Might God have reasons for not preventing evils?
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Virtually all monotheistic religions profess that there is a divine being who is extremely powerful, knowledgeable, and good. The evils of this world present various challenges for such religions. The starkest challenge is directed toward views that posit a being whose power, knowledge, and goodness are not just immense, but are as great as can be: an omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good being (for short, an oopg being). For it would seem that such a being would have the power, the knowledge, and the moral disposition to prevent any evil whatsoever, and from this one might readily conclude that if there were such a being, there would be no evil at all. On one version of this challenge, the coexistence of evil with a God defined in this way is claimed to be logically impossible. This has come to be called the logical problem of evil. Another is that the existence of such a God is improbable given the evils of this world, or at least that the existence of these evils significantly lowers the probability that such an oopg God exists. The concern expressed is that these evils provide good evidence against the existence of such a God. This version is known as the evidential problem of evil.
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