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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 Sufferings of Beasts

The Sufferings of Beasts

(p.113) Lecture 7 The Sufferings of Beasts
The Problem of Evil

Peter van Inwagen

Oxford University Press

Since there were non-rational but sentient organisms long before there were human beings, the free-will defence cannot account for the sufferings of those organisms. This chapter presents a defence — the ‘regularity of nature defence’ — that purports to account for the sufferings of pre-human beasts and all the more recent sufferings of beasts that cannot be ascribed to the abuse of free will by human beings. It concludes with a consideration of some problems that confront anyone who employs both this second defence and the free-will defence.

Keywords:   argument from evil, defence, animal suffering, evolution, laws of nature, regularity, vagueness

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