The Evil-God Challenge: Extended and Defended

Religious Studies 55 (1):85-109 (2019)
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Stephen Law developed a challenge to theism, known as the evil-god challenge (Law (2010) ). The evil-god challenge to theism is to explain why the theist’s responses to the problem of evil are any better than the diabolist’s – who believes in a supremely evil god – rejoinders to the problem of good, when all the theist’s ploys (theodicy, sceptical theism, etc.) can be parodied by the diabolist. In the first part of this article, I extend the evil-god challenge by showing that additional theist replies to the problem of evil (more theodicies, the privation view of evil, and others) also may be appropriated, with just as much plausibility, in support of the diabolist position. In the second part of the article, I defend the evil-god challenge against several objections.

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John Collins
East Carolina University


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