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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Book on the *Logical Problem of Evil*, 13 April 2010
By 
A. Bolos (Denver, CO) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: God, Freedom and Evil (Paperback)
(As note, much of the material in this book can also be found in "The Nature of Necessity"by Plantinga. This is a very condensed and less technical version of that book)

In this book Plantinga is attempting to answer the *logical problem of evil* and nothing else. The logical problem, briefly stated and according to Mackie, is as follows:

(1) God is omnipotent
(2) God is wholly good

and

(3) Evil exists

The main idea is that this set, taken as a whole, involves a contradiction.

While this simple set of propositions might appear inconsequential, this was one the major problems in philosophy of religion for some time. And until Plantinga, this (often called "the logical problem of evil") was one of the main arguments used against the coherence of traditional theism. Plantinga's main argument details with rigor why this set is not a contradiction (e.g., free will, metaphysics of modality, etc).

Because of this book (or the longer, more academic version "The Nature of Necessity") philosophers have all but stopped discussing the logical problem of evil. This rarely rarely happens in philosophy which is a testament to Plantinga and his book. Buy it, read it and spread the word. It is not logically inconsistent to believe that a good and all-knowing God would allow evil.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The problem of evil - solved (if dryly)., 28 Mar 2009
By 
Samuel J. Parkinson (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: God, Freedom and Evil (Paperback)
If you are looking for a thorough, logical, philosophical explanation of various reasons a good God can permit evil, this is it. It is well explained, and while full of complex logic, does explain it all for the philosophical beginner. This is an absolutely seminal work which has changed the way philosophy approaches this problem, and indeed has convinced many philosophers that it is entirely logical to believe in a good God who yet permits evil. It shows that belief in God is a credible, logical, sensible position.

It does takes a long time and a lot of attention to read - it is not fast-paced!

It does a good job of showing various ways in which belief in God is a credible, logical, sensible position.

That said, if you are looking for an emotionally satisfying explanation of why God permits evil - if you want more than a bare explantion - you will not be satisfied. This is a book based on logic, and doesn't ever engage with the sheer awfulness of evil, or give you the impression that these explanations are really meant to be lived. So it isn't pastoral, nor will the answers here help you bear evil and suffering. But it is wonderful to have such a powerful demonstration of Christian belief all the same.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Logical and very interesting, 5 Oct 2013
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This review is from: God, Freedom and Evil (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book, i felt beyond the topic it was a very good primer on how to think philosophically. The concept is very good using the free will defence but extending to counter other arguments. I did feel that this dealt with human evil very well, but i believe more could have been done on natural evil
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God, Freedom, and Evil by Alvin Plantinga
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