Skeptical theism and the problem of moral aporia

Skeptical theism seeks to defend theism against the problem of evil by invoking putatively reasonable skepticism concerning human epistemic limitations in order to establish that we have no epistemological basis from which to judge that apparently gratuitous evils are not in fact justified by morally sufficient reasons beyond our ken. This paper contributes to the set of distinctively practical criticisms of skeptical theism by arguing that religious believers who accept skeptical theism and take its practical implications seriously will be forced into a position of paralysis or "aporia" when faced with a wide set of morally significant situations. It is argued that this consequence speaks strongly against the acceptance of skeptical theism insofar as such moral "aporia" is inconsistent with religious moral teaching and practice. In addition, a variety of arguments designed to show that accepting skeptical theism does not lead to this consequence are considered, and shown to be deficient
Keywords Bergmann, Michael  God  Evil  Evil ,Problem of  Practice, religious  Rowe, William  Theism  Theism, skeptical
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/27646230
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,658
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
William L. Rowe (1979). The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism. American Philosophical Quarterly 16 (4):335 - 341.
Stephen J. Wykstra (1996). Rowe's Noseeum Arguments From Evil. In Daniel Howard-Snyder (ed.), The Evidential Argument From Evil. Indiana University Press 126--50.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Justin P. McBrayer (2010). Skeptical Theism. Philosophy Compass 5 (7):611-623.
Stephen Maitzen (2009). Skeptical Theism and Moral Obligation. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 65 (2):93 - 103.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

43 ( #78,165 of 1,725,989 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

14 ( #49,984 of 1,725,989 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.