Are skeptical theists really skeptics? Sometimes yes and sometimes no

International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 72 (1):3-16 (2012)
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Abstract

Skeptical theism is the view that God exists but, given our cognitive limitations, the fact that we cannot see a compensating good for some instance of evil is not a reason to think that there is no such good. Hence, we are not justified in concluding that any actual instance of evil is gratuitous, thus undercutting the evidential argument from evil for atheism. This paper focuses on the epistemic role of context and contrast classes to advance the debate over skeptical theism in two ways. First, considerations of context and contrast can be invoked to offer a novel defense of skeptical theism. Second, considerations of context and contrast can be invoked to undermine the two most serious objections to skeptical theism: the global skepticism objection and the moral objection. The gist of the paper is to defend a connection between context and contrast-driven views in epistemology with skeptical views in philosophy of religion.

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Justin McBrayer
Fort Lewis College

Citations of this work

Theodicy on Trial.Daryl Ooi - 2022 - Philosophia 50 (4):2015-2034.
The Job’s Dilemma: Fiat justitia, ruat caelum.Paolo Gomarasca - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 5 (3):95--115.

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Knowledge and lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge in an uncertain world.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Matthew McGrath.
Elusive knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.
Solving the skeptical problem.Keith DeRose - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (1):1-52.
Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (219):353-356.

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