Animal Suffering and the Darwinian Problem of Evil

Cambridge University Press (2020)
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Abstract

John R. Schneider explores the problem that animal suffering, caused by the inherent nature of Darwinian evolution, poses to belief in theism. Examining the aesthetic aspects of this moral problem, Schneider focuses on the three prevailing approaches to it: that the Fall caused animal suffering in nature (Lapsarian Theodicy), that Darwinian evolution was the only way for God to create an acceptably good and valuable world (Only-Way Theodicy), and that evolution is the source of major, God-justifying beauty (Aesthetic Theodicy). He also uses canonical texts and doctrines from Judaism and Christianity - notably the book of Job, and the doctrines of the incarnation, atonement, and resurrection - to build on insights taken from the non-lapsarian alternative approaches. Schneider thus constructs an original, God-justifying account of God and the evolutionary suffering of animals. His book enables readers to see that the Darwinian configuration of animal suffering unveiled by scientists is not as implausible on Christian theism as commonly supposed.

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