A Refutation of Skeptical Theism
- David Kyle Johnson
- … show all 1 hide
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
Skeptical theists argue that no seemingly unjustified evil (SUE) could ever lower the probability of God's existence at all. Why? Because God might have justifying reasons for allowing such evils (JuffREs) that are undetectable. However, skeptical theists are unclear regarding whether or not God's existence is relevant to the existence of JuffREs, and whether or not God's existence is relevant to their detectability. But I will argue that, no matter how the skeptical theist answers these questions, it is undeniable that the skeptical theist is wrong; SUEs lower the probability of God's existence. To establish this, I will consider the four scenarios regarding the relevance of God's existence to the existence and detectability of JuffREs, and show that in each—after we establish our initial probabilities, and then update them given the evidence of a SUE—the probability of God's existence drops.
- Alston, W. (1996). The inductive argument from evil and the human cognitive condition. In Howard-Snyder (1996, pp. 97–125).
- Carrier, R. (2011) Why I am not a Christian: Four conclusive reasons to reject the faith. CreateSpace.
- Carrier, R. (2012). Proving history: Bayes's theorem and the quest for the historical Jesus. Prometheus Books.
- Hasker, W. (1992). The necessity of gratuitous evil. Faith and Philosophy, 9(1), 23–44. CrossRef
- Hick, J. (1977). Evil and the God of love (2nd ed.). New York: HarperCollins.
- Howard-Snyder, D. (Ed.). (1996). The evidential argument from evil. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.
- Howard-Snyder, D., & Bergmann, M. (2004). Evil does not make atheism more reasonable than theism. In M. Peterson & R. J. VanArragon (Eds.), Contemporary debates in philosophy of religion. Blackwell Publishing.
- Kraay, K. J. (2007). Absence of evidence and evidence of absence. Faith and Philosophy, 24, 203–228. CrossRef
- Peterson, M. L. (1982). Evil and the Christian God. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
- Peterson, M., & VanArragon, R. J. (Eds.). (2004). Contemporary debates in philosophy of religion. Blackwell Publishing.
- Plantinga, A. (1998). Degenerate evidence and Rowe’s new evidential argument from evil. Nous, 32(4), 531–544. CrossRef
- Rowe, W. L. (1979). The problem of evil and some varieties of atheism. American Philosophical Quarterly, 16, 335–41.
- Rowe, W. L. (1986). The empirical argument from evil. In R. Audi & W. Wainwright (Eds.), Rationality, religious belief, and moral commitment. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, pp. 227–47.
- Rowe, W. L. (1996). The evidential argument from evil: A second look. In D. Howard-Snyder (Ed.), The evidential argument from evil. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press (1996, pp. 262–85).
- Rowe, W. L. (1998). Reply to plantinga. Nous, 32(4), 545–552. CrossRef
- Rowe, W. L. (2001a). Grounds for belief aside, does evil make atheism more reasonable than theism. In Rowe (2001c, pp.124-37).
- Rowe, W. L. (2001b). Reply to Howard-Snyder and Bergmann. In Rowe (2001c, pp. 155–58).
Rowe, William (ed.), (2001c). God and the Problem of Evil. (Malden, MA: Blackwell).
These works of Rowe (2001a and 2001b) do first appear in this format in the 2001c book. However, they also exist, as independent chapters, in the following book, on pages 193-206 and 249-254 respectively: William Rowe (2007) (edited by Nick Trakakis), William Rowe on Philosophy of Religion: Selected Writings (Hampshire, England. Ashgate Publishing).
- Swinburne, R. (1998). Providence and the problem of evil. Oxford: Clarendon Press. CrossRef
- Tooley, M. (2010). The problem of evil. In E. N. Zalta (Ed), The stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Spring 2010 Edition). http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2010/entries/evil/.
- Trakakis, N. (2005). The evidential problem of evil. Internet encyclopedia of philosophy, http://www.iep.utm.edu/evil-evi/.
- Trakakis, N. (2007). The God beyond belief: In defence of William Rowe's evidential argument from evil. Dordrecht: Springer Publishers.
- Van Inwagen, P. (1988). The place of chance in a world sustained by God. In T. V. Morris (1988). Divine and human action. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, pp. 211–35.
- Van Inwagen, P. (2000). The Argument from particular horrendous evil. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, 74, 65–80. CrossRef
- Wykstra, S. J. (1984). The humean obstacle to evidential arguments from suffering: On avoiding the evils of ‘appearance’. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 16, 73–93. CrossRef
- Wykstra, S. J. (1996). Rowe’s noseeum arguments from evil. In D. Howard-Snyder (Ed.), The evidential argument from evil. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, pp. 126–50.
- Yandell, K. (1989). Gratuitous evil and divine existence. Religious Studies, 25(1), 15–30. CrossRef
- A Refutation of Skeptical Theism
Volume 52, Issue 3 , pp 425-445
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Skeptical theism
- Problem of evil
- Evidential problem of evil
- Bayes’ theorem
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Philosophy, King’s College, 133 N River St., Wilkes-Barre, PA, 18711, USA