Although vast and complex, the universe is orderly in many ways, and conditions at its beginning were right for the eventual evolution of life on this planet. But with life there is death, and with sentient life there is great pain and suffering, often with no apparent justification or purpose. Taking these things together, is it reasonable to conclude that the universe was brought about by God? Moreover, does the magnitude of seemingly pointless suffering square with the idea that God exists, or is it good reason to think there is no God? These questions come up for many people, not just religious believers, and are examined in this engaging and thought-provoking book. Starting out with no pre-disposition to theism, atheism, or agnosticism, God, Evil, and Design takes up these questions in order to see where an impartial investigation leads. To achieve impartiality, the reader is invited to simulate ignorance insofar as his or her own religious preference is concerned. With this approach, God, Evil, and Design provides both a fresh look at important and controversial issues in philosophy and an excellent introduction to the contemporary debates surrounding them.
Lively and non-technical, this book will be accessible to anyone with an interest in these topics.
David O'Connor is Professor of Philosophy at Seton Hall University, and the author of three books, including Hume on Religion (2001), God and Inscrutable Evil (1998) and The Metaphysics of G.E. Moore (1982).
Preface. Part I: Introduction:. 1. What We Are Going to Investigate and How. 2. Terminology. Part II: The Logic of God and Evil: . 3. Is the Existence of God Impossible?. 4. A Free-Will Defense of the Possibility that God Exists. Part III: Design and Evil: . 5. Natural Order, Natural Selection, and Supernatural Design (1). 6. Natural Order, Natural Selection, and Supernatural Design (2). Part IV: Evil and Design (1): . 7. Is the Existence of God Improbable?. 8. Skeptical Defenses. 9. Evaluating Skeptical Defenses. Part V: Evil and Design (2). 10. Greater-Good Defenses. 11. Evaluating Greater-Good Defenses. Part VI: Taking Stock:. 12. Taking Stock. Index