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By M. Murray

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Problems of and Explanations for Evil 21 This way of putting the argument resonates with our ordinary way of thinking of the connection between the existence of God and the existence of evil. For some reason, citing certain possible, for-all-we-know reasons for the reality of seemingly gratuitous evil does not remove the persuasive force those evils have; and this leads us to doubt the existence of God. One reason for this is likely that the average person who is inclined to accept premise (13) is inclined to accept it on grounds other than those supposed in the Logical Argument.

Such arguments have the general form: (a) If the skeptic’s premises are correct, then I do not know that there is a computer in front of me. (b) The skeptic’s premises are correct. (c) I do not know that there is a computer in front of me. ¹⁴ While it is true that many who find the Evidential Argument plausible do so because they take it to be merely obvious that there are some pointless evils, professional philosophers defending this position have offered positive arguments for this claim. See, for instance, Michael Almeida and Graham Oppy, ‘Skeptical Theism and Evidential Arguments from Evil’, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 81/3 (2003), 496–516, and Nick Trakakis, The God Beyond Belief: In Defence of William Rowe’s Evidential Argument from Evil (Netherlands: Springer, 2007).

You express your doubts, and I undertake to convince you that I am, in fact, married. I show you my wedding ring, some pictures of my wife and children in my wallet, etc. You survey the evidence, but none of it convinces you. Anyone, you tell yourself, can purchase a gold band, and anyone can download pictures and pretend they are pictures of family members. Having exhausted all of the evidence at my disposal, I surrender; I acknowledge that I am not going to convince you. But in surrender I only concede that you are entitled to maintain your belief that I am not married.

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Nature - Red in Tooth and Claw - Theism and the Prob. of Animal Suffering by M. Murray

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