The Cosmos as a Work of Art

Alexander R. Pruss
Baylor University
          The cosmos is filled with evil that seemingly has no redeeming value. Granted, some evils do lead to greater goods, sometimes goods that could not exist without the evils. Thus, the exercise of courage is a good that requires either an actual evil to stand firm in the face of or the illusion of an evil—and an illusion is a kind of evil, too. But many evils appear to serve no such purpose. Philosophers call an evil that a supremely good God would have insufficient reason to permit to exist a gratuitous evil. A particularly powerful form of the argument from evil against the existence of the God of Western monotheism is, thus, that there seem to be gratuitous evils, hence there probably are gratuitous evils, and so this God does not exist.           In his Sermon 125, St. Augustine says.
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