Sceptical theism and moral scepticism

Religious Studies 43 (1):49-69 (2007)
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Several theists have adopted a position known as ‘sceptical theism ’, according to which God is justified in allowing suffering, but the justification is often beyond human comprehension. A problem for sceptical theism is that if there are unknown justifications for suffering, then we cannot know whether it is right for a human being to relieve suffering. After examining several proposed solutions to this problem, I conclude that one who is committed to a revealed religion has a simpler and more effective solution. In particular, according to traditional Judaism, God has permitted us, indeed commanded us, to relieve suffering, so we know that it is right for us to do so. I further show how God's command, according to Judaism, that we save lives provides an answer to an analogous argument put forward by David Hume. Thus, revealed theistic religions can sometimes solve problems more effectively than theism alone.



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Citations of this work

Skeptical theism.Justin McBrayer - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (7):611-623.
Epistemic humility, arguments from evil, and moral skepticism.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2009 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 2:17-57.
Recent Work on the Problem of Evil.T. Dougherty - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):560-573.
The moral skepticism objection to skeptical theism.Stephen Maitzen - 2013 - In Justin McBrayer & Daniel Howard-Snyder (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to the Problem of Evil. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 444--457.
Skeptical theism and moral obligation.Stephen Maitzen - 2009 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 65 (2):93 - 103.

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The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism.William L. Rowe - 1979 - American Philosophical Quarterly 16 (4):335 - 341.
Consequentialism and Cluelessness.James Lenman - 2000 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 29 (4):342-370.
Divine omniscience and voluntary action.Nelson Pike - 1965 - Philosophical Review 74 (1):27-46.
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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