Friday, January 11, 2008

Notebook: more Argument from Evil

More tidbits on the argument from evil, good lines. The first is from James Wetzel "Can Theodicy Be Avoided? The Claim of Unredeemed Evil." Rel Stud 25:1-13:
Theodicy does not justify evils taken singly, only evil taken abstractly.
Next, David A. Conway "The Philosophical Problem of Evil." Int J Phil Rel. 24:35-66 (1988):
And the skeptics’ claim is not that (A)2 is necessarily true or that it is contingently true; it is that (A)2 is true.
Okay, so if you haven't read much analytic philosophy, you may not understand why that's a zinger.

Also, I've got a little more on Plantinga's treatment of free will, which I criticized as an incidental part of my review of van Inwagen on that subject:
The focus of the discussion, clearly, must be on the compatibilist claim that if an action isn't causally determined with respect to a given person, then it is a matter of mere chance that he performs it... But I find this wholly incredible. God, for example, performs free actions; and surely it is not the case that he is causally constrained to perform the actions he does.
This is from Plantinga's "Self-Profile," written for a 1985 anthology dedicated to himself. It is preceded by an admission that his previous responses to critics of his libertarian position on free will weren't so great. I can't say I'm much more impressed by this response.

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