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  1. added 2019-01-30
    Augustine, the Manichaean and the Problem of Evil.Hector M. Scem - 1988-1990 - Augustinian Panorama 5:76-86.
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  2. added 2018-10-19
    Naturalistic and Theistic Explanations of the Distribution of Suffering.Dan Linford - forthcoming - In Graham Oppy & Joseph W. Koterski (eds.), Theism and Atheism: Opposing Viewpoints in Philosophy. Cengage.
    This is a forthcoming section for the book "Theism and Atheism: Opposing Arguments in Philosophy", edited by Graham Oppy, Gregory Dawes, Evan Fales, Joseph Koterski, Mashhad Al-Allaf, Robert Fastiggi, and David Shatz. I was asked to write a brief essay on whether naturalism or theism can successfully explain the distribution of suffering in our world. Wheras another section covers the possibility that suffering is evidence against theism, my essay is concerned only with the ability for either naturalism or theism to (...)
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  3. added 2018-09-01
    Skeptical Theism and Morriston’s Humean Argument From Evil.Timothy Perrine - forthcoming - Sophia:1-21.
    There’s a growing sense among philosophers of religion that Humean arguments from evil are some of the most formidable arguments against theism, and skeptical theism fails to undermine those arguments because they fail to make the inferences skeptical theists criticize. In line with this trend, Wes Morriston has recently formulated a Humean argument from evil, and his chief defense of it is that skeptical theism is irrelevant to it. Here I argue that skeptical theism is relevant to Humean arguments. To (...)
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  4. added 2018-07-22
    The Secular Problem of Evil.Paul Prescott - manuscript
    The existence of evil is often held to pose philosophical problems only for theism. I argue that the existence of evil gives rise to a philosophical problem which confronts theist and atheist alike. The problem is constituted by the following claims: (1) Successful human beings trust that the actual world is good-enough; (2) the actual world is not good-enough (i.e., sufficient evil exists). It follows that (3) successful human beings maintain a state of epistemic ignorance regarding the nature of the (...)
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  5. added 2018-06-16
    How To Be a Skeptical Theist and a Commonsense Epistemologist.Perry Hendricks - 2018 - Faith and Philosophy 35 (3):345-355.
    Trent Dougherty has argued that commonsense epistemology and skeptical theism are incompatible. In this paper, I explicate Dougherty’s argument, and show that (at least) one popular form of skeptical theism is compatible with commonsense epistemology.
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  6. added 2018-04-25
    False Optimism? Leibniz, Evil, and the Best of All Possible Worlds.Lloyd Strickland - 2010 - Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 15 (1):17-35.
    Leibniz’s claim that this is the best of all possible worlds has been subject to numerous criticisms, both from his contemporaries and ours. In this paper I investigate a cluster of such criticisms based on the existence, abundance or character of worldly evil. As several Leibniz-inspired versions of optimism have been advanced in recent years, the aim of my investigation is to assess not just how Leibniz’s brand of optimism fares against these criticisms, but also whether optimism as a philosophy (...)
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  7. added 2018-04-18
    The Problem of Religious Evil: Does Belief in God Cause Evil?Lloyd Strickland - 2018 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 84 (2):237-250.
    Daniel Kodaj has recently developed a pro-atheistic argument that he calls “the problem of religious evil.” This first premise of this argument is “belief in God causes evil.” Although this idea that belief in God causes evil is widely accepted, certainly in the secular West, it is sufficiently problematic as to be unsuitable as a basis for an argument for atheism, as Kodaj seeks to use it. In this paper I shall highlight the problems inherent in it in three ways: (...)
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  8. added 2018-04-06
    Sceptical Theism and the Evil-God Challenge.Perry Hendricks - 2018 - Religious Studies 54 (4):549-561.
    This article is a response to Stephen Law's article ‘The evil-god challenge’. In his article, Law argues that if belief in evil-god is unreasonable, then belief in good-god is unreasonable; that the antecedent is true; and hence so is the consequent. In this article, I show that Law's affirmation of the antecedent is predicated on the problem of good (i.e. the problem of whether an all-evil, all-powerful, and all-knowing God would allow there to be as much good in the world (...)
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  9. added 2018-03-11
    Non-Identity Theodicy.Vincent Raphael Vitale - 2017 - Philosophia Christi 19 (2):269-90.
    I develop a theodicy (Non-Identity Theodicy) that begins with the recognition that we owe our existence to great and varied evils. I develop two versions of this theodicy, with the result that some version is available to the theist regardless of her assumptions about the existence and nature of free will. My defense of Non-Identity Theodicy is aided by an analogy between divine creation and human procreation. I argue that if one af rms the morality of vol- untary human procreation, (...)
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  10. added 2018-02-27
    On the Socratic Injunction to Follow the Argument Where It Leads.Jason Marsh - 2017 - In Paul Draper & J. L. Schellenberg (eds.), Renewing Philosophy of Religion: Exploratory Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 187-207.
    This chapter examines a common objection to the philosophy of religion, namely, that it has not sufficiently embraced the injunction of Socrates to follow the argument where it leads. Although a general version of this charge is unfair, one emerging view in the field, which I call religious Mooreanism, nonetheless risks running contrary to the Socratic injunction. According to this view, many people can quickly, easily, and reasonably deflect all known philosophical challenges to their core religious outlooks, including arguments from (...)
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  11. added 2018-02-14
    Plantinga's Defence and His Theodicy Are Incompatible.Richard Brian Davis & W. Paul Franks - 2018 - In KIaas Kraay (ed.), Does God Matter? Essays on the Axiological Consequences of Theism. New York: Routledge. pp. 203–223.
    In this paper, we attempt to show that if Plantinga’s free will defence succeeds, his O Felix Culpa theodicy fails. For if every creaturely essence suffers from transworld depravity, then given that Jesus has a creaturely essence (as we attempt to show), it follows that Incarnation and Atonement worlds cannot be actualized by God, in which case we have anything but a felix culpa.
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  12. added 2018-01-15
    An Apophatic Response to the Evidential Argument From Evil.Brown Joshua Matthan - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 78 (4-5):485-497.
    I argue that Christian apophaticism provides the most powerful and economical response to the evidential argument from evil for the non-existence of God. I also reply to the objection that Christian apophaticism is incoherent, because it appears to entail the truth of the following contradiction: it is both possible and impossible to know God’s essential properties. To meet this objection, I outline a coherent account of the divine attributes inspired by the theology of the Greek Father’s and St. Gregory Palamas.
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  13. added 2018-01-11
    The Problem of Evil - A Socratic Dialogue.Brent Silby - 2017 - Cafe Philosophy.
    Epicurus asked: -/- “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” -/- This Socratic dialogue, suitable to an introductory audience, explores a popular version of the argument from evil.
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  14. added 2018-01-10
    The Problem of Evil - A Socratic Dialogue.Brent Silby - manuscript
    Epicurus asked: “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” This Socratic dialogue explores a popular version of the Argument From Evil. Suitable as an introduction to the topic.
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  15. added 2017-11-18
    The Copernican Principle, Intelligent Extraterrestrials, and Arguments From Evil.Samuel Ruhmkorff - forthcoming - Religious Studies:1-21.
    The physicist Richard Gott defends the Copernican principle, which claims that when we have no information about our position along a given dimension among a group of observers, we should consider ourselves to be randomly located among those observers in respect to that dimension. First, I apply Copernican reasoning to the distribution of evil in the universe. I then contend that evidence for intelligent extraterrestrial life strengthens four important versions of the argument from evil. I remain neutral regarding whether this (...)
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  16. added 2017-11-15
    Does God Have the Moral Standing to Blame?Patrick Todd - 2018 - Faith and Philosophy 35 (1):33-55.
    In this paper, I introduce a problem to the philosophy of religion – the problem of divine moral standing – and explain how this problem is distinct from (albeit related to) the more familiar problem of evil (with which it is often conflated). In short, the problem is this: in virtue of how God would be (or, on some given conception, is) “involved in” our actions, how is it that God has the moral standing to blame us for performing those (...)
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  17. added 2017-10-21
    The Problem of Evil.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    The existence of evil, pain and suffering is considered by many philosophers to be the most vexed question concerning the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient and morally perfect deity. Why would a loving God permit wanton acts of cruelty and misery on the scale witnessed throughout human history? In this essay, Leslie Allan evaluates four common theistic responses to this problem, highlighting the benefits and challenges faced by each approach. He concludes with a critical examination of a theistic defence designed (...)
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  18. added 2017-10-13
    The Problem of Evil in Virtual Worlds.Brendan Shea - 2017 - In Mark Silcox (ed.), Experience Machines: The Philosophy of Virtual Worlds. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 137-155.
    In its original form, Nozick’s experience machine serves as a potent counterexample to a simplistic form of hedonism. The pleasurable life offered by the experience machine, its seems safe to say, lacks the requisite depth that many of us find necessary to lead a genuinely worthwhile life. Among other things, the experience machine offers no opportunities to establish meaningful relationships, or to engage in long-term artistic, intellectual, or political projects that survive one’s death. This intuitive objection finds some support in (...)
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  19. added 2017-10-07
    Reply to Oppy on God, the Best and Evil.Bruce Langtry - 2011 - Sophia 50 (1):211-219.
    My reply corrects one misstatement in Oppy’s summary of my book, abandons a footnote in the light of one of Oppy’s criticisms, and argues that Oppy’s other criticisms do not succeed in showing either that my claims are mistaken or that the arguments by which I supported them are defective.
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  20. added 2017-08-23
    Not Skeptical Theism, but Trusting Theism.John McClellan - 2016 - Southwest Philosophy Review 32 (1):233-244.
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  21. added 2017-07-26
    Plantinga’s Religious Epistemology, Skeptical Theism, and Debunking Arguments.Andrew Moon - 2017 - Faith and Philosophy 34 (4):449-470.
    Alvin Plantinga’s religious epistemology has been used to respond to many debunking arguments against theistic belief. However, critics have claimed that Plantinga’s religious epistemology conflicts with skeptical theism, a view often used in response to the problem of evil. If they are correct, then a common way of responding to debunking arguments conflicts with a common way of responding to the problem of evil. In this paper, I examine the critics’ claims and argue that they are right. I then present (...)
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  22. added 2017-06-07
    Skeptical Theism.Timothy Perrine & Stephen Wykstra - 2017 - In Paul K. Moser & Chad Meister (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Problem of Evil. Cambridge University Press. pp. 85-107.
    Skeptical theism is a family of responses to the evidential problem of evil. What unifies this family is two general claims. First, that even if God were to exist, we shouldn’t expect to see God’s reasons for permitting the suffering we observe. Second, the previous claim entails the failure of a variety of arguments from evil against the existence of God. In this essay, we identify three particular articulations of skeptical theism—three different ways of “filling in” those two claims—and describes (...)
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  23. added 2017-03-13
    Knowledge by Narratives: On the Methodology of Stump’s Defence.Christian J. Feldbacher - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 4 (3):155--165.
    Eleonore Stump claims in her book "Wandering in Darkness" that the problem of evil can be solved best by the help of narratives. This - so Stump - is due to the fact that narratives allow one to get a general view about relevant parts of the discussion of suffering. In this context she distinguishes the more detailed view of the discussion from a more general one by two different modes of cognition: the mode of gathering "knowledge that" and that (...)
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  24. added 2017-03-03
    A PHILOSOPHICAL ENQUIRY INTO THE SCANDAL OF EVIL AND SUFFERING.Edvard Kristian Foshaugen - 2004 - Baptis Journal South Africa (q):q.
    In 1 Peter 1:3-7 we read that the Christians were facing persecution because of their faith and the author reminds them that every trial is a test of their faith. The trials and consequential suffering can be withstood because they are able to look forward to an inheritance – eternal life with God. Christians can endure all trials and suffering because of the hope of glory and ultimate joy. There is a grace afforded by God in the presence to match (...)
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  25. added 2017-02-20
    Why Do We Suffer? Buddhism and the Problem of Evil.Sebastian Gäb - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (5):345-353.
    This paper explains the Buddhist concept of suffering and its relation to the Christian problem of evil. Although there is no problem of evil in Buddhism, the Buddhist understanding of the origin and causes of suffering will help us to find new approaches to the problem of evil. More specifically, I argue that the concept of evil can be interpreted in terms of dukkha; that the existence of suffering or dukkha is necessarily inevitable for finite beings, given the metaphysical structure (...)
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  26. added 2017-02-13
    Where the Conflict Really Lies: Plantinga, the Challenge of Evil, and Religious Naturalism.Elizabeth D. Burns - 2014 - Philosophia Reformata 79 (1):66-82.
    In this paper I argue that, although Alvin Plantinga’s Felix Culpa theodicy appears on only two pages of his recent book Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion and Naturalism (2011) (i.e. 58-59), it is of pivotal importance for the book as a whole. Plantinga argues that there is superficial conflict but deep concord between science and monotheism, and that there is superficial concord but deep conflict between science and naturalism. I contend that the weakness of the Felix Culpa theodicy (...)
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  27. added 2017-02-10
    The Fall of “Augustinian Adam”: Original Fragility and Supralapsarian Purpose.John Schneider - 2012 - Zygon 47 (4):949-969.
    The essay is framed by conflict between Christianity and Darwinian science over the history of the world and the nature of human personhood. Evolutionary science narrates a long prehuman geological and biological history filled with vast amounts, kinds, and distributions of apparently random brutal and pointless suffering. It also strongly suggests that the first modern humans were morally primitive. This science seems to discredit Christianity's common meta-narrative of the Fall, understood as a story of Paradise Lost. The author contends that (...)
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  28. added 2017-02-10
    In Defence of Anthropomorphic Theism.Peter Forrest - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 3 (1):105 - 122.
    I reply to seven objections to anthropomorphic theism: (1) That anthropomorphic theism is idolatrous. In reply I rely on the concept/conception distinction. (2) That faith requires certainty. In reply I argue that full belief may be based on probable inference. (3) That the truly infinite is incomprehensible. In reply I distinguish two senses of knowing what you mean. (4) "You Kant say that!" In reply I distinguish shallow from deep Kantianism. (5) "Shall Old Aquinas be forgot?" In reply I discuss (...)
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  29. added 2017-02-10
    God, Evil, and Evolution.Brian Zamulinski - 2010 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 2 (2):201 - 217.
    Most evil is compatible with the existence of God if He has an aim that He can achieve only by using an unguided process of evolution and if He cannot be condemned for trying to achieve His aim. It is argued that there is an aim that could reasonably be attributed to God and that God cannot achieve it without using evolution. There are independent grounds for thinking an evolutionary response is necessary if God is to be defended at all. (...)
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  30. added 2017-02-08
    God, Knowledge, and Mystery. [REVIEW]Daniel Howard-Snyder & Frances Howard-Snyder - 1998 - Faith and Philosophy 15 (3):397-399.
    This is a review of Peter van Inwagen's collection of essays.
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  31. added 2017-02-06
    Response to Richard M. Gale's Review of the Book God, the Best, and Evil.Bruce Langtry - manuscript
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  32. added 2017-01-27
    Commonsense, Skeptical Theism, and Different Sorts of Closure of Inquiry Defeat.Jonathan Rutledge - 2017 - Faith and Philosophy 34 (1):17-32.
    Trent Dougherty argues (contra Jonathan Matheson) that when taking into consideration the probabilities involving skeptical theism (ST) and gratuitous evils, an agent may reasonably affirm both ST and that gratuitous evils exist. In other words, Dougherty thinks that assigning a greater than .5 probability to ST is insufficient to defeat the commonsense problem of evil. I argue that Dougherty’s response assumes, incorrectly, that ST functions solely as an evidential defeater, and that, when understood as a closure of inquiry defeater, ST (...)
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  33. added 2017-01-27
    The Defeat of Heartbreak: Problems and Solutions for Stump's View of the Problem of Evil Concerning Desires of the Heart.Lindsay K. Cleveland & W. Scott Cleveland - 2016 - Religious Studies 52 (1):1-23.
    Eleonore Stump insightfully develops Aquinas’s theodicy to account for a significant source of human suffering, namely the undermining of desires of the heart. Stump argues that what justifies God in allowing such suffering are benefits made available to the sufferer through her suffering that can defeat the suffering by contributing to the fulfillment of her heart’s desires. We summarize Stump’s arguments for why such suffering requires defeat and how it is defeated. We identify three problems with Stump’s account of how (...)
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  34. added 2017-01-24
    Omniscience and the Problem of Evil.Peter Hutcheson - 1992 - Sophia 31 (1-2):53-58.
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  35. added 2017-01-23
    The Fall of "Augustinian Adam": Problems of Original Fragility and Supralapsarian Purpose.John Schneider - 2012 - Zygon 47 (4):949-969.
    This essay is framed by conflict between Christianity and Darwinian science over the history of the world and the nature of original human personhood. Evolutionary science narrates a long prehuman geological and biological history filled with vast amounts, kinds, and distributions of apparently random brutal and pointless suffering. It has also unveiled an original human person with animal psychosomatic heredity. This narrative seems to discredit Christianity's metanarrative of the Fall—Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained. The author contends that the Augustinian story (...)
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  36. added 2017-01-23
    Theodical Individualism.T. J. Mawson - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 3 (1):139 - 159.
    In this journal Steve Maitzen has recently advanced an argument for atheism premised on theodical individualism, the thesis that God would not permit people to suffer evils that were underserved, involuntary, and gratuitous for them. In this paper I advance reasons to think this premise mistaken.
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  37. added 2017-01-23
    Light in the Darkness? Reflections on Eleonore Stump's Theodicy.William Hasker - 2011 - Faith and Philosophy 28 (4):432-450.
    Eleonore Stump’s Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering is a major contribution to the literature on the problem of evil. This reviewessay summarizes the overall argument of the book, pointing out both merits and difficulties with Stump’s approach. In particular, the essay urges objectionsto the solution she presents for the problem of suffering.
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  38. added 2017-01-23
    Philosophical Theology and Indian Versions of Theodicy.Vladimir K. Shokhin - 2010 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 2 (2):177 - 199.
    Comparative philosophical studies can seek to fit some Eastern patterns of thought into the general philosophical framework, or, on the contrary, to improve understanding of Western ones through the view "from abroad". I try to hit both marks by means of establishing, firstly, the parallels between Indian versions of theodicy and the Hellenic and Christian ones, then by defining to which of five types of Western theodicy the Advaita-Vedanta and Nyaya versions belong and, thirdly, by considering the meaning of the (...)
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  39. added 2017-01-22
    Against Multiverse Theodicies.Bradley Monton - 2010 - Philo 13 (2):113-135.
    In reply to the problem of evil, some suggest that God created an infinite number of universes—for example, that God created every universe that contains more good than evil. I offer two objections to these multiverse theodicies. First, I argue that, for any number of universes God creates, he could have created more, because he could have created duplicates of universes. Next, I argue that multiverse theodicies can’t adequately account for why God would create universes with pointless suffering, and hence (...)
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  40. added 2017-01-20
    Privation Theories of Pain.Adam Swenson - 2009 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 66 (3):139 - 154.
    Most modern writers accept that a privation theory of evil should explicitly account for the evil of pain. But pains are quintessentially real. The evil of pain does not seem to lie in an absence of good. Though many directly take on the challenges this raises, the metaphysics and axiology of their answers is often obscure. In this paper I try to straighten things out. By clarifying and categorizing the possible types of privation views, I explore the ways in which (...)
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  41. added 2017-01-19
    An Agent-Based Approach to the Problem of Evil.Linda Zagzebski - 1996 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 39 (3):127 - 139.
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  42. added 2017-01-19
    The Failure of Soul-Making Theodicy.G. Stanley Kane - 1975 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 6 (1):1 - 22.
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  43. added 2017-01-16
    God, Geography, and Justice.Dan Linford & William Patterson - 2015 - Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism 23 (2):189-216.
    The existence of various sufferings has long been thought to pose a problem for the existence of a personal God: the Problem of Evil. In this paper, we propose an original version of POE, in which the geographic distribution of sufferings and of opportunities for flourishing or suffering is better explained if the universe, at bottom, is indifferent to the human condition than if, as theists propose, there is a personal God from whom the universe originates: the Problem of Geography. (...)
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  44. added 2017-01-16
    Review of Peter van Inwagen's The Problem of Evil.Trenton Merricks - 2009 - Times Literary Supplement (5444):26.
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  45. added 2017-01-15
    Weighing Evils: The C. S. Lewis Approach.Joshua Seachris & Linda Zagzebski - 2007 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 62 (2):81-88.
    It is often argued that the great quantity of evil in our world makes God’s existence less likely than a lesser quantity would, and this, presumably, because the probability that some evils are gratuitous increases as the overall quantity of evil increases. Often, an additive approach to quantifying evil is employed in such arguments. In this paper, we examine C. S. Lewis’ objection to the additive approach, arguing that although he is correct to reject this approach, there is a sense (...)
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  46. added 2017-01-14
    Dreams, Nightmares, and a Defense Against Arguments From Evil.Gabriel Citron - 2015 - Faith and Philosophy 32 (3):247-270.
    This paper appeals to the phenomenon of dreaming to provide a novel defense against arguments from evil. The thrust of the argument is as follows: when we wake up after a nightmare we are often filled entirely with relief, and do not consider ourselves to have actually suffered very much at all; and since it is epistemically possible that this whole life is simply a dream, it follows that it is epistemically possible that in reality there is very little suffering. (...)
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  47. added 2016-12-08
    The Rationality of Religious Beliefs.Bryan Frances - 2015 - Think 14 (40):109-117.
    Many highly educated people think religious belief is irrational and unscientific. If you ask a philosopher, however, you'll likely get two answers: most religious belief is rational in some respects and irrational in other respects. In this essay I explain why they think religious belief is rational. In a sequel essay I explain why they think the very same beliefs are irrational.
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  48. added 2016-12-08
    Moral Antitheodicy: Prospects and Problems.Robert Mark Simpson - 2009 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 65 (3):153-169.
    Proponents of the view which I call ‘moral antitheodicy’ call for the theistic discourse of theodicy to be abandoned, because, they claim, all theodicies involve some form of moral impropriety. Three arguments in support of this view are examined: the argument from insensitivity, the argument from detachment, and the argument from harmful consequences. After discussing the merits of each argument individually, I attempt to show that they all must presuppose what they are intended to establish, namely, that the set of (...)
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  49. added 2016-11-21
    The Problems of Divine Location and Age.Seungbae Park - 2017 - European Journal of Science and Theology 31 (2):41-53.
    I develop two problems, which I call the problem of divine location and the problem of divine age, to challenge the theist belief that God created the universe. The problem of divine location holds that it is not clear where God existed before he created the universe. The problem of divine age holds that it is not clear how old God was when he created the universe. I explore several theist responses to these two problems, and argue that all of (...)
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  50. added 2016-11-17
    Infinite Value and the Best of All Possible Worlds.Nevin Climenhaga - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:367-392.
    A common argument for atheism runs as follows: God would not create a world worse than other worlds he could have created instead. However, if God exists, he could have created a better world than this one. Therefore, God does not exist. In this paper I challenge the second premise of this argument. I argue that if God exists, our world will continue without end, with God continuing to create value-bearers, and sustaining and perfecting the value-bearers he has already created. (...)
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1 — 50 / 123