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Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association

Volume 80, 2006

Intelligence and the Philosophy of Mind

Michael Schrynemakers
Pages 245-254

Vagueness and Pointless Evil

Many theists and atheists believe that God would not permit an evil unless God’s allowing it (or an evil at least as bad) is required for a greater good. In “The Argument from Particular Horrendous Evils” (and elsewhere) Peter van Inwagen has argued against this belief by appealing to his “No Minimum Claim” (NMC), namely, that it is reasonable to believe there is no minimum amount of evil required for God’s purposes. In this paper I distinguish different formulations of NMC, and, by drawing an instructive parallel to traditional sorites paradoxes, refute Jeff Jordan’s criticism that because morally significant suffering is finitely diminishable, NMC must be false.

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