Dr. Craig Considers My Question

I asked former professor William Lane Craig a question and he attempted to answer it this week, here. He attempted to answer "the deeper problem lurking" behind Lessing's broad ugly ditch, in these words:

So what is the problem with basing religious beliefs on historical proofs? The problem, it seems to me, is the relativity of the historical evidence as well as one’s ability to grasp it. We have both the manuscript evidence and the evaluative historical tools to provide a good foundation for belief in Jesus as the Gospels describe him. But what about earlier generations which lacked the evidence and the tools we enjoy? The fact is that the vast majority of people throughout history and in the world today have had neither the training, the time, nor the resources to conduct a historical investigation of the evidence for Jesus. If we insist on a historical, evidential foundation for faith, then we consign most of the world’s population to unbelief and thus deny them the privilege and joy of knowing God in Christ. To me this is unconscionable. This, then, is the ugly, broad ditch which confronts us: the gap between people’s historically conditioned epistemic situation and the evidence required to warrant Christian belief.

It was the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard who, I believe, provided the correct response to Lessing. Through an existential encounter with God Himself every generation can be made contemporaneous with the first generation. We are therefore not dependent on historical proofs for knowledge of Christianity’s truth. Rather through the immediate, inner witness of God’s Holy Spirit every person can come to know the truth of the Gospel once he hears it. This approach has come to be known, rather misleadingly, as Reformed epistemology. Alvin Plantinga has masterfully explicated this approach in his marvelous Warranted Christian Belief (Oxford University Press: 2000). This is not the place to defend this approach, but you may want to look at my chapter on Religious Epistemology in my and J. P. Moreland’s Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview Inter-Varsity, 2003).

So that’s how I leap Lessing’s ditch. Christian belief is confirmed by the historical evidence for those of us fortunate enough to be epistemically so situated as to be able to appraise it correctly; but Christian belief is not based on the historical evidence.

Does anyone think Craig's answer is a good one? His answer is what I had anticipated. But it doesn't solve the problem, in my opinion. If you agree with me, then how would you answer the deeper problem lurking behind Lessing's broad ugly ditch?

25 comments:

Former_Fundy said...

I think its an attempt to be honest about the limitations of historical knowledge. I think that its good that he recognizes it. The only solution for those who want to know "for certain" that Christ is real is this subjective knowledge. The problem of course is that its subjective and serves as proof for noone except the person who experiences it. Its also not subject to examination. Its just there. The Mormons have been using this apologetic for some time: "the burning in the bosom."

Lee Randolph said...

Hi John,
I'm not familiar with this whole thing but based on what I read in your article and the link to Craigs site, it seems to me he has set up a false dichotomy. He seems to say its either history or holy spirit and if you don't go with the spirit then people are going to miss out. Well, not necessarily. I think he diminished historical inquiry unjustifiably. I'll grant that people should 'try it to see if it fits' but it should be tempered with as much data as possible. History matters, and a lot of things have been learned and verified through history. A lot of things have been learned and verified through logical inference, and I'm sure a lot of things have been learned through the intuitive creative muse. If they want to say the warm fuzzy they get when exposed to Christianity is the holy spirit and it informs, more power to them. But they have an obligation to the greater good of the group to try to validate that as much as possible using other means, including history, logical inference, scientific method etc. so they can avoid making uninformed decisions.

I think the fact the miracles don't happen "anymore" is a very important, relevant and telling observation. Its kind of like 'the fish that got away' or 'the check is in the mail' etc. Actions speak louder than words and if you say you have an awesome god, well, lets see some awesome stuff.

If you have to keep explaining stuff away and making excuses for someone, then you have a problem. A god should be self evident and have a higher number of followers than 30% of the worlds population.

He's only 30% convincing. Thats not too good.

Lee Randolph said...

oh yea,
I forgot to say something about the following.
Christian belief is confirmed by the historical evidence for those of us fortunate enough to be epistemically so situated as to be able to appraise it correctly;
With this statement he infers that it should be the Christian that does the appraisal. In situations where we are not qualified to appraise, such as history, or cosmology, or purses when you go shopping for you wife for christmas, you rely on experts.

Experts make the appraisals that the rest of us depend on to be informed.

John W. Loftus said...

Here's what Dan Barker said about this:

John,

Craig doesn't eliminate the ditch or make it smaller . . . he enlarges it! The ditch becomes a huge channel between HIS subjective experience and MY subjective experience. His defense of the rightness of HIS subjective experience is his claim that HE is "fortunate enough to be epistemically so situated as to be able to appraise it correctly." That is a circular (and smug)argument, one that we nonbelievers could make equally as well, being (as we feel)"fortunate enough to be epistemically so situated as to be able to appraise it MORE correctly" than Christians.

He's just saying, "I'm so lucky to think the way I think."

Is THAT a basis for truth? Anyone can say that, which makes it a worthless (and to a philosopher, shameful) premise for an argument.

Dan Barker

Craig said...

When William Lane Craig claims that we "have both the manuscript evidence and the evaluative historical tools to provide a good foundation for belief in Jesus as the Gospels describe him" he is making a faith-based presupposition that the Gospels are something they are not (i.e., historical and/or 'eyewitness' accounts of the life of Jesus) and not the anonymous third-person copies of manuscripts that originated who-knows-where? As such, the so-called 'truth' of the Gospels is neither a 'contingent' nor 'necessary' truth since--being anonymous third-person copies--nothing in them needn't have happened as described at all. We can't know what Jesus said, but only what anonymous third-person authors have said what Jesus said, nor can we know what Jesus did or didn't do (or the disciples, followers, Romans, etc) for the same reason. Not only do anonymous third-person manuscripts not count as 'history', they can't even count as 'hearsay' irregardless as to what the apologists would have us believe. Being such, is there any event advanced by the Gospels that could ever be considered 'real'?

In his book, A Marginal Jew, John Meier makes a distinction regarding the term 'real', between knowing the total reality of the person and having a reasonably complete picture of a person. This distinction arises because there are degrees to the reality of an account. Meier argues that it is impossible to know the total reality of a person (everything he/she ever thought, felt, experienced, did and said). No one would deny that such a total reality did exist, although it is not knowable to us. In fact, it is not even fully knowable to the individual him/herself, in the sense that every person has some elements in one's personality that one might not be aware of. In this sense, it is impossible to know the 'real' Jesus.

Some scholars, thus, try to obtain a reasonably complete picture of a person. Meier argues that if the person in quest was a figure of modern history, say, Richard Nixon, it would be possible to extract facts from a considerable collection of empirical data (public archives, military records, election tallies, presidential press conferences, Watergate tapes, congressional hearings, presidential libraries, etc.) Here, "the real and the historical do not coincide, but there is considerable overlap."[2] To this there are some exceptions in ancient history, about whom so much was recorded that it is also possible today by scholars to reconstruct with difficulty a somewhat reasonably complete picture of them (e.g. Julius Caesar or Cicero). But, says Meier, "Not so with Jesus of Nazareth"[3]. In the case of Jesus, the 'real' Jesus would never be available not because the 'real' Jesus did or did not exist but because the 'records' we have today are comprised solely of the anonymous third-person Gospels. Thus, in both senses mentioned above, it is impossible to know Jesus, whether the 'real' or the 'reasonably' real.

With the certitude that the 'real' Jesus is not knowable to us, Meier sets out on his quest for the historical Jesus or the Jesus of history, this being "a modern abstraction and construct."[5] This is the recoverable Jesus by the use of scientific tools of modern historical research. In this way one would be forming the faint outline of a faded fresco, since Jesus of Nazareth left no recordings of his words or deeds, no writings, no monuments or anything which comes to us unmediated. The reconstruction of the historical Jesus is a subjective fraction of the 'real' Jesus (whoever he 'really' is). Hermann Reimarus (1694 - 1768) attempted such research during the Enlightenment. Reimarus is remembered for his Deism, the doctrine that human reason can arrive at a knowledge of God and ethics from a study of nature and our own internal reality, so we do not need religions based on supernatural revelation. He also denied the reality of miracles and is credited with initiating one of the first investigations into uncovering a 'historical' Jesus.

According to Alister McGrath (in Christian Theology: An Introduction), Lessing's comment about the 'ugly great ditch' grew out of his conviction that "rationalism could be the only universally acceptable mode of understanding the world, coupled with his familiarity with Reimarius' biblical studies and conclusions. From Reimarus' work, Lessing was convinced that the bible could not be trusted as a source of description of any truth, let alone the truth of God. In this sense, Lessing's 'scandal of particularity' acknowledged that humans, and human error, make up history and this contingent fact needs to be accounted for in any understanding of the meaning of an event. The bible was another example, even if a very good example, of a human product. From his rationalistic commitments he was convinced, following Hume, that human reason alone could lead humanity into a new golden age, safe from religious war and bigotry. In two strokes, Lessing denied the historical veracity of the New Testament and its claim as the revelation of God. Instead, what Christians believed and what was certain, via historical method and reason itself, remained apart to such an extent that the former must give way to the latter" [325].

Now, when William Lane Craig concludes that "Christian belief is confirmed by the historical evidence for those of us fortunate enough to be epistemically so situated as to be able to appraise it correctly; but Christian belief is not based on the historical evidence" he is implying two interesting things, that (1) since Bible believers are presupposing an 'inspired Author' in the development of the Scriptures then only an 'inspired Reader' will be able 'read' (or 'see' or 'determine') what the Scriptures really mean, and (2) Christian belief is not based on the historical evidence because the 'evidence' in question is the Gospels and these are anonymous third-person copies of missing manuscripts which make them less than hearsay. How convenient for Craig to argue thus, suggesting that because we aren't 'real' believers we are unable to read the 'real' Bible for what it is, and don't bother trying to argue from any historical perspective because "Christian belief is not based on the historical evidence" anyway. Talk about logical chicanery!

-- Craig Duckett

Goldstein said...

"chicanery"? "how convenient"?

Craig answered John very graciously and obviously did his best from the perspective he has.

So whats with the smears?

Why does everything always have to be brought down to this level?

Do you really hate that much?

exapologist said...

I'm not persuaded by Craig's response.

First, when it comes to questions remote from the practical concerns of daily life, the average person is not hamstrung by a lack of time, resources, and abilities. She need not spend all her time and effort pursuing these matters is she is to have reasonable beliefs on them. Rather, on such issues, we all can, and often *do*, have justified beliefs about them via *deference to the experts*. Thus, I don't have a PhD in physics, so I can't do my own research to have justified beliefs about matters concerning, say, theoretical physics. I *can* however, find out what the majority of theoretical physicists think about the matter, and thereby acquire justified belief.

Similarly, I need not have the time, resources, and ability to do research on the NT and the historical Jesus to come to reasonable belief on these matters; rather, I need merely to find out what the majority of NT and historical Jesus scholars think on these matters. So all God needed to do was make the evidence sufficiently clear for*the majority of scholars* that Jesus is accurately depicted in the Gospels, that the NT is reliable, that Jesus rose from the dead, etc. Unfortunately, God didn't see fit to do this. For on these matters, either (i) the scholarly concensus goes *against* the views of conservative Christianity (e.g., on whether the NT is as reliable as conservatives claim), or (ii) there is no scholarly concensus, because the evidence is *extremely ambiguous*.

At any rate, despite the Blomberg-style arguments for reliability of the NT and the portrait of Jesus presented there Craig endorses, and his own case for the resurrection of Jesus (see his "Reasonable Faith", his "Knowing the Truth About the Resurrection", his debate books on the resurrection, and his other online debates for his arguments and the Blomberg arguments he endorses), I think that those arguments can't stand up to the sorts of considerations often rehearsed in the mainstream, middle-of-the-road scholarship on NT studies and historical Jesus studies. So I simply disagree that a tenable case can be made for these things.

Kevin H said...

To shed some light, Craig makes a good point in Reasonable Faith on this topic.

He points out that the demand that a person has no warrant for belief in God or faith in Christ unless he has done an investigation of the evidential grounds for it consigns the vast majority of Christians to irrationality.

For most are either in a historical, geographical, or intellectual situation that prevents that. Does that mean their subjective experience is false? Of course not.

The farmer in Arkansas who hears the Gospel and accepts it may never examine the historical and philosophical grounds for the Gospel. And he certainly will never exhaust those grounds.

As with any view, one may only later discover the extent one's view is supported evidentially.

In light of this, the Christian can claim that Christian faith is not necessarily based on the evidential arguments, but supported by them.

Or in the case of the Mormon's "burning bosom", I think the discovery would be there are no good grounds for that subjective "indigestion"! And,thus,ultimately unwarranted.

Keep in mind this is Plantinga's work and should be consulted for full interaction.

The crux is, Christianity is at least internally consistent on this. The New Testament claims this "inner witness" is available and offers personal confirmation, and presents Paul arguing evidentially. Therefore, both are in view.

Kevin H

Dale said...

Hi John,

Craig's move is as well motivated as can be, and if you understand the motives behind externalism about knowledge (of which Plantinga's theory is a sort of hybrid example), it's a plausible theory. His point isn't smug, unthinking, or arbitrary, although it may be circular in certain contexts.

If he's going to be Plantingian, though, I think he should add that even though he knows that, say, Jesus is the Son of God by the operation of the "sensus divinitatis", that knowledge requires that he lacks any "defeaters" for the belief. And historical info could in principle defeat that belief, e.g. it turned out there's strong evidence that Jesus was a con man, or never existed. But - good luck with that line of objection! Note - this is a much harder project than just raising worries about the difficulty of knowledge of the past, or of ancient miracle-claims or testimony or whatnot.

If you want a good and clear overview of what Plantinga's up to, this guy does an excellent job: Paradox in Christian Theology. He's defending a thesis about "mysteries" but he's trying to extend Plantinga's theory, so in the course of that, he gives a great summary of Plantinga's work.

John W. Loftus said...

For those who want to defend Plantinga and Craig, let me ask a very simple question, one that I develop in my book. Norman Geisler even said my approach to critiquing Craig here is "valid."

What is the content of the inner witness of the Holy Spirit?

Again, tell me exactly what this inner witness teaches you. Spell out the particular beliefs that this inner witness informs you about. Does this witness confirm evangelical Christianity alone? And if so, there are many disagrements among evangelicals about what to believe, and many depths of understanding these doctrines. So what is the content of this witness? When does it leave off and human understanding take over?

I can imagine different evangelical Christian theologians all claiming the inner witness of the Holy Spirit confirms what they believe. And since they cannot all be right, what exactly is the content of this inner witness?

John W. Loftus said...

There are so many denominations that believe differently. Is the Holy Spirit properly doing his job?

Steven Carr said...

How can the inner witness of the Holy Spirit testify to something when it has to be proceeded by an external source first?

Why does this 'farmer in Arkansas' need to hear somebody preach the Gospel, before the Holy Spirit can get near the guy?

I think the inner witness of the Holy Spirit amounts to somebody saying to himself 'Hey, what that guy said on the TV sounds right to me'


As for Plantinga's rational beliefs, what are the 'defeaters' for somebody who watches a film and then convinces himself that Keira Knightley loves him?

The same as the defeaters for somebody who watches 'The Passion of the Christ' and then convinces himself that Jesus loves him?

Dale said...

Hi John,

Again, look at Plantinga - Warranted Christian Belief. The witness of the h.s. is cashed out in terms of God restoring the proper functioning of a supposed sensus divinitatis - a natural faculty of belief formation that we all have, but which is damaged or inoperative apart from God's action, due to sin. What's the precise content? Depends on the exact design plan - presumably, the faculty would be designed to deliver the true beliefs we need to get by spiritually (compare: perception, memory). Plantinga calls the content "the great things of the gospel". It would include things like "God exists", "God has forgiven and accepted me", or "God is the (ultimate) author of the Bible." But no, presumably it wouldn't include: "The arminians are right". The taunt about denominations is just that. Theologians aren't so crass as to claim divine testimony for every controversial theory they construct - they generally realize that much of their work is trying to explain and interpret divine revelation - which involves mostly or entirely the operation of *other* human cognitive faculties. That you can "imagine" such lazy appeals to experience isn't terribly relevant. In any case, if Plantinga's right, Christian divisiveness would be explain by other factors, not God's falling down on the job. :-)

Dale said...

"I think the inner witness of the Holy Spirit amounts to somebody saying to himself 'Hey, what that guy said on the TV sounds right to me'"

As Plantinga explains, that IS the phenomenology of it. But, what's going on, on this theory, is more than something in the believer's head, as I briefly related above.

Why is he not disturbed by the simplicity of this exp? Because he knows that all our basic cognitive faculties are like that : perception, memory, testimony, the ability to "see" mathematical truths, etc. You have an exp, and suddenly, something just seems true. In the absence of defeaters, we reasonably hold on to these beliefs.

John W. Loftus said...

I just ordered Plantinga's book, so I'll know what he says when I get it.

Plantinga calls the content "the great things of the gospel". It would include things like "God exists", "God has forgiven and accepted me", or "God is the (ultimate) author of the Bible."

Before this content can be understood we have to fill in the details. For instance, to say "God exists" does not say anything about this God and might even be consistent with panentheism. And to say "God is the ultimate author of the Bible" doesn't say whether one should be conservative or liberal, and you know conservatives do not think liberals are going to heaven.

John W. Loftus said...

"I think the inner witness of the Holy Spirit amounts to somebody saying to himself 'Hey, what that guy said on the TV sounds right to me'"

Hmmm. Have you heard the TV preachers lately? I suspect the reason why someone might think this has more to do with background factors than any inner witness. And how do you know which person had the true witness about such things when two disagree? Defeaters? I suspect reason is used to defend what someone already believes. Just try to convince someone they are wrong about an experience and you'll see what I mean. We are not logic machines. How we use logic and reason in evaluating the potential "defeaters" is person oriented, and no match for a personal experience.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Dale,
I am not very scholarly, or well versed in theology or philosophy, but I know an unwarranted assumption when I see one.
a natural faculty of belief formation that we all have, but which is damaged or inoperative apart from God's action, due to sin.
This depends on multiple unfalisifiable, unverifiable factors such as the following.
1. Does god exist.
2. is it the god of the bible.
3. is the bible accurate in its descriptions of god and the holy spirit (which is disputed among christians).
4. Does this sin thing extend to affect the belief system.
5. If it does what other systems does it extend to that may undermine the assumption that belief is flawed and can only be rectified through god. There may be other factors that would affect it in any case.

When you don't understand all the factors that you use as a premise, the argument is weak and speculative.

At least from the neutral non-beleiver position, if we start with the presumption that we need data to form principles to form warrants to form conclusions, then we can point to this or that which supports our reasoning to conclusion. For example we say that we have no reason to believe in the supernatural because the data and principles are stronger to weaken the presumption of the supernatural. Until some reasonably sound data or evidence pops up to show the the supernatural is likely, we are warranted in not presuming it.

Good luck with that damaged or inoperative belief thing. Do you think that consulting a psychologist, psychiatrist or neurologist would be relevant in assessing properties of belief?

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Dale,
upon further reflection I'd like to rephrase
a natural faculty of belief formation that we all have, but which is damaged or inoperative apart from God's action, due to sin.
to the following.
a natural faculty of belief formation that we all have, but which seems to be damaged or inoperative with regards to God's action, due to principles of reasoning.

Steven Carr said...

'Plantinga calls the content "the great things of the gospel". It would include things like "God exists", "God has forgiven and accepted me", or "God is the (ultimate) author of the Bible." '

CARR
Plantinga never lists what these 'great things of the Gospel' are, that are properly basic beliefs.

Just amazing!

Former_Fundy said...

In fairness to Craig or others who hold the inner witness of the Spirit idea, the Scripture only seems to teach that this witness assures one that he/she is a child of God. It does not extend to what doctrines are right, etc.

Romans 8:16: "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." NIV

exapologist said...

Dale and Steven have got their fingers on the key issue.

Steven raises, basically, (what's known in the literature on Reformed Epistemology as) the Great Pumpkin Objection and the Son of Great Pumpkin Objection. According to the Great Pumpkin Objection, Plantinga's epistemology entails a nasty arbitrariness as to what sorts of beliefs can count as properly basic (i,.e., rational yet non-propositionally supported).

Dale then rightly points Plantinga's replies: Plantinga's account doesn't entail that just any old belief, or class of beliefs, can count as properly basic, for:

(i) They must have a ground or set of triggering-conditions (e.g., looking up in the starry sky, having a contrite, searching heart, etc.)

(ii) epistemic communities generate criteria of proper basicaliy in the way Chisholmian particularists do, viz., thinking about particular beliefs and whether they strike one as rational, and then framing hypotheses as to which classes of beliefs are properly basic. And while it's true that different epistemic communities may well have different hypotheses about what classes of beliefs, but that's just life in philosophy. At any rate, each community is responsible to their own criteria of proper basicality, and so the christian won't countenance Steven's "Knightley loves me" belief as properly basic; and they'll reject it on principled grounds (it doesn't satisfy their community's particularistically-generated criteria of proper basicality, which in turn were generated in the appropriate way.

Steven then replies with the Son of Great Pumpkin objection, which is that, while it may be that each community has their own criteria of proper basicality, and these have been generated in the proper (broadly Chisholmian particularist) way, the general broadly Chisholmian particularist picture of proper basicality is *itself* implausible, since it allows for this community-relative rationality.

Dale then comes back with Plantinga's reply from Warranted Christian Belief, which is, roughly, that only externalist theories of warrant are tenable, and externalism about warrant entails that a belief may be warranted as long as it arises from a reliable source, even if one has no idea whether that source is reliable. But if so, then as long as, say, the belief that the Great Truths of the Gospel arose from a reliable source, they're warranted. And if they did, and if the basic beliefs of other epistemic communities are not generated from reliable sources, then *their* basic beliefs are *not* warranted. Now we may not be able to tell, via argument, which community, if any has the reiably generated, and thus warrented, basic beliefs. But that doesn't cut any ice one way or the other. All that matters is whether the Christian's basic beliefs are generated by a reliable source.

My own view is that Plantinga's proper function epistemology, upon which his account is based, admits of counterexamples, (and these are well-known in the literature). But at any rate, I'm happy to grant Plantinga all of the points above: re his replies to Great Pumpkin and Son of Great Pumpkin. But that's not very interesting. Plantinga himself admits at the very end of Warranted Christian Belief that he doesn't know, and probably *can't* know (in the internalist sense) whether basic Christian beliefs are generated by a reliable source, and thus can't know (in the internalist sense) whether Christian beliefs formed in this way are warranted. All one can know, at best, is the *conditional* claim that *if* Christianity is true, and thus the beliefs are formed from a reliable source, *then* christian beliefs formed in this way are warranted. And of course, the appropriate response to that is "big deal". I knew that before I read WCB.

Steve said...

Here is the crux of the matter - Craig answers in the way that he decides things, based on faith, and you answer with your manner of decision, rationalism.

Now one can say that rationalism is better than just accepting things by faith, because at first, rationalism can be demonstrated simply, however when answering questions which are beyond the magnitude of rationalism (things that cannot be observed or studied through science, etc.) one is forced at some point to make a decision based on faith.

Practically speaking nobody can actually know anything for certain, so though I may disagree with Craig on some points, I agree with him on this: One must go with their experience and knowledge (both subjective) when living life - you cannot suspend judgment until you know for certain.

For instance, a problem I have always had with atheism is this: What about honest to goodness inexplicable events? There are many in this world, and science cannot explain them, however there are many reasonable explanations that come from belief.

I do however dislike that Craig thinks that history confirms the validity of the Bible, since historical "fact" is merely the opinion of whoever is looking at it.

Steve

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Steve,
For instance, a problem I have always had with atheism is this: What about honest to goodness inexplicable events? There are many in this world, and science cannot explain them, however there are many reasonable explanations that come from belief.
reasonable explanations about what that come from belief? I'd like a couple of examples please.

John W. Loftus said...

Thanks for the discussion, everyone.

FF: In fairness to Craig or others who hold the inner witness of the Spirit idea, the Scripture only seems to teach that this witness assures one that he/she is a child of God. It does not extend to what doctrines are right, etc.

Thus echoing the poet Paul quoted who said, "we are his offspring"? (Acts 17:28) Surely Paul's point had some content to it besides this, since even polytheistic pagans believed the same thing. Craig is arguing for an inner witness of the third person of the trinity for something more than that. And when Craig spells this out, he must provide the content to what it means to be a "child" of the kind of "God" he believes in, how one becomes a child of this God, where one can learn additional information about this God, and what he must think of the authority of that source of information, I would argue.

Steve said...

Lee, I have found a couple of reasonable (or what I would consider reasonable, I use the word in a broad sense) answers in modern paganism/wicca - especially in the idea that the gods and goddesses of all cultures are really just different aspects of an infinite spiritual force, that manifests itself through the universe. Also, Karma and reincarnation are very good explanations for the Problem of Evil.