Meeting the Evil God challenge

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 3 (101):297-317 (2020)
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Abstract

The evil God challenge is an argumentative strategy that has been pursued by a number of philosophers in recent years. It is apt to be understood as a parody argument: a wholly evil, omnipotent and omniscient God is absurd, as both theists and atheists will agree. But according to the challenge, belief in evil God is about as reasonable as belief in a wholly good, omnipotent and omniscient God; the two hypotheses are roughly epistemically symmetrical. Given this symmetry, thesis belief in an evil God and belief in a good God are taken to be similarly preposterous. In this paper, we argue that the challenge can be met, suggesting why the three symmetries that need to hold between evil God and good God – intrinsic, natural theology and theodicy symmetries – can all be broken. As such, we take it that the evil God challenge can be met.

Author Profiles

Ben Page
Oxford University
Max Baker-Hytch
Oxford University (DPhil)

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