Natural Evil and the Scope for Response

Richard Swinburne

in Providence and the Problem of Evil

Published in print August 1998 | ISBN: 9780198237983
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598548 | DOI:
 Natural Evil and the Scope for Response

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The ‘higher‐order goods’ defence claims that natural evils (bad states caused by processes over which humans have no control) give humans the opportunity to react to them in the right way by actions, which otherwise they would have little opportunity to perform. Humans can show courage and sympathy in response to suffering, and by doing such good actions in difficult circumstances, gradually form their characters for good. It is good too that animals should have some opportunity for heroic actions.

Keywords: animal suffering; higher‐order goods; natural evil

Chapter.  6954 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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