Do Theodicists Mean What They Say?

Philosophy 49 (190):357 - 374 (1974)
Many theodicists have maintained that God is justified in permitting suffering on the ground that His doing so is a necessary condition of the realization of certain intrinsically valuable ends which the suffering serves and whose value outweighs the suffering which occasions them. Examples of ends which are frequently cited in this connection are freely chosen actions in accordance with stringent obligations to be charitable and steadfast. To say that the value of these ends outweighs the suffering which gives rise to them is to say that the existence both of these ends and of suffering is better than the non-existence of both
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