Can God Satisfice?

American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (4):399-410 (2013)
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Abstract

Three very prominent arguments for atheism are (1) the argument from sub-optimality, (2) the problem of no best world, and (3) the evidential argument from gratuitous evil. To date, it has not sufficiently been appreciated that several important criticisms of these arguments have all relied on a shared strategy. Although the details vary, the core of this strategy is to concede that God either cannot or need not achieve the best outcome in the relevant choice situation, but to insist that God must and can achieve an outcome that is good enough. In short, this strategy invokes divine satisficing in response to these arguments for atheism. (The widespread use of this strategy may have gone unnoticed because the appeal to divine satisficing is usually implicit.) In sections 1–3, the three arguments for atheism will be set out, and it will be shown that the relevant replies all employ this shared strategy. Section 4 will show that those who invoke divine satisficing have failed to establish that this is a coherent notion. Accordingly, these replies to three important arguments for atheism are, at present, incomplete.

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Citations of this work

God meets Satan’s Apple: the paradox of creation.Rubio Daniel - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):2987-3004.
Infinite Value and the Best of All Possible Worlds.Nevin Climenhaga - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (2):367-392.
Satisficing and Motivated Submaximization (in the Philosophy of Religion).Chris Tucker - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (1):127-143.
Vagueness and the Problem of Evil: a New Reply to van Inwagen.Luis Oliveira - 2021 - Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 44 (4):49-82.

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References found in this work

God, freedom, and evil.Alvin Plantinga - 1978 - Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
The Dynamics of Rational Deliberation.Brian Skyrms - 1990 - Harvard University Press.
The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism.William L. Rowe - 1979 - American Philosophical Quarterly 16 (4):335 - 341.
Rational choice and the structure of the environment.Herbert A. Simon - 1956 - Psychological Review 63 (2):129-138.

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