Faith and Philosophy 5 (2):121-143 (1988)

The argument that(1) God exists, and is omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly goodand(2) Evil existsare logically incompatible, can be construed aporetically (as generating a puzzle and posing the constructive challenge of finding a solution that displays their compatibility) or atheologically (as a positive proof of the non-existence of God). I note that analytic philosophers of religion over the last thirty years or so have focused on the atheological deployment of the argument from evil, and have met its onslaughts from the posture of defense. I take Nelson Pike (in his article “Hume on Evil”) and Alvin Plantinga (in The Nature of Necessity, “Self-Profile,” and other pieces) as paradigm defenders, analyse their approaches, and try to make explicit parameters and assumptions within which these defenses have been conducted. In particular, both writers seem to attempt a reply within the parameters of a religion-neutral value theory and on the assumption that God has obligations to do one thing rather than another in creation-both of which conspire to defend God as a producer of global goods and shift attention off the more pressing question of His agent-centered goodness. I then argue that value-theory pluralism explodes the myth of shared values, and so complicates the structure of fair-minded debate about the problem of evil as to significantly limit the utility of defense. I invite Christian philosophers to approach the problem aporetically, and to exhibit the compossibility of (1) and (2) by formulating their own beliefs about how God is solving the problem of evil using the valuables within a Christian value theory to defeat evils. After sketching a strategy for doing this, I answer the objection that my recommendation conflates Christian philosophy and theology, and try to show how it affords a continuity between the so-called philosophical and existential problems of evil
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 0739-7046
DOI 10.5840/faithphil19885219
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References found in this work BETA

Evil and Omnipotence.J. L. Mackie - 1955 - Mind 64 (254):200-212.
Evil and Omnipotence.J. L. Mackie - 1955 - In Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas (eds.), Metaphysics: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
God and Evil.H. J. McCloskey - 1960 - Philosophical Quarterly 10 (39):97-114.
Advice to Christian Philosophers.Alvin Plantinga - 1984 - Faith and Philosophy 1 (3):253-271.
The Probabilistic Argument From Evil.Alvin Plantinga - 1979 - Philosophical Studies 35 (1):1 - 53.

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Citations of this work BETA

Evil and Human Understanding.Garth L. Hallett - 1991 - Heythrop Journal 32 (4):467–476.
Some Internal Theodicies and the Objection From Alternative Goods.Bruce Langtry - 1993 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 34 (1):29 - 39.
Evil and Human Understanding.Garth L. Hallett - 1991 - Heythrop Journal 32 (4):467-476.

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