Authors
Ted Poston
University of Alabama
Abstract
Social evil is any pain or suffering brought about by game-theoretic interactions of many individuals. This paper introduces and discusses the problem of social evil. I begin by focusing on social evil brought about by game-theoretic interactions of rational moral individuals. The problem social evil poses for theism is distinct from problems posed by natural and moral evils. Social evil is not a natural evil because it is brought about by the choices of individuals. But social evil is not a form of moral evil because each individual actor does not misuse his free will. Traditional defenses for natural and moral evil fall short in addressing the problem of social evil. The final section of this paper discusses social evil and virtue. I begin by arguing that social evil can arise even when individual virtue is lacking. Next, I explore the possibility of an Edwardsian defense of social evil that stresses the high demands of true virtue. In this context, I argue that social evil may arise even when all the participants are truly virtuous. The conclusion of this paper is that social evil is problematic and provides new ground for exploring the conceptual resources of theism.
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References found in this work BETA

The Existence of God.Richard Swinburne - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
The Existence of God.Richard Swinburne - 2004 - Oxford University Press UK.
The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism.William L. Rowe - 1979 - American Philosophical Quarterly 16 (4):335 - 341.

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Citations of this work BETA

Atheism and Dialetheism; or, ‘Why I Am Not a (Paraconsistent) Christian’.Zach Weber - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):401-407.

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