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The evil-god challenge

Religious Studies 46 (3):353 - 373 (2010)

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  1. Is Theism a Simple Hypothesis? The Simplicity of Omni-Properties.Calum Miller - 2016 - Religious Studies 52 (1):45-61.
    One reason for thinking that theism is a relatively simple theory – and that it is thereby more likely to be true than other theories,ceteris paribus – is to insist that infinite degrees of properties are simpler than extremely large, finite degrees of properties. This defence of theism has been championed by Richard Swinburne in recent years. I outline the objections to this line of argument present in the literature, and suggest some novel resources open to Swinburne in defence. I (...)
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  • Encountering Evil: The Evil-God Challenge From Religious Experience.Asha Lancaster-Thomas - unknown - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion:0-0.
    It is often thought that religious experiences provide support for the cumulative case for the existence of the God of classical monotheism. In this paper, I formulate an Evil-god challenge that invites classical monotheists to explain why, based on evidence from religious experience, the belief in an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent god is significantly more reasonable than the belief in an omnipotent, omniscient, evil god. I demonstrate that religious experiences substantiate the existence of Evil-god more so than they do the existence (...)
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  • The Problem of Alternative Monotheisms: Another Serious Challenge to Theism.Raphael Lataster - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (1):31-51.
    Theistic and analytic philosophers of religion typically privilege classical theism by ignoring or underestimating the great threat of alternative monotheisms. [1] In this article we discuss numerous god-models, such as those involving weak, stupid, evil, morally indifferent, and non-revelatory gods. We find that theistic philosophers have not successfully eliminated these and other possibilities, or argued for their relative improbability. In fact, based on current evidence – especially concerning the hiddenness of God and the gratuitous evils in the world – many (...)
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  • Sceptical Theism and the Evil-God Challenge.Perry Hendricks - 2018 - Religious Studies 54 (4):549-561.
    This article is a response to Stephen Law's article ‘The evil-god challenge’. In his article, Law argues that if belief in evil-god is unreasonable, then belief in good-god is unreasonable; that the antecedent is true; and hence so is the consequent. In this article, I show that Law's affirmation of the antecedent is predicated on the problem of good (i.e. the problem of whether an all-evil, all-powerful, and all-knowing God would allow there to be as much good in the world (...)
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  • An Atheistic Argument From Ugliness.Scott F. Aikin & Nicholaos Jones - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 7 (1):209-217.
    The theistic argument from beauty has what we call an 'evil twin', the argument from ugliness. The argument yields either what we call 'atheist win', or, when faced with aesthetic theodicies, 'agnostic tie' with the argument from beauty.
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  • The Evil-God Challenge: Extended and Defended.John M. Collins - 2019 - Religious Studies 55 (1):85-109.
    Stephen Law developed a challenge to theism, known as the evil-god challenge (Law () ). The evil-god challenge to theism is to explain why the theist’s responses to the problem of evil are any better than the diabolist’s – who believes in a supremely evil god – rejoinders to the problem of good, when all the theist’s ploys (theodicy, sceptical theism, etc.) can be parodied by the diabolist. In the first part of this article, I extend the evil-god challenge by (...)
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  • What's It Like to Be a BIV? A Dialogue.Michael Veber - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (4):734--756.
    Several subjects are fully convinced that they are brains in vats whose experiences are hallucinatory. They confront a ‘skeptic’ who raises the possibility that they are not brains in vats who lack and hallucinate hands but ‘brains in skulls’ who have hands and see them. Familiar responses to skepticism are offered in support of the claim that the subjects know they do not have hands. The philosophical significance of this looking-glass approach to skepticism is also discussed. It is suggested that (...)
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  • Why Not Believe in an Evil God? Pragmatic Encroachment and Some Implications for Philosophy of Religion.Anastasia Philippa Scrutton - 2016 - Religious Studies 52 (3):345-360.
    Pointing to broad symmetries between the idea that God is omniscient, omnipotent and all-good, and the idea that God is omniscient, omnipotent but all-evil, the evil-God challenge raises the question of why theists should prefer one over the other. I respond to this challenge by drawing on a recent theory in epistemology, pragmatic encroachment, which asserts that practical considerations can alter the epistemic status of beliefs. I then explore some of the implications of my argument for how we do philosophy (...)
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  • Replying to the Anti-God Challenge: A God Without Moral Character Acts Well.Peter Forrest - 2012 - Religious Studies 48 (1):35 - 43.
    Several authors, including Stephen Law in this journal, have argued that the case for an evil God is (about) as strong as for a good God. In this article I take up the challenge on behalf of theists who, like Richard Swinburne, argue for an agent of unrestricted power and knowledge as the ultimate explanation of all contingent truths. I shall argue that an evil God is much less probable than a good one. I do so by (1) distinguishing the (...)
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  • The Evil‐God Challenge Part II: Objections and Responses.Asha Lancaster‐Thomas - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (8):e12543.
    The Evil‐god challenge attempts to undermine classical monotheism by arguing that because the existence of an evil god is similar in reasonableness to the existence of a good god, the onus is on the theist to justify their belief in the latter over the former. In the Part I paper, I defined the Evil‐god challenge, distinguished between several types of Evil‐god challenge, and presented its history and recent developments. In this paper, I describe the merits of the challenge, outline and (...)
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  • The Evil‐God Challenge Part I: History and Recent Developments.Asha Lancaster‐Thomas - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (7):e12502.
    The Evil‐god challenge has enjoyed a flurry of attention after its resurrection in Stephen Law's, 2010 paper of the same name. Intended to undermine classical monotheism, the Evil‐god challenge rests on the claim that the existence of all‐powerful, all‐knowing, all‐evil god (Evil‐god) is roughly as likely as the existence of an all‐powerful, all‐knowing, all‐good god (Good‐god). The onus is then placed on those who believe in Good‐god to explain why their belief should be considered significantly more reasonable than belief in (...)
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  • Did the Universe Design Itself?Philip Goff - 2019 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 85 (1):99-122.
    Many philosophers and scientists believe that we need an explanation as to why the laws of physics and the initial conditions of the universe are fine-tuned for life. The standard two options are: theism and the multiverse hypothesis. Both of these theories are extravagant and arguably have false predictions. Drawing on contemporary philosophy of mind, I outline a form of panpsychism that I believe offers a more parsimonious and less problematic explanation of cosmological fine-tuning.
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  • Morality, Religion, and Cosmic Justice.David S. Oderberg - 2011 - Philosophical Investigations 34 (2):189-213.
    There is a famous saying, whose origin is uncertain, that no good deed goes unpunished. Although not cited by him, this was no doubt the thought that inspired George Mavrodes’s (1986) well-known article “Religion and the Queerness of Morality.” In it he argued that although not logically incoherent, a certain sort of world in which moral obligations existed would be “absurd . . . a crazy world” (Mavrodes 1986, 581). The world he had in mind was what he called “Russellian,” (...)
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  • Evilism, Moral Rationalism, and Reasons Internalism.Christopher Gregory Weaver - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 77 (1):3-24.
    I show that the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent, and essentially omnimalevolent being is impossible given only two metaethical assumptions (viz., moral rationalism and reasons internalism). I then argue (pace Stephen Law) that such an impossibility undercuts Law’s (Relig Stud 46(3):353–373, 2010) evil god challenge.
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