Religious Studies (forthcoming)

Jimmy Alfonso Licon
Arizona State University
Philosophers have long wondered whether God exists; and yet, they have ignored the question of whether we should hope that He exists – call this stance aspirational theism. In this article, I argue that we have a weighty pro tanto reason to adopt this stance: theism offers a metaphysical guarantee against gratuitous suffering (i.e. God would not permit gratuitous suffering). On the other hand, few atheist alternatives offer such a guarantee – and even then, there are reasons to worry that they are inferior to the theistic alternative. Given this difference, we have a strong pro tanto, but not all-things-considered, reason to adopt aspirational theism.
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