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Paul Draper (born 1957) is an American philosopher, most known for his work in the philosophy of religion. His work on the evidential argument from evil has been widely influential. He is currently a professor at Purdue University.

He studied at the University of California, graduating B.A. in 1979, M.A. in 1982 and Ph.D. in 1985. He taught philosophy at Florida International University between 1987 and 2006, when he moved to Purdue University.[1]

Paul Draper was editor of the academic journal Philo from 2007 to 2012. His philosophical inquiry is focused on issues in the philosophy of religion;[2] he has written extensively on the problem of evil, including the argument that the process of natural selection is sufficiently brutal so as to pose a problem for those who believe in an omnipotent and morally good creator.[3] In 1997, he debated Christian philosopher William Lane Craig over the existence of God.[4] He has edited a debate collection called God or Blind Nature? Philosophers Debate the Evidence, released as an e-book in 2007.[5]

One of Draper's influential and widely-reprinted papers is "Pain and Pleasure: An Evidential Problem for Theists",[6] published in the journal Noûs in 1989.[7] In it, Draper proposes a modification and extension of the "problem of evil" argument. Instead of claiming that the existence of evil logically contradicts theism, he argues that the "hypothesis of indifference", which holds that should supernatural beings exist, they are indifferent to our suffering, better explains the existence of suffering. Since the hypothesis of indifference is logically incompatible with theism, he considers this an evidentiary problem for theism. The paper relies significantly on the use of epistemic probabilities, equivalent to those used in Bayesian reasoning. He is also responsible for first formulating "skeptical theism."

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ CV, Purdue University site.
  2. ^ "Paul Draper, Professor". Philosopher Compass. Blackwell publishing. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  3. ^ Draper, Paul. "Natural Selection and the Problem of Evil". The Great Debate. Internet Infidels. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  4. ^ The Existence of God: William Lane Craig vs Paul Draper U.S. Military Academy at West Point. September 30, 1997.
  5. ^ Paul Draper (editor). "God or Blind Nature? Philosophers Debate the Evidence". Internet Infidels. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  6. ^ Lowder, Jeffrey Jay. "The Biological Role of Pain and Pleasure". Internet infidels. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  7. ^ Draper, Paul (June 1989). "Pain and Pleasure: An Evidential Problem for Theists". Noûs 23 (3): 331–350. doi:10.2307/2215486. JSTOR 2215486. 

External links[edit]

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1682 videos foundNext > 

The Existence of God - William Lane Craig vs. Paul Draper

Date: September 30, 1997 Location: U.S. Military Academy at West Point Christian debater: William Lane Craig Atheist debater: Paul Draper For William Lane Cr...

Paul Draper - The Future of Naturalism Interview

Recorded at the Future of Naturalism conference at the Center for Inquiry. ©2007 Center for Inquiry, Inc.

TEDxSunRiver - Paul Draper - Observing Things for the First Time

A great understanding of people combined with a rich performance background has led Paul Draper to a multi-faceted career as an anthropologist, mentalist, an...

Paul Draper's Case for Naturalism

This is the bulk of Paul Draper's opening statement from a 1997 debate with William Lane Craig. This video was produced from an audio-only original (which is...

Paul Draper's Critique of the Kalam Cosmological Argument

discussion about William Lane Craig's kalam cosmological argument and Paul Drapers critique of it.

William Lane Craig vs. Paul Draper (The Existence of God) Part 4


William Lane Craig vs. Paul Draper (Existence of God) Part 1

Arguing about the age-old question. Other Parts Will Be Added As Well As More Debates Surrounding Biblical Matters, Evolution, Christianity, etc. Enjoy.


Narrated by winemaker Paul Draper, a description of the history and winemaking philosophy of Ridge Vineyards.

j_Lytton Springs Wine

Narrated by winemaker Paul Draper, a description of the history and winemaking philosophy of Ridge Vineyards.

My Ways Are Not Your Ways Panel Discussion Part 3

Gary Anderson, Paul Draper, Daniel Howard-Snyder My Ways Are Not Your Ways conference September 10-12, 2009 University of Notre Dame.

1682 videos foundNext > 

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