Taking a New Perspective on Suffering and Death

In Josh Rasmussen & Kevin Vallier (eds.), A New Theist Response to the New Atheists. Routledge. pp. 47-58 (forthcoming)

Chris Tweedt
Christopher Newport University
There is a massive amount of severe suffering and death in the world, and much of this suffering and death is out of our control. The amount and severity of suffering and death in the world can be used to make an argument for (or elicit a reaction against) the existence of God: if God—an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good being—exists, God would not allow such massive amounts of suffering and death. I'll propose a line of response that begins by exploring what would be involved in taking a new perspective on the suffering and death in the world. I then argue that there is no good reason not to take that new perspective. If this is correct, the argument from (or reaction to) suffering and death to the conclusion that God doesn't exist has lost much of its force; an argument that seems forceful from one perspective is weak from a different perspective that is just as reasonable, or more reasonable, to take.
Keywords Problem of Evil  Problem of Suffering  Skeptical Theism  Theodicy  Permissivism
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