Weighing evils: the C. S. Lewis approach

International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 62 (2):81-88 (2007)
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It is often argued that the great quantity of evil in our world makes God’s existence less likely than a lesser quantity would, and this, presumably, because the probability that some evils are gratuitous increases as the overall quantity of evil increases. Often, an additive approach to quantifying evil is employed in such arguments. In this paper, we examine C. S. Lewis’ objection to the additive approach, arguing that although he is correct to reject this approach, there is a sense in which he underestimates the quantity of pain. However, the quantity of pain in that sense does not significantly increase the probability that some pain is gratuitous. Therefore, the quantitative argument likely fails.

Author Profiles

Joshua Seachris
University of Notre Dame
Linda Zagzebski
University of Oklahoma


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