God, Evil and Justice by Dr. Paul Copan

The following talk was given at Boston College Law School on March 19th, 2012, through a partnership between the Christian Legal Society and Telos Ministries. We are grateful for the partial funding provided for the event by Tactical Faith!

Evil and Justice

Boston College Law School

Paul Copan (www.paulcopan.com)  

19 March 2012

I’m a philosophy professor speaking to lawyers or aspiring lawyers.  I’m aware that lawyers don’t have the best of reputations—although I trust that you all will be a credit to your profession.  Not that philosophers have that terrific a reputation either!  I came across one joke: Why are philosophers buried twelve feet under rather than six feet under? Because deep down they’re really good people.

Consider what others have said about philosophers:

H.L. Mencken: “Philosophy consists largely of one philosopher arguing that all the others are jackasses. He usually proves it, and I should add that he usually proves that he is one himself.”

Voltaire: “When he who hears doesn’t know what he who speaks means, and when he who speaks doesn’t know what he himself means–that is philosophy.”


While traveling to Switzerland about ten or so years ago, I met a lawyer from Zurich with whom I struck up a conversation.  Eventually we started talking about justice and law.  I asked him: Do you believe that there is ultimately justice beyond the law (as the Nuremburg trials emphasized), or is the law simply justice as any culture sees it?  He said:  Justice is relative to the culture in which it is carried out, and I don’t believe there is any right or wrong, good or evil, beyond this.  I appreciated his honesty—though frightened by the implications.

Another honest lawyer was the late Arthur Allen Leff (d. 1981) who taught at Yale Law School.  He frankly described ethics and justice when God is excluded. An atheist, Leff desperately wanted to believe two things—first, that humans could uncover authoritative rules for life and, second, that humans are wholly free.  Lacking God, Leff believed, human beings don’t have access to authoritative rules. And, he admitted, we are left with complete arbitrariness. To any human moral pronouncement, we can respond, “Sez who?”

Leff concluded one lecture by recounting quite openly the arbitrariness of morality without God:

it looks as if we are all we have. Given what we know about ourselves and each other, this is an extraordinarily unappetizing prospect; looking around us, it appears that if all men are brothers, the ruling model is Cain and Abel. Neither reason, nor love, nor even terror, seems to have worked to make us “good,” and worse than that, there is no reason why anything should. Only if ethics were something unspeakable by us, could law be unnatural, and therefore unchallengeable. As things now stand, everything is up for grabs.


Napalming babies is bad.

Starving the poor is wicked.

Buying and selling each other is depraved.

Those who stood up to and died resisting Hitler, Stalin, Amin, and Pol Pot–and General Custer, too–have earned salvation.

Those who acquiesced deserve to be damned.

There is in the world such a thing as evil.

[All together now:] Sez who?

God help us.[1]

Leff brings two things to the fore:  the undeniable reality of evil and irrepressible longing for justice.  He also illustrates how naturalism won’t help us achieve justice since justice is merely the expression of survival and reproduction.

In my talk on “Evil and Justice,” I’ll attempt to do three things:

  1. Discuss the fundamental realities of evil and our belief in and passion for justice.
  2. I’ll present the case that naturalism or non-theistic worldviews cannot make adequate sense of evil and our belief in and passion for justice.
  3. A personal God, who has endowed humans with dignity and worth, is the source of moral goodness as well as our hope for making sense of both evil and the pursuit of justice.

1. Evil and the Pursuit of Justice

First, we should get something of a handle on our terms. What is evil?  What is justice?  We use the terms quite freely, but we have an intuitive or rough sense of what these mean.


Evil is a problem both in the world around us as well as within us.

(1) At a fundamental level, we can understand evil to be a departure from the way things ought to be: We think of apartheid in South Africa, the Hutus’ slaughter of hundreds of thousands in Rwanda, the murder of over 70 million Chinese under Mao Tse-tung, 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis, Stalin’s purges massacring over 20 million.

It’s easy to lose sight of individuals when we look at such large numbers.  One individual who died because of Stalin’s purges was my grandfather in the Ukraine.  He died of starvation as a result of living in a labor camp—this after Communist radicals seized his home and confiscated all his belongings and sent my grandmother, father, and uncle to live in an abandoned village in the dead of winter.

A more recent example: In 2006, a fifteen-year-old Syrian girl named Zahra al-Azzo was abducted and raped.  Afterwards, she was kept under police protection, as it was thought that members of her own family might undertake an “honor killing” Sure enough, her brother sought, not to avenge the rapist, but to kill his sister. Why?  She had “dishonored” the family name by losing her virginity. To restore her honor and virtue, Zahra’s twenty-seven-year old cousin, Fawaz, willingly married her.  But according to Zahra’s brother, this still did not “wash away the shame.”  Ten months after her abduction and a month after her wedding, her brother Fayyaz slipped into Zahra’s apartment after her husband left for work and brutally stabbed her in the head and neck five times.  This murder was one of approximately 300 that take place in Syria each year, where honor killings are not considered murder, and perpetrators are released within months.[2]  Is this evil just something cultural, or is it an affront to right-thinking humans?

We take for granted that at a deep level, something’s wrong with the world.

(2) What’s worse, it’s not only out there, but there’s something wrong with our own condition. 

While in prison, Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn reflected on his own experience in a Soviet labor camp.

Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. Even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained; and even in the best of all hearts, there remains…an unuprooted small corner of evil.[3]

Solzhenitsyn admitted that being in a labor camp showed him how easily he could have engaged in what the camp guards did if the tables had been turned.

Confronted by the pit into which we are about to toss those who have done us harm, we halt, stricken dumb: it is after all only because of the way things worked out that they were the executioners and we weren’t….[4]

Likewise, concentration camp survivor Elie Wiesel wrote of his experience with human nature at Auschwitz, “Deep down… man is not only an executioner, not only a victim, not only a spectator: he is all three at once.”[5]

Solzhenitsyn and Wiesel stared into the pit of evil. Something was terribly wrong with the world—both outside and within.  They realized how evil is a departure from the way things ought to be in the recesses of one’s individual life.   We find ourselves needing some kind of redemption; we need rescue—some assistance from beyond ourselves.


What about justice?  The Christian writer C.S. Lewis said that behind many of our everyday disagreements is the assumption of duties owed to others, that people deserve to be treated with a sense of fairness. Justice calls for giving persons their due and for acknowledging their intrinsic dignity.  We say:

  • “How’d you like it if anyone did the same to you?”
  • “Why should you shove in first?”
  • “Give me a bit of your orange, I gave you a bit of mine”
  • “Come on, you promised.”
  • “That’s my seat, I was there first”
  • “Leave him alone, he isn’t doing you any harm”[6]

Some might say, “Well, that’s just how WE operate in our culture, but people in other cultures have altogether different moralities.”  As C. S. Lewis has pointed out, law codes across civilizations and throughout history (Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, Ancient Indian, Chinese, etc.) reveal a continual resurfacing of the same basic moral standards—do not murder, commit adultery, break promises, take another’s property, bear false testimony, or defraud.[7]

Justice involves giving persons their due, what is owed them—whether negatively or positively.  We are outraged at tyrannies, dictators, racism.  We cheer in movies when the good guys win, when bullies are stopped, when the Fellowship of the Ring is successful in overthrowing the evil power of Sauron.  We seek to bring change when human rights are violated—when young girls are abducted and sold into prostitution by their own relatives, when husbands abuse their wives by routinely beating them.

In our best moments, we hear echoes of justice—that things need to be set right.  In fact, our recognition of evil assumes that a sense of justice.  Things are not what they ought to be, and justice is putting things right—the way that they ought to be, giving persons their due, setting things straight.  Even if our laws don’t get things right, we press for changes in the law precisely because we want to see justice done.

2. The Inadequacy of Naturalism and Non-theistic Worldviews to Account for Evil and a Passion for Justice

Harvard sociobiologist E.O. Wilson puts it this way:  we have only two alternatives, two sources of moral values like human rights or moral duties—either the empirical realm (of nature) or the transcendental realm (something beyond nature and independent of human beings.  Wilson sides with the empiricist view, but he noted in the Atlantic Monthly back in1998 that this debate will be “the coming century’s version of the struggle for men’s souls.”

Yet can this natural world of matter and blind forces make sense of evil and the cry for justice?  The atheist Richard Dawkins lays out the naturalistic perspective:

 If the universe were just electrons and selfish genes, meaningless tragedies . . . are exactly what we should expect, along with equally meaningless good fortune.  Such a universe would be neither evil nor good in intention….The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.[8]

Richard Dawkins acknowledges: “Science has no methods for deciding what is ethical. That is a matter for individuals and for society. . . . Science cannot tell you whether abortion is wrong.”[9]  Despite this, he claimed in a BBC documentary that religion is the root of all evil.  How can we call anything genuinely evil if we live in the world Dawkins describes?  Science can’t tell Dawkins if any practice is right or wrong.

I myself had the opportunity to ask Richard Dawkins about his worldview in at Nova Southeastern University in February 2012.  There I was—the first one in line during the Q&A after his lecture.  I asked Dawkins how he could claim that the naturalist id rationally superior to the theist since, according to his book River Out of Eden, all of us are dancing to the music of our DNA.  Our beliefs are the product of non-rational, deterministic physical forces beyond our control—whether we’re theists or naturalists.  In fact, if the naturalist is right, it’s only by accident—not because he’s more intellectually virtuous than the theist.  That is, the naturalist has accidental true belief (which is not knowledge) rather than warranted true belief (which is knowledge).  Dawkins replied that the naturalist is more rational because “science works.”  To top off his answer to me (without addressing how to ground rationality), Dawkins dismissively quipped that science flies rockets to the moon while religion flies planes into buildings. Of course, if he’s right, then the terrorists who flew plans into buildings were dancing to the music of their DNA.

This was really just bluster though.  Indeed, in an interview with Justin Breierly on Premiere Radio in the UK, Dawkins was forced to admit that the practice of rape would be an adaptation just like having five fingers instead of six (“You could say that, yeah”).[10]   For Dawkins, any acts of racism, ethnocentrism, or terrorism would be arbitrary.  Our criticism of brutal Nazi or Communist regimes that killed millions would be as unfounded as their criticisms of Western democracy.

Atheist philosopher Patricia Churchland said that as biological beings, we’re not hardwired to seek truth; rather we’re fundamentally hardwired by deterministic, materialistic forces to survive—what she calls the four “Fs”: “Boiled down to its essentials, a nervous system enables the organism to succeed in the four F’s: feeding, fleeing, fighting, and reproducing….Truth, whatever that is, definitely takes the hindmost.”[11]

Randy Thornhill and Craig Palmer(a biologist and an anthropologist) wrote that have claimed that rape can be explained biologically—naturalistically:  When a male can’t find a mate, he is driven by the subconscious drive to survive and reproduce to force himself upon a female.  Rape is as natural as granola.  In a radio interview, Thornhill said, “[Rape] is a natural phenomenon that is a product of the human evolutionary heritage” comparable to “the leopard’s spots and the giraffe’s elongated neck.”[12]

Usually, the argument from evil is used against believers in God as indicating God must not exist.  I must say that, emotionally, this is the atheist’s strongest argument.  But I say, if you get rid of God, I don’t know how to make sense of evil.  This was the experience of C.S. Lewis when he was an atheist.

My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust.  But how had I got this idea of just and unjust?  A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.  What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? . . . . Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist—in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless—I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality—namely my idea of justice—was full of sense.[13]

Lewis realized that evil is a departure from the way things ought to be.  This assumed a kind of design plan.  After all, if nature is all there is, why ought things be different than the way they really are?  How do we move from is to ought?  If there is at bottom no evil, then our pursuit of justice makes no sense.

The same problem is true for many Eastern religious/philosophical traditions—like the advaita vedanta or non-dualistic version of Hinduism in which evil is just an illusion.  I remember reading Arthur Koestler’s book The Lotus and the Robot about a master from the Zen tradition at the International House of Tokyo (IHOT, not IHOP!) who called Hitler “very silly” when asked about whether those creating gas chambers for Jews were evil.  He refused to call them “evil.” In his estimation, evil is “a Christian concept.  Good and evil exist only on a relative scale.”[14]

If you get rid of a good, personal Creator, then the denials about good and evil by Dawkins or the IHOT scholar aren’t surprising.  To get rid of God because of evil only multiplies your problems.

If we remain in the empirical realm, as E.O. Wilson suggests, then we are left without the resources to make sense of evil and justice (as in the case of rape).  I would argue that the transcendent realm is where we need to look.

3. A Good, Personal Creator as the Source of Goodness and the Hope for Making Sense of Evil and Justice

The philosopher Alvin Plantinga points out that the theistic argument from evil is “at least as strong as the antitheistic argument from evil.”  Plantinga elaborates:

could there really be any such thing as horrifying wickedness if naturalism were true?  I don’t see how.  A naturalistic way of looking at the world, so it seems to me, has no place for genuine moral obligation of any sort; a fortiori [all the more], then, it has no place for such a category as horrifying wickedness. . . . [The problem is one of understanding] how, in a naturalistic universe, there could be such a thing as genuine and appalling wickedness.  There can be such a thing only if there is a way rational creatures are supposed to live, obliged to live; and the force of that normativity—its strength, so to speak—is such that the appalling and horrifying nature of genuine wickedness is its inverse.  But naturalism cannot make room for that kind of normativity; that requires a lawgiver, one whose very nature it is to abhor wickedness.  Naturalism can perhaps accommodate foolishness and irrationality, acting contrary to what are or what you take to be your own interests; it can’t accommodate appalling wickedness.  Accordingly, if you think there really is such a thing as horrifying wickedness (that our sense that there is, is not a mere illusion of some sort), and if you also think that the main options are theism and naturalism, then you have a powerful theistic argument from evil.[15]

Every worldview must grapple with the problem of evil and injustice, but some will address this only partially or not at all.  Naturalism or versions of non-theism will not succeed in doing so.  By contrast, on theism, a personal God, who has endowed humans with dignity and worth and rights, is the source of moral goodness as well as our hope for making sense of both evil and the pursuit of justice.

In the Christian worldview, more specifically, God doesn’t remain distant and removed from evil; God actually enters into our world of evil, suffering, and injustice in the person of Jesus Christ.  He comes, standing in the place of God, befriending the marginalized, healing the sick, proclaiming hope for those who turn from their dead-end ways to follow him.  Jesus dies naked on a cross, rises from the dead to prove his claims true, and promises to return to right all wrongs and to bring about a new creation in which there is no more injustice or evil. 



Quite apart from theism’s metaphysical remarkable wherewithal to ground human dignity and human rights over non-theistic alternatives, the Jewish-Christian worldview has, as a matter of historical fact, profoundly shaped human rights discourse (not to mention the rise of science) in the West:  these have “rested entirely on religious foundations, and the people who brought it about were devout Christians.”[16]

Professor Jürgen Habermas is not only one of Europe’s most prominent philosophers, but he is an outspoken atheist as well.  Yet he acknowledges this inescapable fact of the profound debt human rights discourse today owes to the biblical worldview:

Christianity has functioned for the normative self-understanding of modernity as more than just a precursor or a catalyst. Egalitarian universalism, from which sprang the ideas of freedom and a social solidarity, of an autonomous conduct of life and emancipation, the individual morality of conscience, human rights, and democracy, is the direct heir to the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love.  This legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of continual critical appropriation and reinterpretation.  To this day, there is no alternative to it.  And in light of current challenges of a postnational constellation, we continue to draw on the substance of this heritage.  Everything else is just idle postmodern talk. [17]

Likewise, the postmodern thinker, deconstructionist Jacques Derrida made this shocking affirmation about the influence of the Christian faith in this regard:

Today the cornerstone of international law is the sacred, what is sacred in humanity. You should not kill. You should not be responsible for a crime against the sacredness, the sacredness of man as your neighbor… made by God or by God made man…. in that sense, the concept of crime against humanity is a Christian concept and I think there would be no such thing in the loft today without the Christian heritage, the Abrahamic heritage, the biblical heritage.[18]

Indeed, in the words of human rights scholar M. Stackhouse, “intellectual honesty demands recognition of the fact that what passes as ‘secular,’ ‘Western’ principles of basic human rights developed nowhere else than out of key strands of the biblically-rooted religion.[19]  As Mary Ann Glendon of Harvard has documented, the chief movers establishing a Universal Declaration on Human Rights of 1948 (which speaks of humans being “endowed with reason and conscience”) were primarily church coalitions and individual Christian leaders who worked closely with some Jewish rabbis to create a “new world order” of human rights.[20]

Even non-Westerners have recognized the remarkable impact of the biblical faith on the West.  TIME magazine’s well-respected correspondent D. Aikman reported the summary of one Chinese scholar’s lecture to a group of eighteen American tourists:

One of the things we were asked to look into was what accounted for the success, in fact, the pre-eminence of the West all over the world,” he said.  “We studied everything we could from the historical, political, economic, and cultural perspective.  At first, we thought it was because you had more powerful guns than we had.  Then we thought it was because you had the best political system.  Next we focused on your economic system.  But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion:  Christianity.  That is why the West has been so powerful.  The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics.  We don’t have any doubt about this.[21]

The speaker he represented one of China’s premier academic research organizations—the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

Such an analysis is not surprising.  In the Christian tradition, believers are called to follow a suffering Savior.  In doing so, they identify with the less-fortunate, disempowered, and suffering.  In his book on the valuable contribution religion makes to society, agnostic political scientist G. Lewy contrasts the mindset of the naturalist and theist in this regard:

adherents of [a naturalistic] ethic are not likely to produce a Dorothy Day or a Mother Teresa.  Many of these people love humanity but not individual human beings with all their failings and shortcomings.  They will be found participating in demonstrations for causes such as nuclear disarmament but not sitting at the bedside of a dying person.  An ethic of moral autonomy and individual rights, so important to secular liberals, is incapable of sustaining and nourishing values such as altruism and self-sacrifice.[22]

Along these lines, the Christian journalist Malcolm Muggeridge wrote that he spend many years in India and Africa, where he witnessed “much righteous endeavor undertaken by Christians of all denominations.”  By contrast, however, “I never, as it happens, came across a hospital or orphanage run by the Fabian Society or a Humanist leper colony.”[23] Even if we still consider such undertakings of self-sacrifice morally praiseworthy and even heroic, they don’t seem to be very biologically advantageous.



From the cradle of biblical theism and its emphasis on human rights, the field of bioethics emerged in early 1960s.  Indeed, the impulse to defend human rights took on greater urgency in light of, say, the Tuskegee syphilis experiments and the Roe v. Wade decision in the early 1970s.  Daniel Callahan, who has been closely associated with the emergence of the modern bioethics movement and is co-founder of the Hastings Center, writes of the theological context which first informed this field.  “When I first became interested in bioethics in the mid-1960s, the only resources were theological or those drawn from within the traditions of medicine, themselves heavily shaped by religion.” [24] Though earlier inspired by theism, more recent bioethical thinking has become more secularized, emphasizing the philosophical and legal rather than the religious and the medical and engaging in “a systematic denial of either a common good or a transcendent individual good.”[25]

Likewise, in A.R. Jonsen’s account of the “birth of bioethics” gives full credit to biblical theism’s influence:

The Judeo-Christian religious tradition, with its strong emphasis on divine commands that enforce respect for the sanctity of life, enhanced the prohibitions of abortion and euthanasia that are obscurely expressed in the [Hippocratic] Oath and prescribed caring compassion for the poor and even enemies.  The literature of medical duty is profoundly marked by these moral traditions. [26]

The ethicist perhaps most closely tied to the founding of modern bioethics was Paul Ramsey (1913-1988), a Methodist professor.  He plainly articulated the source of human value, which is “ultimately grounded in the value God is placing on it.”  Moreover, this value applies equally across the human spectrum, including the very beginning of life:

[M]an is a sacredness in human biological processes no less than he is a sacredness in the human social or political order.  That sacredness is not composed of observable degrees of relative worth.  A life’s sanctity consists not in its worth to anybody.  What life is in and of itself is most clearly to be seen in situations of naked equality of one life with another, and in the situation of congeneric helplessness which is the human condition in the first of life.  No one is ever much more than a fellow fetus.[27]

Truly, the link between biblical theism, human rights, and bioethics is no mere historical accident.  Rather, the metaphysically rich resources of biblical theism—with its emphasis on the divine image and the sanctity of all human life—are credited with providing the suitable worldview context for bioethics.  

Concluding Remarks

Bertrand Russell the atheist philosopher acknowledged that a world without God doesn’t really help us to come to terms with the existence of evil and our passion for justice.  He wrote:

That man is the product of causes that had no prevision of the end they were achieving. That his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves, his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms. That no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling can preserve an individual life beyond the grave. That all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspirations, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of man’s achievements must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins.  All these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation, henceforth, be safely built.[28]

Many of you are involved in law school because we have a passion for justice.  An important question to ask is: Which worldview is best able to anchor our pursuit of justice and to make sense of evil in the world?

The lawyer Arthur Allen Leff recognized that in the absence of God, the moral picture looks bleak.  Yet if God exists, we have the kind of foundation Leff was searching for.  In his book Real Ethics,the philosopher John Rist said : there’s “widely admitted to be a crisis in contemporary Western debate about ethical foundations.”[29]  Our culture increasingly views ethics in relativistic and constructionist terms—ultimately an ethical nihilism.  In contrast to E.O. Wilson, who takes the empirical realm to ground ethics, Rist says that only the transcendental can ground an objective and truly meaningful morality: “unless some sort of transcendental theory of moral values can be defended, it is impossible to identify or adequately to motivate and justify the pursuit of the good life.”[30]  Ironically, the biblical worldview is coming under increasing attack in our culture when it actually offers the kind of foundations needed for such a ground morality.

As I said, ideas have consequences, and this holds true when it comes to the problem of evil and the pursuit of justice.  Indeed, the Christian faith not only provides metaphysical grounding for human rights, moral responsibility, and moral duties—and helps us make sense of evil.  History reveals that the Christian faith has actually helped create the environment for human rights discussion as well as inspiring the discipline of bioethics.  The Christian faith has practical outworkings in the realm of justice and correcting evils.

In closing let me illustrate a bit more specifically. A friend of mine, Thom Wolfe, lives in Delhi told me about a friend of his who grew up in Hinduism—one of the dalits or untouchables who had no status in society. His father used to sweep excrement on the streets, and his father before him—and so on.  This was their karma, they believed.  They were getting in the present life what they had done in the past. This man ended up becoming a follower of Jesus Christ, which transformed him and changed his motivations.  He found forgiveness through the grace of God in Christ—and was no longer weighed down by the burned of karma.  He would eventually work his way up to getting an education at Oxford University—something that Hinduism could never have done for this former “untouchable.”  He told Tom, “Because of Hinduism, I used to ‘sweep sheet’; because of Jesus, I attended Oxford University.”

[1] Arthur Allen Leff, “Unspeakable Ethics, Unnatural Law,” Duke Law Journal 6 (December 1979): 1249.

[2] K. Zoepf, “A Dishonorable Affair,” New York Times (23 September 2007).  URL: <HTTPS://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/23/magazine/23wwln-syria-t.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1>. Accessed 30 January 2010.

[3] Alexandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956, vol. 2, trans. Thomas P. Whitney (New York: Harper Collins, 2007), 312.

[4] Alexandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956, vol. 1, trans. Thomas P. Whitney (New York: Harper Collins, 2007), 168.

[5] Elie Wiesel, The Town Beyond the Wall: A Novel (New York: Schocken, 1995), 163.

[6] C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillan, 1943), 17.

[7]Appendix, C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2001), 83–101.

[8]Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (New York: Basic Books/Harper Collins, 1995),132-33.

[9] Richard Dawkins, A Devil’s Chaplain (Boston: Houghton and Mifflin, 2003), 34.

[10] Interview found at https://web.archive.org/web/20130723082608/http://media.premier.org.uk/misc/4b519ce0-5a9e-4b1d-86ca-8def12ebd5c1.mp3.

[11] Patricia Churchland, “Epistemology in the Age of Neuroscience,” Journal of Philosophy 84 (October 1987): 548-9.

[12] The Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000), 20-28; Randy Thornhill, “Controversial New Theory of Rape in Terms of Evolution and Nature,” National Public Radio, 26 January 2000.

[13] C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillan, 1952), 45-46.

[14] Arthur Koestler, The Lotus and the Robot (New York: Macmillan, 1961), 273-274.  (For the sake of clarity, I have laid out the conversation in a more readable format than Koestler’s account.) Alternatively, in contrast to Shankara’s monism, even if we take Ramanuja’s pantheistic view, in which differences exist with “God” (saguna Brahman), we are left with the acute difficulty of regarding evil as part of the Ultimate Reality.

[15]  Alvin Plantinga, “A Christian Life Partly Lived,” in Philosophers Who Believe, ed. Kelly James Clark (Downers, Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 72, 73

[16] Rodney Stark, The Victory of Reason (New York: Random House, 2005), xi.

[17] Jürgen Habermas, Time of Transitions, ed. and trans. Ciaran Cronin and Max Pensky(Cambridge: Polity, 2006), 150-1.

[18] Derrida affirmed this in a roundtable discussion at a “Religion and Postmodernism” conference at Villanova University in October 1999:  https://web.archive.org/web/20150701175558/http://citation.allacademic.com:80/meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/2/6/5/7/6/pages265765/p265765-21.php

[19] Max Stackhouse, “A Christian Perspective on Human Rights,” Society (January/February 2004): 25.

[20] Mary Ann Glendon, The World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (New York: Random House, 2001).

[21] David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity Is Transforming China and Changing the Global Balance of Power  (Washington, DC: Regnery, 2003), 5.  This quotation serves as an exclamation point to round out Rodney Stark’s study, The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism and Western Success (New York: Random House, 2005), 235.

[22] Guenter Lewy, Why America Needs Religion (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 137.

[23] Malcolm Muggeridge, “Me and Myself” in Jesus Rediscovered (New York: Pyramid Publications, 1969), 157.

[24] Daniel Callahan, “Religion and the Secularization of Bioethics,” Hastings Center Report 20 (1990): 2-4.

[25] Ibid.

[26] A.R. Jonsen, The Birth of Bioethics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 7.

[27] Paul Ramsey, “The Morality of Abortion” in Moral Problems, ed. James Rachels (New York: Harper & Row, 1971), 12-13.

[28] Bertrand Russell, “A Free Man’s Worship,” in Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays (London:  Allen & Unwin, 1963), 41.

[29] John Rist, Real Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 1.

[30] Ibid., 25