The Persistent Problem of Evil

Faith and Philosophy 6 (2):121-139 (1989)
In this paper I consider several versions of the argument from evil against the existence of a God who is omniscient, omnipotent and wholly good and raise some objections to them. Then I offer my own version of the argument from evil that says that if God exists, nothing happens that he should have prevented from happening and that he should have prevented the brutal rape and murder of a certain little girl if he exists. Since it was not prevented, God does not exist. My conclusion rests on the claim that no outweighing good was served by allowing that murder, or any other instance of comparable evil, to occur. I take up the objection that my argument moves illicitly from apparently pointless suffering to the claim that there is reason to believe that there is pointless suffering. I offer an example to show that the existence of apparently pointless suffering counts to some extent against the existence of God and to show that no basic belief that God exists that rests on certain sorts of grounds can remain justified in the face of apparently pointless suffering
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 0739-7046
DOI 10.5840/faithphil19896221
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Justin P. McBrayer (2010). Skeptical Theism. Philosophy Compass 5 (7):611-623.
John Bishop & Ken Perszyk (2011). The Normatively Relativised Logical Argument From Evil. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 70 (2):109-126.

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James R. Beebe (2003). Logical Problem of Evil. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Michael Schrynemakers (2006). Vagueness and Pointless Evil. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 80:245-254.
Andrea M. Weisberger (2007). The Argument From Evil. In Michael Martin (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Atheism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
JIm Stone (2011). CORNEA, Scepticism and Evil. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (1):59-70.
Klaas J. Kraay (2011). Theism and Modal Collapse. American Philosophical Quarterly 48 (4):361.
Jeff Jordan (2006). Does Skeptical Theism Lead to Moral Skepticism? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (2):403 - 417.

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