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  1. Evil and God's Toxin Puzzle.John Pittard - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):88-108.
    I show that Kavka's toxin puzzle raises a problem for the “Responsibility Theodicy,” which holds that the reason God typically does not intervene to stop the evil effects of our actions is that such intervention would undermine the possibility of our being significantly responsible for overcoming and averting evil. This prominent theodicy seems to require that God be able to do what the agent in Kavka's toxin story cannot do: stick by a plan to do some action at a future (...)
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  • False Optimism? Leibniz, Evil, and the Best of All Possible Worlds.Lloyd Strickland - 2010 - Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 15 (1):17-35.
    Leibniz’s claim that this is the best of all possible worlds has been subject to numerous criticisms, both from his contemporaries and ours. In this paper I investigate a cluster of such criticisms based on the existence, abundance or character of worldly evil. As several Leibniz-inspired versions of optimism have been advanced in recent years, the aim of my investigation is to assess not just how Leibniz’s brand of optimism fares against these criticisms, but also whether optimism as a philosophy (...)
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  • On the Natural Law Defense and the Disvalue of Ubiquitous Miracles.Leigh C. Vicens - 2016 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 80 (1):33-42.
    In this paper I explore Peter van Inwagen’s conception of miracles and the implications of this conception for the viability of his version of the natural law defense. I argue that given his account of miraculous divine action and its parallel to free human action, it is implausible to think that God did not prevent natural evil in our world for the reasons van Inwagen proposes. I conclude by suggesting that on the grounds he provides for “epistemic humility” about modal (...)
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  • God’s Creatures? Divine Nature and the Status of Animals in the Early Modern Beast-Machine Controversy.Lloyd Strickland - 2013 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 74 (4):291-309.
    In early modern times it was not uncommon for thinkers to tease out from the nature of God various doctrines of substantial physical and metaphysical import. This approach was particularly fruitful in the so-called beast-machine controversy, which erupted following Descartes’ claim that animals are automata, that is, pure machines, without a spiritual, incorporeal soul. Over the course of this controversy, thinkers on both sides attempted to draw out important truths about the status of animals simply from the notion or attributes (...)
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  • Skeptical Theism and Value Judgments.David James Anderson - 2012 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 72 (1):27-39.
    One of the most prominent objections to skeptical theism in recent literature is that the skeptical theist is forced to deny our competency in making judgments about the all-things-considered value of any natural event. Some skeptical theists accept that their view has this implication, but argue that it is not problematic. I think that there is reason to question the implication itself. I begin by explaining the objection to skeptical theism and the standard response to it. I then identify an (...)
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  • God’s Purpose for the Universe and the Problem of Animal Suffering.B. Kyle Keltz - forthcoming - Sophia:1-18.
    Proponents of the problem of animal suffering state that the great amount of animal death and suffering found in Earth’s natural history provides evidence against the truth of theism. In particular, philosophers such as Paul Draper have argued that regardless of the antecedent probability of theism and naturalism, animal suffering provides positive evidence for the truth of naturalism over theism. While theists have attempted to provide answers to the problem of animal suffering, almost none have argued that animal suffering and (...)
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  • Divine Purpose and Evolutionary Processes.Thomas F. Tracy - 2013 - Zygon 48 (2):454-465.
    When Darwin's theory of natural selection threatened to put Paley's Designer out of a job, one response was to reemploy God as the author of the evolutionary process itself. This idea requires an account of how God might be understood to act in biological history. I approach this question in two stages: first, by considering God's action as creator of the world as a whole, and second, by exploring the idea of particular divine action in the course of evolution. As (...)
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  • The Problem of Natural Evil I: General Theistic Replies.Luke Gelinas - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (3):533-559.
    I examine different strategies involved in stating anti-theistic arguments from natural evil, and consider some theistic replies. There are, traditionally, two main types of arguments from natural evil: those that purport to deduce a contradiction between the existence of natural evil and the existence of God, and those that claim that the existence of certain types or quantities of natural evil significantly lowers the probability that theism is true. After considering peripheral replies, I state four prominent theistic rebutting strategies: skeptical (...)
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  • The Fall of “Augustinian Adam”: Original Fragility and Supralapsarian Purpose.John Schneider - 2012 - Zygon 47 (4):949-969.
    The essay is framed by conflict between Christianity and Darwinian science over the history of the world and the nature of human personhood. Evolutionary science narrates a long prehuman geological and biological history filled with vast amounts, kinds, and distributions of apparently random brutal and pointless suffering. It also strongly suggests that the first modern humans were morally primitive. This science seems to discredit Christianity's common meta-narrative of the Fall, understood as a story of Paradise Lost. The author contends that (...)
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  • Divine Glory in a Darwinian World.Christopher Southgate - 2014 - Zygon 49 (4):784-807.
    Faced with the ambiguities of this world, in which ugliness and suffering co-exist with beauty, the article rejects the attribution of disvalues to a Fall-event. Instead it faces God's involvement even in violence and ugliness. It explores the concept of divine glory, understood principally as a sign of the divine reality. This includes both the great theophanies of the Hebrew Bible and Jesus’ glorification in his Passion and Crucifixion. It then considers the contemplation of the natural world, using the terminology (...)
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  • The Sociology and Theology of Creationist Objections to Evolution: How Blood Marks the Bounds of the Christian Body.Eugene F. Rogers - 2014 - Zygon 49 (3):540-553.
    The staying power of creationist objections to evolution needs explanation. It depends on the use of “blood” language. Both William Jennings Bryan and, a century later, Ken Ham connect evolution with the blood of predation and the blood of apes, and both also connect evolution with the blood of atonement. Drawing on Mary Douglas and Bettina Bildhauer, I suggest that blood becomes important to societies that image the social body on the human body. Blood reveals the body as porous and (...)
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  • Re-Reading Genesis, John, and Job: A Christian Response to Darwinism.Christopher Southgate - 2011 - Zygon 46 (2):370-395.
    Abstract. This article offers one response from within Christianity to the theological challenges of Darwinism. It identifies evolutionary theory as a key aspect of the context of contemporary Christian hermeneutics. Examples of the need for re-reading of scripture, and reassessment of key doctrines, in the light of Darwinism include the reading of the creation and fall accounts of Genesis 1–3, the reformulation of the Christian doctrine of humanity as created in the image of God, and the possibility of a new (...)
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  • Interpreting the Word and the World.John Hedley Brooke - 2011 - Zygon 46 (2):281-290.
    Abstract. The purpose of this essay is to introduce a collection of five papers, originally presented at the 2009 summer conference of the International Society for Science and Religion, which explore the reception of Darwin's science in different religious traditions. Comparisons are drawn between Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and Indian responses to biological evolution, with particular reference to the problem of suffering and to the exegetical and hermeneutic issues involved.
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