Agatheology and naturalisation of the discourse on evil

International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 78 (4-5):469-484 (2017)
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This article argues that the existence of horrendous evil calls into question not just the plausibility of the most popular theodicies on offer, notably sceptical theism, but the coherence of any agatheology–that is, any theology which identifies God or the ultimate reality with the ultimate good or with a maximally good being. The article contends that the only way an agatheologian can ‘save the face of God’ after Auschwitz and Kolyma is by endorsing a non-interventionist interpretation of the Divine providence which will amount to naturalisation of the discourse on evil by localising entirely in nature the causes of evil and the possible ways of its prevention. ‘Theodicy of justice as fairness’ is then presented as consistent with such naturalistic account of evils and yet compatible with a religious worldview. It justifies the Divine non-intervention by suggesting that it would not be just or fair for God to intervene on only some occasions to avert evil, if God is apparently prevented from intervening in all such cases. Since for Agatheos it is metaphysically impossible to do what is unjust or unfair, God never intervenes to avert evil.

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Janusz Salamon
Charles University, Prague

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References found in this work

A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
The Problem of Evil.Peter van Inwagen - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):696-698.
God, Freedom, and Evil.Alvin Plantinga - 1978 - Religious Studies 14 (3):407-409.

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