Theism as theory and the problem of evil

Topoi 14 (2):135-148 (1995)
Abstract
Theism is a metaphysical theory. But the typical adherent of a theistic religion does not hold theism as a theory, even though she is committed to various propositions that could enter into such a theory. Attention is given to the kind of theory theism is, when it is a theory. As far as religion is concerned, the main importance of the question as to whether theism is a theory concerns the issue as to whether the success of theism as a theory is relevant to the justifiability of the beliefs of a theistic religion. I argue that there is such a relevance. But whether, more specifically, such beliefs are unjustified unless theism can provide an adequate explanation of evil depends on whether theism is responsible for providing such an explanation. I argue that it is not
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