The Problem of Alternative Monotheisms: Another Serious Challenge to Theism


Abstract
Theistic and analytic philosophers of religion typically privilege classical theism by ignoring or underestimating the great threat of alternative monotheisms. [1] In this article we discuss numerous god-models, such as those involving weak, stupid, evil, morally indifferent, and non-revelatory gods. We find that theistic philosophers have not successfully eliminated these and other possibilities, or argued for their relative improbability. In fact, based on current evidence – especially concerning the hiddenness of God and the gratuitous evils in the world – many of these hypotheses appear to be more probable than theism. Also considering the – arguably infinite – number of alternative monotheisms, the inescapable conclusion is that theism is a very improbable god-concept, even when it is assumed that one and only one transcendent god exists. [1] I take ‘theism’ to mean ‘classical theism’, which is but one of many possible monotheisms. Avoiding much of the discussion around classical theism, I wish to focus on the challenges in arguing for theism over monotheistic alternatives. I consider theism and alternative monotheisms as entailing the notion of divine transcendence.
Keywords The Evil God Challenge  Theism  argument from alternative monotheisms  deism  quasi-deism
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DOI 10.24204/ejpr.v10i1.1801
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References found in this work BETA

The Scientific Image.Michael Friedman - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.
The Existence of God.Richard Swinburne - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism.William L. Rowe - 1979 - American Philosophical Quarterly 16 (4):335 - 341.
Arguing About Gods.Graham Oppy - 2006 - Cambridge University Press.

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