if knoliin, n~igl-rtaffect my arlsMier t o the qlxestion which I am asking. But the questiorl is simplj~,am I glad that I am alivc? Or is my existence, on thc whole, sainerbing which X regret? Is my life s o n ~ e t h i ~which ~ g I affirmit,or do I wish, like Job, that I had rlcvcr been?

Ob~riously,this casts the lnatter in a persoll-relative way. Each person must answer for himself ~vhetherhe is glad for his own existence or would rather i t be replaced by nonexistence. And the question can

obviously be extended to ask byhether one is glad for the existence of loved ones: AIMI ~ l a doftheir wistelzce? The second step in laying out the theistic existential response is to clarifv what is necessary for human beings to exist as the unique individuals that they are. Hasker yroposes a thesis that is not uncontroversial but is widely accepted by thinkers who hold a varicq of philosoyhical perspectives. The thcsis is

(50) A lleccssary colldition of my coming-into-existence is the coming-into-existencr of my body.zo

In one way or another, then, my unique personal identity depends somehow on having this particular body. Materialists, identit)' theorist, epiphenomenalists, brhaviorists, and even Thomists accept this thesis. Cartesian dt~alistsand the likc, who do not hold that the body is a necessary condition of personal existence, will not fccl thc force of the following reasoning. The third step in progressively unfolding this existential response is is lleccssary for my body3 existence is to show that, logically' ~rhate~rer necessary for my existence. That is, if my body is necessarjl for me to have indikridual personal existence, then ~vhateveris necessary for my body's existence is also necessary for my personal existence. This principle, of course, holds for any person. When one honestly and thoroughly exalllines all of the necessary conditions for one's bodily existcncc, the results arc impressive. In order for my body to co111c into existence, my parents w u l d have had to have had a child, Had my noth her married sonleone else, nolle of their children could have been mc?,sincc notle of their bodies could have been $hisbody. Moreover, not just any child of my parents ~ r o u l dhave been me, with my identical genetic heritage donated by a specific pair of male and female reproductive cells at a specific time. All of this means that the corning into existence of any particular individual is, antccedently, an extremely improbable event. In fact, antecedently, it is quite improbable that any given individual would come into cxistcnce in view of his or her dependence on a illultitude of other highly improbable events, such as the fortuitous circulnstances surrounding how one's parents met and got married, which could include events as routine as a school prom or as dralnatic as a world war. And behind one's parents stand a whole series of their progenitors, persons ~vhoseco~xing-into-beingmust have depended

on pet other contingent events. All of this leads Hasker to conclude that

(51) Had major or sig~lificantevents in the world's past history been different than they were, then in all probabiliry neither I nor the persons ~vhoxnI love would even have existed. This securcs the connection bernc.cn one" attitude toward one's existeilce and the j4rc1rld" trotal history. The meeting and mating of our ancestors was influenced by the events of their rir~es-many of j4rhich were undoubtedk calamitous, such as wars, epidemics, crimes, accidents, and so forth. And we already know that no person has any reason whatever to suppose that he would have existed had the course of the world's history been substantially diffcrcnt. WC arc now in a position to grasp thc link bewecn one's individual existence and thc existence of all the evils of the world leading up to his coming-into-isei13g.ASRobcrl: Mams observes, "The farther back we go into history, the larger the proportion of evils to which we owe our being; for the causal nexus relc~rant to our individual genesis widms as we go back in time. We almost certainly ~vouldneFrer have existed had there not been just about the same evils as actually occurred in a large part of human history."21 Let us now explore the bearing of this link on the original question, A m I &Ifid t h a ~ I ~~isli?

The Logic of Regret At this point, we need to specify some principles governing the logical relationships beween certain attitudes. The relevant attitudes are expressed by the phrases "bring glad that" and "being sorry that." Such a ~ i t u d e cannot s be true or false, as beliefs are. Hasker contends that they share with beliefs, moral judgment, and imperati\res the property of bcing ~pationnlbconsistent or inconsistent. Thc scnse of '"lad" and ""srry'\tl..th ~vl~ich we are concerned is not essentially a mattcr of fcelin~gladness or sorrow, although it might involve thcsc z c e . my feelings. These attitudes are largely defi~ledby p ~ p e f e ~ ~ g ~ Thus, beillg glad that P entails m y p ~ g f ~ r rthat i ~ zP~ be the case rather than not-F. Conversely if I am s o n y or reBret that P, this means that I ~uuuldprefer that not-Pbe the case rather than I? (Here P stands for the sentmce that expresses the proposition that P, and P is the name

of the state of affairs such that P.) By virtue of these preferences, the attitudes in questioil are ratiollallp consistent or inconsistent. At this point, we can begin to discern important logical priilciples that apply to the attitudes in question. Surely, we can say that

(52) If I am glad that P, I rationally cannot be sorry that P. Of course, a person may fcel both gladncss and sorrow about soillething. This is what we mean j4rhen we sap that an eIrent in life is "bittersweet" (e.g., a parent j4rhose child is grttillg married may be described as "being sad" that a family lnember is leaving home but "being glad" that she is finding committed companionship). Rut "being glad" in the relevant sense here involves an attitude of preference to which principle (52) applies. Let us now specifp some key definitions that will enable us to scc the significance of some other important principles. Haskcr first suggests this: 'A i s ~ z " ~ . ~ t ~ ~ ~ ~ $ a ~that t z " X>'= a I & cif ~ I 'A a t 1zs glad rbat 13, and there i s some state-of-affairs Qsuch that .A k~le>wsthat if Qdid 1l0t obtain neither wc~ufdP, and A regrets that Q.'

One mah for example, be circumstantially glad that the University of Kentucky defeated the University of Utah to win the 1998 NCAA basketball challlpionship but not prefer Kentucky's victory gnder all possible ~igficztnzstnnces(i.e., on the whole). For example, one may have placed a largc bet on Utah or bclic\rc that the N C M ? existencc is a bad thing because its championships, telc~risioncontracts, and the like foster corruption and an ulldue emphasis on athletics in our societ)'. So, @iven the civc~mstalzces,one may be glad for Kentucky's ~rictory. Rut this does not mean that one is glad on the ~vhole.We are now ready for the second definition we need: "A i s 8 I a B on the r??hokr:that I"'= df "A is glad that P, atld fbr any state-ofaffairs Qsuctl rbar A k~lowsrbar if &did not obtain neltlicr would P, A is glad t l ~ a Q." t

[email protected] our example, we map say that one may be glad on the whole whm, recognizillg that the NCAA involves some ulldrsirable consequences, he still definitely prefers Kentucky's cha~npionshipvictory. Finally, we may say that a person ve&lpe~son the ivholc that P ~vheneverhe is clearly nut glad on the ~vholethat P or is only circumstantially glad that P.

In light of these definitions, we can now see the significance of the follo\ning principle: (53)

If I am glad on the whole that 1:and I know that Pentails Q then I rationally must be glad on the whole that Q.

(54) If I am glad on the j4rhole that P, and I know that if Qdid not obtain neither bnould P, then I rationally must be glad that Q. These principles seem quite clearly correct. But when principle (54) is combined with ( 5l ) from the previous section regarding self-identity, \VC get an astotmding conclusion:

(55) If I am glad on the whole about my own existcncc and that of those whom I love, the13 I must be glad that the history of the world, in its major aspects, has beell as it has. Of course, this conclusion does not follow dedtlctively from (54) and ( 5 1) as they have been stated. Principle (54) speaks of my klzo~vllzn that if Qdid not obtain neither would I< whereas (51) saps only that in all pffiobgbili~ there is such a connection. This should makc little difference in our attitude toward (55).32 Perhaps, then, the rcason why (55) has been largely ignorcd is the fact that (50) and (51) arc not obvious. The ideas expressed in (54) and (55) have been discussed in philosophical literature. Benedict de Spinoza, for example, saps that our ordinar!. judglnellts of good and evil are irratioilal precisely because in lnaking them, we overlook the necessary connections bet~reenevents.2"

Existential Authenticity and Evil If what we have said so far is souild and if the truth of (55) has been established, what bearing does all this have for the problein of evil? Put more precisely, what effect can it have on one who advances or considers advancing the argument from gratuitous evil? For a person who is glad on the ~vholethat he exists or even that someone he loves exists, then it follo\\rs-due to (55) above-that he must be glad also

about the world's existence and about the gelleral course its history has taken. But then it is very difficult for him to be exigenti~lhnathentic or wistentiall~honest in advancing the argument from gratuitous evil. Let us see why this is so. The argument from gratuitous evil involves affirming a factual premise about: thcrc being evil in the world that sertrcs no good purpose. To have the experiential grounds for affirming this crucial premise is to have certain moral convictions, to consult one's cxpcrience of the goods and evils of life, and to be lnorallp repulsed by !vl=~t one finds. To assert the factual premise is, in effect, to issue a complaint that there is something drastically wrong with the world as a whole. And we nowr are keenly aware of the intricate causal intcrconncctions between all the events in the world (including evil events) and our own existence. Thus, the critic who is glad on the ~vholefor his own existence or that of those ~vl1on2he loves cannot bc existcntially authentic in advancing the factual prelllise. Robcrt Adams writes: "Thc fact that \vc owe our existence to evils gives rise t o a probleln of evil, not only for theists but for allyone who loves an actual human individual-himself or anyone else. How is our Love for actual hulnan selves to be recoilciled with moral repudiation of the e\rils that crowd the pages of history? Are we to wish that neither we nor the evils had existed?"z4 Based on this line of reasoning, the followring existential stance simply becomes ludicrr~rzs:

(56) The world as we know it is morally so objectionable that a God who tolcratrd it could in no meaningful sense be y Existence called good-nevertheless, I arnflladfior ~ z own alzd tbggpefore I am almglgd that the wofpld exists and ghat the main events andfeatugpes [ f i t s history have been a$ they have, We may say that s ~ ~ ac posture h is ~.Z~~L'~.PZGZ"I%IIJI .fe~-stt~~~z:fyz"n& or exisBPZ tia[{ysey-dgfg&L'i?$&. It shorrld now bc intuitively evident that

(57) If I am glad on the whole about my owrn existence and that of persons close to me, then I cannot reproach God for the general character or the major events of the world's past history.

Since reproach is attitudinal, preferential, and existential in nature, the critic is hereby blocked from reproachillg God by citing the general character and major events of the past, many of which Ivere tragic for the persons involved. It will also not do for the critic to base his argument from gratuitous evil just on events in his own lifetime, events, therefore, on which his own existence does not depend in the way in which it depends on those tragic events of the past. Af'tcr all, the tragedies of our lifetime arc simply the same kinds of events as those that have occurred countless times in the past. For a critic to lnount his moral complaint solely 011the basis of evil evellts that occur only in his lifetime is for him to express a position too egocelltric to deserve serious attention. Thus, the critic who is positively glad about (i.e., does not positively regret) his own existence cannot advance the general problem of gratuitous evil in an existentially authentic way. One interesting aspect of this approach to the exi~entialproblem is that, without trj,124 AIDS, 1 Ml-good, God as, 7,9, 18,23, 36--3q 448+9,55,70--"7, 102-103 Mston, Wiltiarn, 58, 86 hiunal pain, 5, '74. See a l s ~Evil, natuml h ~ s e l mSr., , 94 h~tecedentNat~tref Go~l'ss),100-1 0 3 Appears-iiocurions, 75, Sec also Evil, gratuitous Aquinds, St. "l"homas, 94 Augizstil~c,St., 4, 34, 85, 89-93 Aushwitz, 1 Axiologj??9 Basinger, 13avic1, 107(n48), Z Q8jn49) Bayes thcorcm, 62-64(r1 18) Beliefs basic, 59-61 irzcorrigible, 59-60, See a l s ~ Foirndatiol~aiis~~, strong self-evident, 5 9 4 0 , Sce also Fsundationaiism, strong rhetsbc, 8-9, 18,41,57,6"7

Berger, 13etcr,6 Bible (as source of ideas for Icheodicy), 88 Blake, FVifliam, 12 Bowkcr, John, Z 1X BTOE~CP.~. Kat#gmaso~, 3, 13 Buddhism, 6, 129(rr29) (l:an~us,Albert, 112, 127-128(r110) (l:h%iractcr-t)uild;ingtheme, 88 C:l~isholm,Roderick, 75 C:lifEord, bT. IC., 58-59 Czobb, John, 100 C:ocks, EI. F. Lovell, 5 C:ognitive limitations, 75-78, 86, 105(114), X12 Cognitive (epistcmic) powers, GO, 75 Compat">itism, 35-36. See also hibxziiz's Lapse Coxzditioxz of llcasonabte Epistcmic Access ((I:OXWEA), 75-76 Coxzseqilent Nature (God"), 100-101 (l:onsistenc.gp of rfreisnl. See Frcc Wilt Deknsc (l:ontrol, (divine ), See Con~patilisn~; 111compattbiIisn1; Sovereignty Czornman, f ohn, 47-50,72 C:osmof~gicalargtiment, 9-1 0, 56 C:rrarion, 50,89--91. See alm God, as creator C:rrdence function, 75 Davis, Stephen 'I.,41 Death, 5-6

Defeater (of belief-),60-6 l , 68 Defense, as a theistic strategy?33, 69, 85,239 1leIated to Ixehrnted epistemolom, 60-6 1 Sec also Free Will L3efense L>escartes, Ixene, 512 L3esign argumellt, G2.Cn 141, Sec aim 'Itleolctgical argument Dostoevskh FyocSor, 3, 13, 112 Eliot, 'I". S., 6 Eyicur~is,2 8 Eyistemic distance, 95-96 Eyistemic ~amcwork(beliefs), 57 Ej>istemolag>r,9 Escharalogicat motif, 98, 101 Evidentialism, 58-60, 64(n22), 67 Evi 1 dassification af, 10-1 3 definition of, 2, 10-1 1 ci>rstcleoiogical,98-99 as an eternal cosrmtic e~lttqr,G, 39 gratuitous (poinrless, rmteanitrgless), 30,72-79,92,94,97-99> 102-103,111-115, 119-126 in the media, 1-2,6, 7 metai3hysicaf, 93, $86 also Privatit~n (of good) moral, 11-12?, ,24,35, 3 8 4 2 , 5 0 natural, 4-5, 22-1 3, SO Existcntiai artitudes toward evil, X 25-124 Faith, relatioll of to rational. pmcess, 10 Fallen angels, 50, 52, 61-62(n7), 90 Fler?i, h t o r ~ y35-36, ~ 38-39, 58-59, 96 Foundationalisnt, strong, 59-60, 64(n22) Free will, 34-35,89-90,94-96,103 as self-~Ietcrmil~atic>n, 100 Sec also Compatibiiism; Xncompatibilisrn

Free Will Defense, 29, 33-43, 44(n13), 73 applied to natirral evil, 50-52

God as conceivc~lby classical theism, 7-8 as creator, 18,88,91,93,95, 125 as identteing with the sufferer, 125-127 as necessary being, 44(1111) See also Process theisrrr Greater-Gooct s t r a t c g ~89, ~ ~2 03-1 04, 206(n7) Griffin?David 100-1 0 X Hait, Thor, 8 Hare, Peter, 1 1,72, 85-86, 104 Harrshome, C:ilarles, 100 Hasker, kVilLiarn, 1 1 1, 107-1 08(n48), 108(n49), 115-119 Hick, John, 11,85,91,94-99, 113-1 14 Higher harmorly solution, 123. S66 also Aesthetic theme Hinduisrmt, 6 Hook, Sidney, 1 13 Howarcli-Snydcr, Danicl, 9,72 H,fi~*i;~ (y-rcte) Hume, David, 12 , 12, 2 8 , 2 4 , 5 8 Xncompatibilisn~,37-41, Secr also hibniz" 1,aysc I~tconsistellcyin theism, 17-23, 33 Iltcorrigibhie beliefs. See i~lcorrigi ble Iltductive argument from ~ i l47-52. , Sce also Prnbabiliy (as a inerhod of irlduction) Irenaeus, 94 Islam, 8, 52 Jes~ts,8, 126 Job (biblical chamcrer), 115, 122, 126 J~idaisn~, 8, 52

Index Ihramazo\i, Ivan, 13,104,123-125 Ihufn~an,Cordon, 71 Ihufmann, kValter, 70, 7 1 7 1 ICGng, Hans, 10 Lehre2; ICeirf-r, 47-50, 72 Leibniz, Gottfxned FVifhelm von, 38, 59,85,91-94 I,eibrziz% I,apse, 3 8 4 l , 49,94 I,ewis, C. S., 127(n8) I,ocke, John, 551 I,ovejoy, Arthur, 9 X hrackie, J. I,. , 17- X 9,22,24,27,29, 33,35,36,38,39,96 Madden, Edurard, 11,72,85-86, 104 Madonna, the, 3 Manichaealism (Cosmic Dualism), 89 Mavrodes, George, 58 M a p (illusion), 6 McC:loske.4; H. J,, 18,24Meaning of life (itr relation to evil), 2, +G, 10, 123, X25Cn28) Metaphysics, 9 Metarheodic!i, 88. Sec aim 'rheodicy Mill, Toll11 Stuarr, 112, 125 &jilton, Jahn, 85 MO[??Dick, 4-5 hrorrobv, Lance, 1,7 Natural law tlrerne, 29, 6142(117), 1OS Neoplato~~ism, 2 OS(n9) Nirpapza, 6, 129(n29) Noeric ponrcrs (episemic), 6 0 4 1 Oden, Thornas, 114 Omnipotence (having ail pokrzrcr), 7-9 in relation m humall freeciom, 4445(n14), Scc also Compa"bi1isnt; Xncompadbilism process critique of, 100-1 0 1 Omniscience f having ail-knowledge), 7-9,76 Ontological argument, 9 , 5 6

Pantheism, 100 Pastoral theodicy, 1 14, 126 Pastoral prnblern of evil, 1 12 Paul (the al~ostfe),4 Peneff-rum,"Yerence,24 Peterson, Mtchael, 17, 107-108(n48), 108(n49) Philosophical dialectic, 69, 87 Pfax~dnga,Avin, 1 1,28-29,33-35, 37, 39-42,44(nr.r9,X X), 4445(nX4), 49-56,58-50, 62(11rt14,15,XS),68,75, ZQ5(n4), I. X 1-1 X2 Plato, 91 Possiblc worf ds hest of all possible warlds, 48-49, 92-94 logic of, 37-38 God's relation to, 38-41, 56 Pourer, God's coercive, 101-1 02 persuasive, 10 1-1 02 Sec alm Ontnipotence Predestination, 9 1 Presrtmption of att~eism,58 Princi12le of plerltitude, 9 1 . Stz alm Aesthetic .tizcrnc Principle af CrcduXiry, 75 Privation (of gooct), 90. Slscr also iuetaphysical evil Probability (as a mctlrad af induction) f'reycrency theory at; 55-56, 62(1114), 62-64(n 18) logical theory af, 54-55 personalist theory ol; 53-54 Process theism, 99-103 P~~nisfiment theme, 88,Y 1-92 Qr~asi-theism,2, Sec also Process theism 1btionalizrq;of religious belief (faith), 9-1 0, Sce also Evidentialism; Foundatioxlalismt, strong; Rchrmed epistemoiogy

1Xel"ormecf ei~istcmoIoa~, 56-60, 68-69,8687, X 13 fXegrct, See Existential attituctes tomrard evil fXeicl-rc~~bach, Eeichc~~bacl-r, 62-64(n I 8), 108t11.19) fXoscn ba~rxl~, fb11, 2 Ro~re,William, 8, 17, 18,4"7 73-79, 85 Russeil, Bertrand, 58 Russeil, Bri~ce,73, 81(nl 1) Russeil, f efeey Burton, l 11 Salmon, FVesle)i, 55-56 Sgrnsnm f cycle of birth-deattlrebirtf-r), 6 Sapan, S66 Fallen angels. Schleiermacher, Friecirich, 90 Schlesinger, George, 70 Scriven, Mici-raeX, 58 Self-cl~identbeliefs, Secr Bclich, sefC evident Self-rcfcrcl~tidi~~cohcrcl~cc, 59-60 Settfc, 'I". W., 7 SIII, 4, 34, 77,90-91,97. See also Evil, moral Smith, Srisan, 2 Soveseignv (God"), 8 9 , 9 1. Sge also Omnipotence Spinoza, Beneclict de, 119 Stevenson, Robert Louis, 3 S~ticide,f 21-3Cn28)and (n34) Swlnf7~1"11e, &chard, 75, X f(xtl4)

'I"eleo1ogical. argument, 10, G2fn 14) 'I"c11nysol1, At ftred Lord, S 'I"heisn3 jstartctarcl), 18 Ghristial~,7-8, 43, 86, 124 expa~~ded, 8 , 7 l , 77-79,80(117), 8X(11X9), 87-88, 114, 224 monotheism, 52,70, 113 restricted, 8, 18,71,77--"7,88, 114,124 Theodicy, 13,33,39, 105(n5) as related to csedibiliw of religious belief, 6-8, 14-1 5(n18) viabilif)iof, 85-88 S66 alm Metattleo~licy 'I"olstoy, Leo, f 29f 11281, (n34) 'I"otaJt etridence, 56-58, 62(nf 6), 6 7 4 8 . %c alm E\ridentialisn~ 'I"ransworld depravity, 4 0 4 2

Value theory, rrcftgious, 125 van tn\vagen, Peter, 79-80(n5), 86 Whitehead, Alfred North, 85,99-101 Witrgenstein, Lud~srig,5 Wolcersmrff, Nicholas, 58 W>rkstra,Stephen, 8,75-79, 112, 12Pn8)

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