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The Problem of EvilThe Gifford Lectures delivered in the University of St Andrews in 2003$
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Peter van Inwagen

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199245604

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245604.001.0001

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The Local Argument from Evil

The Local Argument from Evil

(p.95) Lecture 6 The Local Argument from Evil
The Problem of Evil

Peter van Inwagen

Oxford University Press

Local arguments from evil proceed not from a premise about ‘all the evils of the world’, but from a premise about a single horrible event. They take the form, ‘If there were a God, that would not have happened’. In this chapter, it is conceded that even if Theist's arguments in the two previous chapters are indisputably correct, they do not refute the local argument, which is an argument of a quite different kind. The central argument of the chapter is a defence of the following thesis: if Theist's response to the global argument is accepted, it provides materials from which a reply to the local argument can be constructed. This reply turns on considerations of vagueness much like those considered in philosophical discussions of the sorites paradox.

Keywords:   defence, free-will defence, Eden, the Fall, original sin, horrendous evils, gratuitous evil, William Rowe, vagueness, sorites paradox

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