Religious Studies 54 (4):549-561 (2018)

Authors
Perry Hendricks
Purdue University
Abstract
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 as there is), and argue that the problem of good fails. Thus, the antecedent is unmotivated, which renders the consequent unmotivated. Law's challenge for good-god theists is to show that good-god theism is not rendered unreasonable by the problem of evil in the same way that evil-god theism is rendered unreasonable by the problem of good. Insofar as the problem of good does not render belief in evil-god unreasonable, Law's challenge has been answered: since it is not unreasonable to believe in evil-god (at least for the reasons that Law gives) it is not unreasonable to believe in good-god. Finally, I show that – my criticism aside – the evil-god challenge turns out to be more complicated and controversial than it initially appears, for it relies on the (previously unacknowledged) contentious assumption that sceptical theism is false.
Keywords skeptical theism  evil-god challenge  proper functionalism  problem of evil
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1017/S0034412518000094
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Warrant and Proper Function.Alvin Plantinga - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
Compassionate Phenomenal Conservatism.Michael Huemer - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):30–55.
The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Clarendon Press.
Warranted Christian Belief.Alvin Plantinga - 2000 - Oxford University Press USA.

View all 36 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Skeptical Theism Proved.Perry Hendricks - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (2):264-274.
Encountering Evil: The Evil-God Challenge From Religious Experience.Asha Lancaster-Thomas - unknown - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion:0-0.
The Nature of Skeptical Theism.Perry Hendricks - 2019 - Philosophia Christi 21 (1):103-117.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Sceptical Theism and Divine Lies.Erik J. Wielenberg - 2010 - Religious Studies 46 (4):509-523.
Why Sceptical Theism Isn’T Sceptical Enough.Chris Tucker - 2014 - In Trent Doughtery & Justin McBrayer (eds.), Skeptical Theism: New Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 45-62.
Skeptical Theism and the Problem of Evil.Michael Bergmann - 2008 - In Thomas P. Flint & Michael C. Rea (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology. Oxford University Press. pp. 374--99.
Sceptical Theism and Evidential Arguments From Evil.Michael J. Almeida & Graham Oppy - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (4):496 – 516.
Divine Goodness and the Problem of Evil.Terence Penelhum - 1966 - Religious Studies 2 (1):95 - 107.
The Problem of Alternative Monotheisms: Another Serious Challenge to Theism.Raphael Lataster - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (1):31-51.
Reply to Trakakis and Nagasawa.Michael Almeida & Graham Oppy - 2005 - Ars Disputandi 5 (1):5-11.
The Evil-God Challenge.Stephen Law - 2010 - Religious Studies 46 (3):353 - 373.
Descartes's Sceptical Theism.Thaddeus S. Robinson - 2013 - Religious Studies 49 (4):515-527.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-03-20

Total views
289 ( #24,527 of 2,326,002 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
84 ( #6,241 of 2,326,002 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes