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The God Beyond Belief In Defence of William Rowe's Evidential Argument from Evil

Table of Contents

    • Foreword     xi
    • Preface     xiii
    • Note on gender-inclusive language     xvii
    • Introduction     1
    • Aims and Limitations     2
    • Methodology     4
    • What Is a Good Argument?     8
    • Overview     10
    • Background to the Problem Evil     17
    • Orthodox Theism     17
    • The Problem of Evil     23
    • Philosophical Background     23
    • Goods and Evils     23
    • Versions of the Problem of Evil     27
    • Ethical Theory and the Problem of Evil     30
    • Historical Background     33
    • Rowe’s Evidential Arguments from Evil     47
    • The Early Rowe (1978-86)     47
    • The 1979 Argument     49
    • The Theological Premise     50
    • The Factual Premise     51
    • Wykstra on Rowe’s Case in Support of the Factual Premise     55
    • The Middle Rowe (1988-95)     57
    • The Factual Premise Revisited     57
    • The Inference-from P to Q     58
    • The Structure of the Argument     61
    • The Late Rowe (1996-present)     62
    • Rowe’s New Evidential Argument     62
    • Atheism or Agnosticism?     67
    • Rowe’s Resurrection of the ‘Middle’ Argument from Evil     68
    • What No Eye Has Seen: The Epistemi Foundations of Wykstra’s Cornea Critique     77
    • The Original Cornea     78
    • The Problem with C1    82
    • Cornea and the Principle of Credulity     84
    • Counterexamples to C2-C4     88
    • C[subscript 4] and Noseeum Inferences     90
    • Cornea Applied to Rowe’s Evidential Argument     99
    • Applying C4.2 to Rowe’s Arguments     99
    • Rowe’s Response to Cornea     101
    • Cornea and the Burden of Reasonability     101
    • Rowe on Step 2 of Wykstra’s Cornea Critique     104
    • Wykstra’s Argument-Rowe’s Version     106
    • The RST-EST Distinction     108
    • The Inference from (5) to (6) Re-examined     109
    • The Prospects for EST     110
    • Appendix to ‘The Prospects for EST’     115
    • Rowe’s Restriction to RST     116
    • Wykstra’s Argument – The Analogical Version     118
    • Analogical Reasoning     119
    • Rowe’s Critique of Wykstra’s Parent Analogy     121
    • Wykstra’s Revised Parent Analogy     122
    • Rowe’s Critique of the New Parent Analogy     124
    • Further Objections to Rowe’s Noseeum Assumption     135
    • Howard-Snyder’s Argument from Complex Goods     135
    • Durston’s Argument from the Complexity of History     138
    • The Progress Argument     145
    • Alston’s Analogies     154
    • In Support of the Inference from Inscrutable to Pointless Evil     163
    • The Argument from Moral Scepticism     163
    • Rowe’s Case in Support of RNA     174
    • Concluding Remarks     181
    • The Problem of Divine Hiddenness     189
    • What is the Problem?     189
    • Analogies in Support of RNA4    191
    • The Case Against RNA4    194
    • The Sceptical Theist Response     194
    • The Appeal to Human Freedom     197
    • Hick’s Freedom in Relation to God     197
    • Swinburne’s Moral Freedom     206
    • In Conclusion     216
    • Meta-Theodicy: Adequacy Conditions for Theodicy     227
    • The Evils to be Explained     228
    • The Goods to be Invoked     233
    • The Nature of Theodical Explanation     238
    • Summary     242
    • Theodicy Proper, or Casting Light on the Ways of God: Horrendous Moral Evil     251
    • Sketch of a Theodicy     251
    • Problem I: Curtailing the Exercise of Free Will     256
    • Problem II: Necessary Evils?     261
    • Tierno’s ‘Adequacy Argument’ Against Free Will Theodicies     261
    • The Inadequacy of Tierno’s ‘Adequacy Argument’     263
    • Conclusion     269
    • Theodicies for Natural Evil     275
    • Soul-Making and Natural Evil     276
    • Swinburne’s Free Will Theodicy     279
    • Reichenbach’s Natural Law Theodicy     287
    • Conclusion     295
    • The Compatibility of Gratuitous Evil with Theism     303
    • Van Inwagen’s God of Chance     304
    • Van Inwagen’s No Minimum Thesis     309
    • Taking the Sting Out of the No Minimum Thesis     314
    • Peterson’s Rejection of Meticulous Providence     317
    • Peterson on the Defensive     318
    • Peterson on the Offensive     320
    • Conclusion     324
    • Conclusion: Is Rowe’s Evidential Argument Successful?     333
    • The ‘G.E. Moore Shift’     334
    • Reconceiving God     337
    • Rejecting God’s Perfect Goodness     337
    • Rejecting Divine Omnipotence     338
    • The Worship-Worthiness of God     340
    • Concluding Remarks     341
    • Bibliography      347
    • Index     369