Redefining the Problem of Evil in the Context of a Predeterministic World

Filosofia Theoretica 11 (1):9-26 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Merciful, holy, all-powerful, all-knowing, spirit, unchanging, the first cause, unknowable. These are just some of the properties that some scholars of African religions have attributed to the being they call God. Setting aside accusations that some of these properties reflect the colonially imposed religions, it is almost taken as a given that these properties really do belong to some of the various versions of the African God. This, then, raises the question: how is it ever the case that the present world, filled with various forms of evil and terror, emanates from a God possessing these same properties? Thus, the African God joins the formidable list of deities for which the problem of evil is relevant. In this essay, I argue that the power of the problem of evil lies in the belief, in many major African traditional religions, that God is a personalized entity. This, in turn, ensures a blind misattribution of the properties to God. To buttress this point, I begin by presenting a materialistic and de-personalised notion of God that sheds away those properties that are imperceptible and/or are not logically necessary. Next, drawing from this new vision of God, and from religious traditions such as the Luba and Bantu traditions, I provide an account of some properties that can be ascribed to God, and show how this notion of God enables a predeterministic world. Finally, I show that what we refer to as evil is compatible with the idea of a material, depersonalized and unconscious God, and with the context of a predeterministic world that is indifferent to human experience.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,649

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Religious Fictionalism and the Problem of Evil.Jon Robson - 2015 - Religious Studies 51 (3):353-360.
The Problem with Evil.Paul A. Macdonald & Joel Brown - 2017 - Philosophia Christi 19 (1):59-81.
Religious Evil: The Basic Issues.Daniel Kodaj - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (5):277-286.
Peter Van Inwagen on the Problem of Evil.William L. Rowe - 2008 - Faith and Philosophy 25 (4):425-431.
Some Thoughts on the Logical Aspects of the Problem of Evil.Ricardo Sousa Silvestre - 2020 - In Ricardo Sousa Silvestre, Benedikt Paul Göcke, Jean-Yves Beziau & Purushottama Bilimoria (eds.), Beyond Faith and Rationality: Essays on Logic, Religion and Philosophy. Berlin, Germany: Springer. pp. 121-135.
Augustine, Ancestors and the Problem of Evil.Wei Hua - 2022 - Filosofia Theoretica 11 (1):131-138.
Progress on the Problem of Evil.Seyyed Mohsen Eslami & Dan Egonsson - 2021 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 29 (2):221-235.
The Perspectival Problem of Evil.Blake McAllister - 2020 - Faith and Philosophy 37 (4):421-450.
Logical Problem of Evil.James R. Beebe - 2003 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Hiddenness Problem and the Problem of Evil.J. L. Schellenberg - 2010 - Faith and Philosophy 27 (1):45-60.
The Argument From Evil: ROBERT J. RICHMAN.Robert J. Richman - 1969 - Religious Studies 4 (2):203-211.

Analytics

Added to PP
2022-02-16

Downloads
0

6 months
0

Historical graph of downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Aribiah Attoe
University of Witwatersrand

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references