The Logical Problem of Evil and African War Ethics

Journal of Military Ethics 21 (3):272-285 (2022)
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Abstract

The morality of war has been debated from a variety of perspectives. However, it has rarely been intertwined with the topic of the existence of God. Sometimes anti-theists argue that the existence of a Western Judeo-Christian God who is omnipotent, omniscient and morally perfect is inconsistent with the existence of evils such as war. We will argue that there is no such logical inconsistency between the God of the African traditional religions and the evil of war. First, we contend that such a logical inconsistency does not exist because God in African traditional religions is not seen as omnipotent, omniscient or morally perfect, and therefore, it would not be logically inconsistent for such a God to co-exist with the evil of war. This is mainly because African moral realism entails that war is a legitimate means for an imperfect being in an imperfect world to pursue morally permissible goals. Second, even if God is omniscient, omnipotent and morally perfect, when considered from the African religious viewpoint, a God of harmony, like the one in African traditional religions, can permit some evils for a greater good such as “harmony”.

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Author Profiles

Jonathan O Chimakonam
University of Pretoria

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Evil and omnipotence.J. L. Mackie - 1955 - Mind 64 (254):200-212.
6. Evil and Theodicy.William Rowe - 1988 - Philosophical Topics 16 (2):119-132.

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