, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 7-26
Date: 10 Nov 2012

Ignorance, Instrumentality, Compensation, and the Problem of Evil

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Some theodicists, skeptical theists, and friendly atheists agree that God-justifying reasons for permitting evils would have to have an instrumental structure: that is, the evils would have to be necessary to secure a great enough good or necessary to prevent some equally bad or worse evil. D.Z. Phillips contends that instrumental reasons could never justify anyone for causing or permitting horrendous evils and concludes that the God of Restricted Standard Theism does not exist—indeed, is a conceptual mistake. After considering Phillips’ and other objections in the neighborhood, I argue that the Expanded Theism of Christian theology does forward a God who ‘digs in’ and eternally answers for horrors.