The main thesis developed and defended in this superb book is that Hume implicitly "denies the existence . . . of a morally assessable god" (8), not just the existence of an overall "morally praiseworthy god" (8). Holden characterizes these as "strong" and "weak" moral atheism, respectively (7–9). While the idea of Hume as a moral atheist is not new, Holden's case for that proposition makes two new and important contributions to the discussion of the issue. The first is his (...) detailed piecing-together of points made by Hume in various writings into two arguments for "strong" moral atheism and his attribution of the arguments to Hume. He calls them the "argument from sentimentalism" and the "argument from .. (shrink)
A clearly written and up-to-date textbook on the profound question of how God can exist simultaneously with evil. It introduces the fundamental issues of philosophical thinking for the beginner student, while at the same time clarifying and the answering deeper philosophical questions of interest to a more advanced readership.
I test the ability of Plantinga's free-will defense of theism against logical arguments from evil to defend the version of the theory I call orthodox Christian theism against a reformed logical argument from evil. I conclude that his defense fails in that task.
In a recent contribution to this journal William Hasker rejects the idea, long a staple in philosophical debates over God and evil, that the existence of gratuitous evil is inconsistent with the existence of God. Among his arguments are three to show that God and gratuitous natural evil are not mutually inconsistent. I will show that none of those arguments succeeds. Then, very briefly, and as a byproduct of showing this, I will sketch out how a potentially vexing form of (...) the problem of God and natural evil is facilitated by Hasker’s distinction between types of gratuitous natural evil. (shrink)
A proposition that theism has traditionally tried to establish, as part of its general effort to reconcile the existence of God and that of evil in the (supposedly God-made) world, is the following; that natural evil is logically a precondition of freedom of choice. Often the approach to this task has been through the free will defense. In my paper I argue that the standard formulation of that defense will not succeed in the specific task mentioned, and propose a variation (...) upon the standard formulation. Then I try to defend the variation against some powerful objections. (shrink)