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Andrea M. Weisberger

During her brief academic career, Andrea M. Weisberger taught at Vanderbilt University, Tennessee State University, Jacksonville University and University of North Florida. She received her Ph. D in philosophy from Vanderbilt University. She currently teaches online courses in her spare time for the University of North Florida.

Andrea was Chair of the Philosophy & Religion program at Jacksonville University from 1991-1998.

She was evicted from academe most inhospitably after complaining about being told that she, as well as a candidate being interviewed for a position at the moment, had "Jewish germs" by another faculty member. After voicing concern about a number of anti-Semitic incidents at Jacksonville University, she was asked to leave.

Although she brought charges against the university for discrimination, a federal judge ruled that she had no standing to bring a case based on anti-Semitism since she was an atheist and, therefore--the judge reasoned--could not possibly be a Jew. She is probably the first (and only) person in the US who was legally stripped of an ethnic identity based on a lack of religious belief.

After repeated failed attempts at learning to appreciate white bread and mayonnaise, and filing a brief, the federal judge reversed his decision and allowed Andrea to once again join the ranks of the Jews. The case was eventually settled and, after the lawyers were compensated, she received a bit less than the two years salary she had lost while fighting the discrimination. Since Andrea was successfully litigious, no other academic institution has risked hiring her on a full time basis.

Her specializations were in philosophy of religion and theoretical and applied ethics, and she remains most passionate about the issue of preventing animal suffering and the establishment of animal rights. She also created and taught courses in epistemology, Asian thought, Holocaust studies and comparative religion.

Published on the Secular Web

Modern Library

Andrea Weisberger Pollution

Several contemporary philosophers of religion have offered 'solutions' the problem of evil which insist that the world would actually be worse off than it currently is if there were no evil in it. Although John Hick's soul-making theodicy is the most prominent example of such a solution, Clement Dore has recently offered a theodicy that Weisberger dubs "the pollution solution." According to this response, evil is a necessary consequence of the 'polluting' natural machinery of the world. But as Weisberger points out, Dore fails to answer the critical question: Why couldn't God have created "nonpolluting" natural machinery? On the face of it, there is no reason to believe that such a world is logically impossible, and Dore offers no evidence to the contrary.

Andrea Weisberger Depravity

A popular response to the problem of evil contends that there is a necessary connection between free will and the existence of moral (or human-caused) evil. Alvin Plantinga, for instance, has advanced a concept of "transworld depravity"--essentially the idea that in any possible world where a given person has substantial free will, that person will necessarily commit at least one immoral act. In criticizing Plantinga's notion of transworld depravity, Clement Dore offers an alternative solution. But Weisberger argues that Dore's solution also fails because the existence of free will in no way necessitates either the human capacity to act wrongly or the excessive amount of moral evil we actually find in the world. Weisberger concludes that the free will defense utterly fails to undermine the argument from evil.