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The evil-god challenge

  • STEPHEN LAW (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

This paper develops a challenge to theism. The challenge is to explain why the hypothesis that there exists an omnipotent, omniscient and all-good god should be considered significantly more reasonable than the hypothesis that there exists an omnipotent, omniscient and all-evil god. Theists typically dismiss the evil-god hypothesis out of hand because of the problem of good – there is surely too much good in the world for it to be the creation of such a being. But then why doesn't the problem of evil provide equally good grounds for dismissing belief in a good god? I develop this evil-god challenge in detail, anticipate several replies, and correct errors made in earlier discussions of the problem of good.

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Corresponding author
e-mail: think@royalinstitutephilosophy.org
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Stephen Wykstra The Humean obstacle to evidential arguments from suffering: on avoiding the evils of “appearance”’, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 16 (1984), 7393

Stephen Cahn Cacodaemony’, Analysis, 37 (1976), 6973

Christopher New Antitheism’, Ratio, 6 (1993), 3643

Charles Daniels God, demon, good, evil’, Journal of Value Inquiry, 31 (1997), 177181

Peter Millican The devil's advocate’, Cogito, 3 (1989), 193207

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Religious Studies
  • ISSN: 0034-4125
  • EISSN: 1469-901X
  • URL: /core/journals/religious-studies
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