The Secular Problem of Evil: An Essay in Analytic Existentialism

Religious Studies (forthcoming)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
The existence of evil is often held to pose philosophical problems only for theists. 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 (i.e., those meeting their basic prudential interests) are committed to a good-enough world; (2) the actual world is not a good-enough world (i.e., sufficient evil exists). It follows that human beings must either (3a) maintain a state of epistemic ignorance regarding the nature of the actual world or (3b) abandon their basic prudential interests. Theists resolve this problem by rejecting (2), only to confront the problem of evil as it is traditionally understood. Successful atheists also reject (2), but without adequate grounds for doing so.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
First archival date: 2017-04-26
Latest version: 95 (2019-09-23)
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Trust and Antitrust.Baier, Annette

View all 28 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
524 ( #7,700 of 50,329 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
97 ( #5,078 of 50,329 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.