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    Culp, John 2015. Overcoming the limits of theodicy: an interactive reciprocal response to evil. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Vol. 78, Issue. 3, p. 263.


    Nagl, Ludwig 2014. Experiencing life and (religious) hope: pragmatic philosophies of religion. Human Affairs, Vol. 24, Issue. 1,


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Moral critique and defence of theodicy: Winner of the 2013 Religious Studies Postgraduate Essay Prize

  • SAMUEL SHEARN (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0034412513000164
  • Published online: 03 May 2013
Abstract
Abstract

In this essay, moral anti-theodicy is characterized as opposition to the trivialization of suffering, defined as the reinterpretation of horrendous evils in a way the sufferer cannot accept. Ambitious theodicy (which claim goods emerge from specific evils) is deemed always to trivialize horrendous evils and, because there is no specific theoretical context, also harm sufferers. Moral anti-theodicy is susceptible to two main criticisms. First, it is over-demanding as a moral position. Second, anti-theodicist opposition to least ambitious theodicies, which portray God's decision to create as an ‘all-or-nothing’ scenario, requires a moral commitment to philosophical pessimism. Thus anti-theodicists should not be quick to take the moral high ground. However, this should not encourage theodicists, since theodicies may well be self-defeating in so far as they attempt to provide comfort.

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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.

D. Benatar (2006) Better never to have been: The Harm of Coming into Existence (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

P. Forrest (2010) ‘Why Richard Swinburne won't “rot in hell”: a defense of tough-minded theodicy’, Sophia, 49, 3747.

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R. E. Goodin (2009) ‘Demandingness as a virtue’, Journal of Ethics, 13, 113.

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J. Hick (2010) Evil and the God of Love, Reissue (London: Palgrave Macmillan).

D. LaCapra (1999) ‘Trauma, absence, loss’, Critical Inquiry, 25, 696727.

C. B. Sachs (2011) ‘The acknowledgement of transcendence: anti-theodicy in Adorno and Levinas’, Philosophy and Social Criticism, 37, 273294.

S. Scheffler (1986) ‘Morality's demands and their limits’, The Journal of Philosophy, 83, 531537.

R. M. Simpson (2009a) ‘Moral antitheodicy: prospects and problems’, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 65, 153169.

R. M. Simpson (2009b) ‘Some moral critique of theodicy is misplaced, but not all’, Religious Studies, 45, 339346.

A. Søvik (2008) ‘Why almost all moral critique of theodicies is misplaced’, Religious Studies, 44, 479484.

K. Surin (1986) Theology and the Problem of Evil (Oxford: Blackwell).

N. Trakakis (2008) ‘Theodicy: the solution to the problem of evil, or part of the problem?’, Sophia, 47, 161191.

P. van Inwagen (2005) ‘The problem of evil’, in W. Wainwright (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 188219.

R. Williams (1996) ‘Redeeming sorrows’, in D. Z. Phillips (ed.) Religion and Morality (London, Palgrave Macmillan), 132148.

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  • ISSN: 0034-4125
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