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Evil and the complexity of history : a response to Durston

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journal contribution
posted on 2003-12-01, 00:00 authored by Nick Trakakis
Kirk Durston recently presented an argument aimed against evidential arguments from evil predicated on instances of suffering that appear to be gratuitous; ‘The consequential complexity of history and gratuitous evil’, Religious Studies, 36 (2000), 65–80. He begins with the notion that history consists of an intricate web of causal chains, so that a single event in one such chain may have countless unforeseen consequences. According to Durston, this consequential complexity exhibited by history negatively impacts on our grasp of the data necessary to determine whether or not an evil is gratuitous. He therefore concludes that our epistemic condition poses an insurmountable barrier towards the inference from inscrutability to pointlessness. By way of reply, I contend that Durston's argument is flawed in two significant respects, and thus the evidential argument emerges unscathed from his critique.

History

Journal

Religious studies

Volume

39

Issue

4

Pagination

451 - 458

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Location

Cambridge, England

ISSN

0034-4125

eISSN

1469-901X

Language

eng

Notes

Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2003, Cambridge University Press

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