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Providence and the Problem of Evil$
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Richard Swinburne

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198237983

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198237987.001.0001

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Natural Evil and the Scope for Response

Natural Evil and the Scope for Response

Chapter:
(p.160) 9 Natural Evil and the Scope for Response
Source:
Providence and the Problem of Evil
Author(s):

Richard Swinburne (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198237987.003.0009

The ‘higher‐order goods’ defence claims that natural evils (bad states caused by processes over which humans have no control) give humans the opportunity to react to them in the right way by actions, which otherwise they would have little opportunity to perform. Humans can show courage and sympathy in response to suffering, and by doing such good actions in difficult circumstances, gradually form their characters for good. It is good too that animals should have some opportunity for heroic actions.

Keywords:   animal suffering, higher‐order goods, natural evil

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