Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kraay on Van Inwagen on Gratuitous Evil

Kraay, Klaas. "Peter van Inwagen on Gratuitious Evil", Religious Studies (forthcoming). Here's the abstract:

Defenders and critics of the evidential argument from evil typically agree that if theism is true, no gratuitous evil occurs. But Peter van Inwagen has challenged this orthodoxy by urging that for all we know, given God’s goals, it is impossible for God to prevent all gratuitous evil, in which case God is not required do so. If van Inwagen is right, the evidential argument from evil fails. After setting out this striking and innovative move, I examine three responses found in the literature, and show that none of them defeats van Inwagen’s argument. I then offer a novel criticism: I show that van Inwagen implicitly relies on the claim that God can sensibly be thought to satisfice, and I argue that this is seriously under-motivated. Accordingly, van Inwagen’s objection to the evidential argument from evil is, at best, incomplete.

A link to the penultimate draft can be found here.

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