Best Books On The Problem Of Evil Essay

God And The Problem Of Evil Essay

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God And The Problem Of Evil

Everyday it is possible to read a newspaper, or turn on TV or radio news and learn about evil going on in our world. Banks are robbed, cars are stolen, violent murders and rapes are committed. Somewhere in the world the aftershock of an earthquake is being felt. Cancer is killing millions of people each year, while other debilitating conditions continue to affect many with no cure to end their suffering. President Bush said that our country is fighting a war against evil. We all agree that evil is real and cannot be ignored; the problem comes when we try and rationalize the concept of God and evil coexisting.

Two types of evil exist in our world today. Natural evil occurs when earthquakes, hurricanes,…show more content…

There is no guarantee that a free moral agent will never choose wrongly. For a person to say that God should not have created people with the ability to choose sin, is saying he should not have created people at all. J.L. Mackie contends that God could have indeed created beings that would act freely (but always right). If this had happened we would not be free, but more like robots. If God had created creatures of superior moral character but lacking the ability to choose, these creatures would not be what we call human beings.

How we view the presence of God and evil depends on why we believe the world was created. If man is a fully created creature then the world was created for him to live in, a comfortable, pleasant place. Our world is obviously filled with suffering, danger, hardship of all kinds, so an all-powerful God could not have created it. To Christians the world is not a paradise where one can experience the maximum of pleasure and a minimum of pain. The world is a place of “soul making” or person making. As we try and understand the challenges of our lives, and our environment we may become “Children Of God”.

How different our lives would be if we lived in a world with no pain and no suffering. No one could ever again injure another person. The person with a gun filled with anger intent on killing another would find his bullets harmless. The drunk driver would no longer kill

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Of all the issues in the philosophy of religion, the problem of reconciling belief in God with evil in the world arguably commands more attention than any other. For over two decades, Michael L. Peterson’s The Problem of Evil: Selected Readings has been the most widely recognized and used anthology on the subject. Peterson’s expanded and updated second edition retains the key features of the original and presents the main positions and strategies in the latest philosophical literature on the subject. It will remain the most complete introduction to the subject as well as a resource for advanced study.

Peterson organizes his selection of classical and contemporary sources into four parts: important statements addressing the problem of evil from great literature and classical philosophy; debates based on the logical, evidential, and existential versions of the problem; major attempts to square God’s justice with the presence of evil, such as Augustinian, Irenaean, process, openness, and felix culpa theodicies; and debates on the problem of evil covering such concepts as a best possible world, natural evil and natural laws, gratuitous evil, the skeptical theist defense, and the bearing of biological evolution on the problem. The second edition includes classical excerpts from the book of Job, Voltaire, Dostoevsky, Augustine, Aquinas, Leibniz, and Hume, and twenty-five essays that have shaped the contemporary discussion, by J. L. Mackie, Alvin Plantinga, William Rowe, Marilyn Adams, John Hick, William Hasker, Paul Draper, Michael Bergmann, Eleonore Stump, Peter van Inwagen, and numerous others. Whether a professional philosopher, student, or interested layperson, the reader will be able to work through a number of issues related to how evil in the world affects belief in God.

“Edited by one of the most able philosophers in the field, this is simply the best anthology on the problem of evil available. Ranging from traditional texts such as Job, Augustine, Aquinas, and Hume to such contemporary authors as Plantinga, Rowe, Stump, and van Inwagen, there is no significant writer or topic that Peterson fails to include. The selections are both balanced and representative of the important issues and challenges that confront the serious student engaged in contemporary discussions on theodicy. This volume is an essential guide to the field.” — Craig A. Boyd, Saint Louis University

“This classic anthology just got even better. Students need not choose between historical perspectives and up-to-date arguments. Here, they get it all in one complete volume.” — Trent Dougherty, Baylor University

Praise for the first edition:
“No other anthology effectively organizes so many previously published essays and excerpts covering such a wide range of philosophical issues on the problem of evil. . . . For anyone seeking an entry into classical and contemporary philosophical literature on the problem of evil, this book is a great place to start.” — The Christian Scholar’s Review

ISBN: 978-0-268-10032-2
620 pages
Publication Year: 2016

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