The Connection‐Building Theodicy

In Justin P. McBrayer & Daniel Howard‐Snyder (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to the Problem of Evil. Oxford, UK: Wiley. pp. 222–235 (2013)
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Abstract

In this chapter, I present a new theodicy, which I call the connection building theodicy. The basic idea behind this theodicy is that virtuous responses to evil allow for certain types of ongoing, intrinsically valuable connections of appreciation, contribution, and what I call “intimacy” between personal agents. Because of their ongoing character, arguably, the value of these connections will eventually outweigh the disvalue of the evils that God must allow in order for them to exist. After presenting the basic idea of the theodicy, I consider a series of objections, and argue for its philosophical, theological, and practical fruitfulness. I do not claim this theodicy offers the sole reason why God allows evil, only that it provides an important and neglected set of reasons.

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