Skeptical Theism

In Chad V. Meister & Paul K. Moser (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Problem of Evil. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 85-107 (2017)
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Abstract

Skeptical theism is a family of responses to the evidential problem of evil. What unifies this family is two general claims. First, that even if God were to exist, we shouldn’t expect to see God’s reasons for permitting the suffering we observe. Second, the previous claim entails the failure of a variety of arguments from evil against the existence of God. In this essay, we identify three particular articulations of skeptical theism—three different ways of “filling in” those two claims—and describes their role in responding to evidential arguments of evil due to William Rowe and Paul Draper. But skeptical theism has been subject to a variety of criticisms, several of which raise interesting issues and puzzles not just in philosophy of religion but other areas of philosophy as well. Consequently, we discuss some of these criticisms, partly with an eye to bringing out the connections between skeptical theism and current topics in mainstream philosophy. Finally, we conclude by situating skeptical theism within our own distinctive methodology for evaluating world views, what we call “worldview theory versioning.”

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References found in this work

On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism.William L. Rowe - 1979 - American Philosophical Quarterly 16 (4):335 - 341.
Horrendous evils and the goodness of God.Marilyn McCord Adams - 1989 - Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press. Edited by Eleonore Stump & Michael J. Murray.
19 The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism.William Rowe - 1979 - In Eleonore Stump & Michael J. Murray (eds.), Philosophy of Religion: The Big Questions. Blackwell. pp. 6--157.

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