Van Inwagen on the Problem of Evil: Is His Defense Story Reasonable?
It is often argued that the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent and morally perfect God is inconsistent with, or at least highly improbable in light of the undeniable fact that there is evil in the world. According to van Inwagen’s defense story, however, the existence of evil in fact is to be expected on the assumption that our ancestors freely turned away from God. The age of evil, according to van Inwagen’s defense, will end only if we freely return to living in loving union with Him. We are going to show that any defense story that is based on van Inwagen’s understanding of “God”, “love” and “freedom” is unreasonable.
KeywordsProblem of evil Theodicy Omniscience Moral perfection Rational belief
- ———. 1998. Probability and evil. In The possibility of resurrection and other essays in Christian apologetics, 69–87. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
- ———. 2001. The argument from particular horrendous evils. In Proceedings of the American catholic philosophical association, vol. 74, 65–80.Google Scholar
- ———. 2002. What is the problem of the hiddenness of God? In Divine hiddenness. New essays, ed. Daniel Howard-Snyder and Paul K. Moser, 24–32. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- ———. 2008. What does an omniscient being know about the future? In Oxford studies for the philosophy of religion: Volume 1, ed. Jonathan Kvanvig, 216–230. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- ———. 2014. Metaphysics. 4th ed. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar