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Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God

Cornell University Press (1989)

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  1. Why There Should Be No Argument From Evil: Remarks on Recognition, Antitheodicy, and Impossible Forgiveness.Sami Pihlström - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 78 (4-5):523-536.
    I argue that we should emancipate the problem of evil and suffering from theodicist assumptions that lead to a chronic non-acknowledgment of the sufferers’ experiential point of view. This also entails emancipating the problem of evil and suffering from the need to consider the so-called argument from evil. In the argument ‘from’ evil, evil and suffering are seen as pieces of empirical evidence against theism. This presupposes understanding theism as a hypothesis to be tested in an evidentialist game of argumentation. (...)
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  • If We Can’T Tell What Theism Predicts, We Can’T Tell Whether God Exists: Skeptical Theism and Bayesian Arguments From Evil.Nevin Climenhaga - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion.
    According to a simple Bayesian argument from evil, the evil we observe is less likely given theism than given atheism, and therefore lowers the probability of theism. I consider the most common skeptical theist response to this argument, according to which our cognitive limitations make the probability of evil given theism inscrutable. I argue that if skeptical theists are right about this, then the probability of theism given evil is itself largely inscrutable, and that if this is so, we ought (...)
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  • The Non-Consequentialist Argument From Evil.Justin Mooney - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-17.
    Stringent non-consequentialist constraints on permitting horrendous evils pose a formidable challenge to the project of theodicy by limiting the ways in which it is permissible for God to do or allow evil for the sake of bringing about a greater good. I formulate a general and potent argument against all greater-good theodicies (which includes most theodicies) from the existence of robust side constraints on permitting evil. Then I contend that the argument fails. I begin by distinguishing between side constraints on (...)
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  • Divine Hiddenness and Other Evidence.Charity Anderson & Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2021 - In Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion.
    Many people do not know or believe there is a God, and many experience a sense of divine absence. Are these (and other) “divine hiddenness” facts evidence against the existence of God? Using Bayesian tools, we investigate *evidential arguments from divine hiddenness*, and respond to two objections to such arguments. The first objection says that the problem of hiddenness is just a special case of the problem of evil, and so if one has responded to the problem of evil then (...)
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  • Theory of Compensation and the Problem of Evil; a New Defense.Seyyed Jaaber Mousavirad - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14 (2).
    All previous solutions to the problem of evil have attempted to resolve the issue by showing that God permits them in order for a greater good. However, some contest that there are some instances in which there is no greater good, while in other cases good and evil have been distributed unjustly. I intend, in this paper, to show that if God compensates the harms of evil in the afterlife, any sort of good is enough to resolve the problem of (...)
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  • Theory of Compensation and Problem of Evil; a New Defense.Seyyed Jaaber Mousavirad - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14 (2).
    All previous solutions to the problem of evil have attempted to resolve the issue by showing that God permits them in order for a greater good. However, some contest that there are some instances in which there is no greater good, while in other cases good and evil have been distributed unjustly. I intend, in this paper, to show that if God compensates the harms of evil in the afterlife, any sort of good is enough to resolve the problem of (...)
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  • The Problem of Evil and the Suffering of Creeping Things.Dustin Crummett - 2017 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 82 (1):71-88.
    Even philosophers of religion working on the problem of non-human animal suffering have ignored the suffering of creatures like insects. Sensible as this seems, it’s mistaken. I am not sure whether creatures like these can suffer, but it is plausible, on both commonsensical and scientific and philosophical grounds, that many of them can. If they do, their suffering makes the problem of evil much worse: their vast numbers mean the amount of evil in the world will almost certainly be increased (...)
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  • The Rationality of Faith and the Benefits of Religion.Brian Ballard - 2017 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 81 (1-2):213-227.
    Religions don’t simply make claims about the world; they also offer existential resources, resources for dealing with basic human problems, such as the need for meaning, love, identity, and personal growth. For instance, a Buddhist’s resources for addressing these existential needs are different than a Christian’s. Now, imagine someone who is agnostic but who is deciding whether to put faith in religion A or religion B. Suppose she thinks A and B are evidentially on par, but she regards A as (...)
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  • The Problem of Evil.Michael Tooley - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Philosophy of Religion.Charles Taliaferro - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Philosophy and Christian Theology.Michael Murray - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Many of the doctrines central to Christianity have important philosophical implications or presuppositions. In this article, we begin with a brief general discussion of the relationship between philosophy and Christian dogma, and then we turn our attention to three of the most philosophically challenging Christian doctrines: the trinity, the incarnation, and the atonement. We take these three as our focus because, unlike (for example) doctrines about providence or the attributes of God, these are distinctive to Christian theology and, unlike (for (...)
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  • There’s Something About Mary: Challenges and Prospects for Narrative Theodicy.Jill Graper Hernandez - 2021 - Journal of Analytic Theology 9:26-44.
    This paper explores the constraints of narrative theodicy to account for the misery of the powerless and uses Mary of Bethany as a case study as evaluated through the early modern theodical writings of Mary Astell and Mary Hays. Eleonore Stump has pointed out that Mary of Bethany’s misery is interesting because it is so personal; it results from losing her heart’s desire. But, Mary of Bethany’s case fails as narrative theodicy because it cannot sufficiently demonstrate the power of God (...)
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  • Nowhere Men and Divine I's: Feminist Epistemology, Perfect Being Theism, and the God’s-Eye View.Amber Griffioen - 2021 - Journal of Analytic Theology 9:1-25.
    This paper employs tools and critiques from analytic feminist scholarship in order to show how particular values commonly on display in analytic theology have served both to marginalize certain voices from the realm of analytic theological debate and to reinforce a particular conception of the divine—one which, despite its historical roots, is not inevitable. I claim that a particular conception of what constitutes a “rational, objective, analytic thinker” often displays certain affinities with those infinite or maximal properties that analytic theologians (...)
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  • Five problems for the moral consensus about sins.Mike Ashfield - 2021 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 90 (3):157-189.
    A number of Christian theologians and philosophers have been critical of overly moralizing approaches to the doctrine of sin, but nearly all Christian thinkers maintain that moral fault is necessary or sufficient for sin to obtain. Call this the “Moral Consensus.” I begin by clarifying the relevance of impurities to the biblical cataloguing of sins. I then present four extensional problems for the Moral Consensus on sin, based on the biblical catalogue of sins: (1) moral over-demandingness, (2) agential unfairness, (3) (...)
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  • An Introduction to Thinking About Personal and A-Personal Aspects of the Divine.Simon Kittle & Georg Gasser - 2022 - In Simon Kittle & Georg Gasser (eds.), The Divine Nature. New York: Routledge. pp. 1-20.
  • Overcoming the Limits of Theodicy: An Interactive Reciprocal Response to Evil.John Culp - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (3):263-276.
    Recent criticisms of theodicies express a conflict between theoretical and practical responses to the existence of evil. Theodicies, and defenses, seek to provide a resolution to the question of why there is evil if there is God. In providing an answer, theodicies offer an explanation for evil that responds to the existence of evil in a theoretical manner. In contrast to those theoretical responses, there have been a number of responses to the existence of evil that have emphasized acting against (...)
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  • Horribly Wrong.Stephen S. Bush - 2013 - Journal of Religious Ethics 41 (4):585-600.
    Moral horror is an extreme emotional response to that which violates things we regard as sacred. In Robert Merrihew Adams's view, horror is a response to badness and not to wrongness, and so one could properly regard some actions as horrible but not wrong. In contrast, I argue that horror, when directed toward actions, is only appropriate for wrong actions. The reason is that horror involves moral disgust, and agents who committed a horrible action would have self-disgust, that is, they (...)
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  • The Problem of Natural Evil I: General Theistic Replies.Luke Gelinas - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (3):533-559.
    I examine different strategies involved in stating anti-theistic arguments from natural evil, and consider some theistic replies. There are, traditionally, two main types of arguments from natural evil: those that purport to deduce a contradiction between the existence of natural evil and the existence of God, and those that claim that the existence of certain types or quantities of natural evil significantly lowers the probability that theism is true. After considering peripheral replies, I state four prominent theistic rebutting strategies: skeptical (...)
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  • The Good Cause Account of the Meaning of Life.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):536-562.
    I defend the theory that one's life is meaningful to the extent that one promotes the good. Call this the good cause account (GCA) of the meaning of life. It holds that the good effects that count towards the meaning of one's life need not be intentional. Nor must one be aware of the effects. Nor does it matter whether the same good would have resulted if one had not existed. What matters is that one is causally responsible for the (...)
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  • The Fall of “Augustinian Adam”: Original Fragility and Supralapsarian Purpose.John Schneider - 2012 - Zygon 47 (4):949-969.
    The essay is framed by conflict between Christianity and Darwinian science over the history of the world and the nature of human personhood. Evolutionary science narrates a long prehuman geological and biological history filled with vast amounts, kinds, and distributions of apparently random brutal and pointless suffering. It also strongly suggests that the first modern humans were morally primitive. This science seems to discredit Christianity's common meta-narrative of the Fall, understood as a story of Paradise Lost. The author contends that (...)
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  • Natural Selection and the Problem of Evil: An Evolutionary Model with Application to an Ancient Debate.Robert K. Fleck - 2011 - Zygon 46 (3):561-587.
    Abstract. Since Darwin, scholars have contemplated what our growing understanding of natural selection, combined with the fact that great suffering occurs, allows us to infer about the possibility that a benevolent God created the universe. Building on this long line of thought, I develop a model that illustrates how undesirable characteristics of the world (stylized “evils”) can influence long-run outcomes. More specifically, the model considers an evolutionary process in which each generation faces a risk from a “natural evil” (e.g., predation, (...)
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  • The Mystery of God and the Claim of Reason: Comparative Patterns in Hindu-Christian Theodicy.Ankur Barua - 2021 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 25 (3):259-288.
    In a comparative study of karma theodicy and atonement theodicy, as developed by some Hindu and Christian theologians, this article argues that they present teleological visions where individuals become purged, purified, and perfected in and through their worldly suffering. A karma theodicy operates with the notion that there is some form of proportionality between past evil and present suffering, even if such correlations can only be traced by an enlightened sage or are known to the omniscient God. Christian mystics too (...)
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  • Theodicy on Trial.Daryl Ooi - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-20.
    Moral anti-theodicists have posed a consequentialist argument against the theodical enterprise: that theodicies lead to harmful consequences in reality and that this should be sufficient reason to motivate abandoning the practise of theodicising altogether. In this paper, I examine variants of this argument and discuss several prominent responses from theodicists, including the separation thesis. I argue that while these responses are effective in resisting the global conclusion by the anti-theodicist, it still leaves the theodical enterprise vulnerable to a weaker version (...)
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  • God’s Deontic Perfection.Brian Leftow - 2013 - Res Philosophica 90 (1):69-95.
    I offer part of an account of divine moral perfection. I defend the claim that moral perfection is possible, then argue that God has obligations, so that one part of his moral perfection must be perfection in meeting these. I take up objections to divine obligations, then finally offer a definition of divine deontic perfection.
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  • Two Problems Posed by the Suffering of Animals.Vida Yao - 2019 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 33 (2):324-339.
    ABSTRACT What is the ethical significance of the suffering of nonhuman animals? For many, the answer is simple. Such suffering has clear moral significance: nonhuman animal suffering is suffering, suffering is something bad, and the fact that it is bad gives us reason to alleviate or prevent it. The practical problem that remains is how to do this most efficiently or effectively. I argue that this does not exhaust the ethical significance of certain evils, once we consider how the existence (...)
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  • Silencing Theodicy with Enthusiasm: Aesthetic Experience as a Response to the Problem of Evil in Shaftesbury, Annie Dillard, and the Book of Job.John McAteer - 2016 - Heythrop Journal 57 (5):788-795.
    The problem of evil is not only a logical problem about God's goodness but also an existential problem about the sense of God's presence, which the Biblical book of Job conceives as a problem of aesthetic experience. Thus, just as theism can be grounded in religious experience, atheism can be grounded in experience of evil. This phenomenon is illustrated by two contrasting literary descriptions of aesthetic experience by Jean-Paul Sartre and Annie Dillard. I illuminate both of these literary texts with (...)
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  • Infinite Value and the Best of All Possible Worlds.Nevin Climenhaga - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (2):367-392.
    A common argument for atheism runs as follows: God would not create a world worse than other worlds he could have created instead. However, if God exists, he could have created a better world than this one. Therefore, God does not exist. In this paper I challenge the second premise of this argument. I argue that if God exists, our world will continue without end, with God continuing to create value-bearers, and sustaining and perfecting the value-bearers he has already created. (...)
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  • What the Problem of Evil Properly Entails.I. Neminemus - 2022 - Social Sciences Research Network.
    It is sometimes thought that the Problem of Evil entails the inexistence of God. However, this is not the case: it only entails the inexistence of an omnipotent-benevolent god, of which the God of Classical Theism is an example. As for ‘limited’ deities such as that of process theology, or malevolent deities such as that of dystheism, the problem of evil is not a problem at all.
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  • Heavenly Freedom and Two Models of Character Perfection.Robert J. Hartman - 2021 - Faith and Philosophy 38 (1):45-64.
    Human persons can act with libertarian freedom in heaven according to one prominent view, because they have freely acquired perfect virtue in their pre-heavenly lives such that acting rightly in heaven is volitionally necessary. But since the character of human persons is not perfect at death, how is their character perfected? On the unilateral model, God alone completes the perfection of their character, and, on the cooperative model, God continues to work with them in purgatory to perfect their own character. (...)
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  • Vagueness and the Problem of Evil: A New Reply to van Inwagen.Luis Oliveira - 2021 - Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 44 (4):49-82.
    One of the few points of agreement between most theists and non-theists working on the problem of evil is that the existence of a perfect God is incompatible with the existence of pointless evil. In a series of influential papers, however, Peter van Inwagen has argued that careful attention to the reasoning behind this claim reveals fatal difficulties related to the Sorites Paradox. In this paper, I explain van Inwagen’s appeal to sorites reasoning, distinguish between two different arguments in his (...)
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  • The Problem of Natural Evil II: Hybrid Replies.Luke Gelinas - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (3):560-574.
    I consider two views that combine different elements of general theistic replies to natural evil, those of Peter van Inwagen and William Hasker. I end with a Hasker-style defense – one that, unlike Hasker's, denies the existence of pointless natural evils – and some brief observations on the direction of future debate.
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  • Universalism and the Problem of Hell.Ioanna-Maria Patsalidou - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (11):808-820.
    Christian tradition speaks mainly of two possible post‐mortem human destinies. It holds that those human beings who, in their earthly lives, acted according to God’s will and accepted God’s love will be reconciled to Him in heaven; whereas those who have acted against God’s will and refused His love will be consigned to the everlasting torments of hell. The notion that hell is everlasting and also a place of unending suffering inevitably gives rise to the following question for theists: how (...)
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  • God* Does Not Exist: A Novel Logical Problem of Evil.P. X. Monaghan - 2020 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 88 (2):181-195.
    I often tell my students that the only thing that is not controversial in philosophy is that everything else in it is controversial. While this might be a bit of an exaggeration, it does contain a kernel of truth, as many exaggerations do: philosophy is a highly contentious discipline. So it is remarkable the extent to which there is agreement in the philosophy of religion amongst theists, agnostics, and atheists alike that John Mackie’s argument for atheism is either invalid or (...)
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  • Wherein Lies the Debate? Concerning Whether God is a Person.Ben Page - 2019 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 85 (3):297-317.
    Within contemporary philosophy of religion there are three main ways in which God is conceptualised in relation to personhood:God is a person and so personal. God is non-personal, and so is not a person. God is a personal non-person. The first two of these options will be familiar to many, with held by most contemporary monotheist philosophers of religion and mainly by those who are pantheists., however, is a view some may not have come across, despite its proponents claiming it (...)
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  • On the Concept of Theodicy.Ricardo Silvestre - 2017 - Sophia 56 (2):207-225.
    My purpose in this paper is to clarify or explicate the concept of theodicy. More specifically, I shall provide an account of the concept that takes its logical aspects seriously into consideration as well as satisfies the basic intuitions philosophers of religions have had about it. This shall be done by systematically analysing the several theodical conditions found in the literature. As it shall be seen, these conditions are logically related to one another; collectively, they point not to one, but (...)
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  • The Divine Attributes and Non-Personal Conceptions of God.John Bishop & Ken Perszyk - 2017 - Topoi 36 (4):609-621.
    Analytical philosophers of religion widely assume that God is a person, albeit immaterial and of unique status, and the divine attributes are thus understood as attributes of this supreme personal being. Our main aim is to consider how traditional divine attributes may be understood on a non-personal conception of God. We propose that foundational theist claims make an all-of-Reality reference, yet retain God’s status as transcendent Creator. We flesh out this proposal by outlining a specific non-personal, monist and ‘naturalist’ conception (...)
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  • Transformative Experience and the Problem of Religious Disagreement.Joshua Blanchard & Laurie Paul - 2021 - In Matthew A. Benton & Jonathan L. Kvanvig (eds.), Religious Disagreement and Pluralism. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 127-141.
    Peer disagreement presents religious believers, agnostics, and skeptics alike with an epistemological problem: how can confidence in any religious claims (including their negations) be epistemically justified? There seem to be rational, well-informed adherents among a variety of mutually incompatible religious and non-religious perspectives, and so the problem of disagreement arises acutely in the religious domain. In this paper, we show that the transformative nature of religious experience and identity poses more than just this traditional, epistemic problem of conflicting religious beliefs. (...)
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  • Ignorance, Instrumentality, Compensation, and the Problem of Evil.Marilyn McCord Adams - 2013 - Sophia 52 (1):7-26.
    Some theodicists, skeptical theists, and friendly atheists agree that God-justifying reasons for permitting evils would have to have an instrumental structure: that is, the evils would have to be necessary to secure a great enough good or necessary to prevent some equally bad or worse evil. D.Z. Phillips contends that instrumental reasons could never justify anyone for causing or permitting horrendous evils and concludes that the God of Restricted Standard Theism does not exist—indeed, is a conceptual mistake. After considering Phillips’ (...)
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  • Towards a Religiously Adequate Alternative to Omnigod Theism.John Bishop - 2009 - Sophia 48 (4):419-433.
    Theistic religious believers should be concerned that the God they worship is not an idol. Conceptions of God thus need to be judged according to criteria of religious adequacy that are implicit in the ‘God-role’—that is, the way the concept of God properly functions in the conceptual economy and form of life of theistic believers. I argue that the conception of God as ‘omniGod’—an immaterial personal creator with the omni-properties—may reasonably be judged inadequate, at any rate from the perspective of (...)
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  • Theodicy: The Solution to the Problem of Evil, or Part of the Problem?Nick Trakakis - 2008 - Sophia 47 (2):161-191.
    Theodicy, the enterprise of searching for greater goods that might plausibly justify God’s permission of evil, is often criticized on the grounds that the project has systematically failed to unearth any such goods. But theodicists also face a deeper challenge, one that places under question the very attempt to look for any morally sufficient reasons God might have for creating a world littered with evil. This ‘anti-theodical’ view argues that theists (and non-theists) ought to reject, primarily for moral reasons, the (...)
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  • How a Modest Fideism May Constrain Theistic Commitments: Exploring an Alternative to Classical Theism.John Bishop - 2007 - Philosophia 35 (3-4):387-402.
    On the assumption that theistic religious commitment takes place in the face of evidential ambiguity, the question arises under what conditions it is permissible to make a doxastic venture beyond one’s evidence in favour of a religious proposition. In this paper I explore the implications for orthodox theistic commitment of adopting, in answer to that question, a modest, moral coherentist, fideism. This extended Jamesian fideism crucially requires positive ethical evaluation of both the motivation and content of religious doxastic ventures. I (...)
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  • The Normatively Relativised Logical Argument From Evil.John Bishop & Ken Perszyk - 2011 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 70 (2):109-126.
    It is widely agreed that the ‘Logical’ Argument from Evil (LAFE) is bankrupt. We aim to rehabilitate the LAFE, in the form of what we call the Normatively Relativised Logical Argument from Evil (NRLAFE). There are many different versions of a NRLAFE. We aim to show that one version, what we call the ‘right relationship’ NRLAFE, poses a significant threat to personal-omniGod-theism—understood as requiring the belief that there is an omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly good person who has created our world—because it (...)
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  • The Perspectival Problem of Evil.Blake McAllister - 2020 - Faith and Philosophy 37 (4):421-450.
    Whether evil provides evidence against the existence of God, and to what degree, depends on how things seem to the subject—i.e., on one’s perspective. I explain three ways in which adopting an atheistic perspective can increase support for atheism via considerations of evil. The first is by intensifying the common sense problem of evil by making evil seem gratuitous or intrinsically wrong to allow. The second is by diminishing the apparent fit between theism and our observations of evil. The third (...)
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  • The Agony of the Infinite: The Presence of God as Phenomenological Hell.A. G. Holdier - 2018 - In Simon Cushing (ed.), Heaven and Philosophy. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. pp. 119-135.
    Much recent academic literature on the afterlife has been focused on the justice of eternity and whether a good God could allow a person to experience eternal suffering in Hell. Two primary escapes are typically suggested to justify never-ending punishment for sinners: the traditional view focuses the blame for an individual’s condemnation away from God onto the sinner’s freely chosen actions; the universalist position denies the eternality of the punishment on the grounds that God’s inescapable love and eventual victory over (...)
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  • Skeptical Theism, Pro-Theism, and Anti-Theism.Perry Hendricks - 2020 - In Kirk Lougheed (ed.), Four Views on the Axiology of Theism: What Difference Does God Make? pp. 95-115.
    In this chapter, I consider personal and impersonal anti-theism and personal and impersonal pro-theism. I show that skeptical theism undermines arguments for personal anti-theism and impersonal anti-theism. Next, I show that (at least some) arguments for personal and impersonal pro-theism are not undermined by skeptical theism. This throws a wrench in debates about the axiology of theism: if skeptical theism is true, then it is very difficult to establish certain positions in answer to the axiological question about God.
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  • Liturgical Philosophy of Religion: An Untimely Manifesto on Sincerity, Acceptance, and Hope.Andrew Chignell - 2021 - In M. David Eckel, Allen Speight & Troy DuJardin (eds.), The Future of the Philosophy of Religion. Springer. pp. 73-94.
    This loosely-argued manifesto contains some suggestions regarding what the philosophy of religion might become in the 21st century. It was written for a brainstorming workshop over a decade ago, and some of the recommendations and predictions it contains have already been partly actualized (that’s why it is now a bit "untimely"). The goal is to sketch three aspects of a salutary “liturgical turn” in philosophy of religion. (Note: “liturgy” here refers very broadly to communal religious service and experience generally, not (...)
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  • Empirically Skeptical Theism.Todd DeRose - 2020 - Faith and Philosophy 37 (3):323-335.
    Inspired by Peter van Inwagen’s “simulacra model” of the resurrection, I investigate whether it could be reasonable to adopt an analogous approach to the problem of evil. Empirically Skeptical Theism, as I call it, is the hypothesis that God shields our lives from irredeemable evils surreptitiously. I argue that EST compares favorably with traditional skeptical theism and with eschatological theodicies, and that EST does not have the negative moral consequences we might suppose.
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  • Disability and the Theodicy of Defeat.Aaron D. Cobb & Kevin Timpe - 2017 - Journal of Analytic Theology 5:100-120.
    Marilyn McCord Adams argues that God’s goodness to individuals requires God to defeat horrendous evils; it is not enough for God to outweigh these evils through compensatory goods. On her view, God defeats the evils experienced by an individual if and only if God’s goodness to the individual enables her to integrate the evil organically into a unified life story she perceives as good and meaningful. In this essay, we seek to apply Adams’s theodicy of defeat to a particular form (...)
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  • God, Horrors, and Our Deepest Good.Bruce Langtry - 2020 - Faith and Philosophy 37 (1):77-95.
    J.L. Schellenberg argues that since God, if God exists, possesses both full knowledge by acquaintance of horrific suffering and also infinite compassion, the occurrence of horrific suffering is metaphysically incompatible with the existence of God. In this paper I begin by raising doubts about Schellenberg’s assumptions about divine knowledge by acquaintance and infinite compassion. I then focus on Schellenberg’s claim that necessarily, if God exists and the deepest good of finite persons is unsurpassably great and can be achieved without horrific (...)
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  • A Deontological Theodicy? Swinburne’s Lapse and the Problem of Moral Evil.Eric Reitan - 2014 - Faith and Philosophy 31 (2):181-203.
    Richard Swinburne’s formulation of the argument from evil is representative of a pervasive way of understanding the challenge evil poses for theistic belief. But there is an error in Swinburne’s formulation : he fails to consider possible deontological constraints on God’s legitimate responses to evil. To demonstrate the error’s significance, I show that some important objections to Swinburne’s theodicy admit of a novel answer once we correct for Swinburne’s Lapse. While more is needed to show that the resultant “deontological theodicy” (...)
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