A First-Order Modal Theodicy: God, Evil, and Religious Determinism

South American Journal of Logic 5 (1):49-80 (2019)
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Edward Nieznanski developed in 2007 and 2008 two different systems in formal logic which deal with the problem of evil. Particularly, his aim is to refute a version of the logical problem of evil associated with a form of religious determinism. In this paper, we revisit his first system to give a more suitable form to it, reformulating it in first-order modal logic. The new resulting system, called N1, has much of the original basic structure, and many axioms, definitions, and theorems still remain; however, some new results are obtained. If the conclusions attained are correct and true, then N1 solves the problem of evil through the refutation of a version of religious determinism, showing that the attributes of God in Classical Theism, namely, those of omniscience, omnipotence, infallibility, and omnibenevolence, when adequately formalized, are consistent with the existence of evil in the world. We consider that N1 is a good example of how formal systems can be applied in solving interesting philosophical issues, particularly in Philosophy of Religion and Analytic Theology, establishing bridges between such disciplines

Author Profiles

Gesiel B. da Silva
University of Missouri, Columbia
Fábio Bertato
Unicamp (PhD)


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