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Skeptical Theism and Morriston’s Humean Argument from Evil

  • Timothy PerrineEmail author
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Abstract

There’s a growing sense among philosophers of religion that (i) Humean arguments from evil are some of the most formidable arguments against theism, and (ii) skeptical theism fails to undermine those arguments because they fail to make the inferences skeptical theists criticize. In line with this trend, Wes Morriston has recently formulated a Humean argument from evil, and his chief defense of it is that skeptical theism is irrelevant to it. Here I argue that skeptical theism is relevant to Humean arguments. To do this, I reveal the common structure of skeptical theism’s critiques. Seeing the common structure reveals why some versions of skeptical theism are irrelevant to Humean arguments from evil. It also points the way forward to formulating a relevant version. By combining skeptical theism with a plausible principle concerning reasonable belief, I formulate a version of skeptical theism that undermines Morriston’s argument that is also immune from his objections.

Keywords

Skeptical theism Humean argument from evil Wes Morriston Offsetting objection 

Notes

Acknowledgements

For helpful conversation and feedback, I thank Dave Fisher, Hao Hong, Nick Montgomery, Luis Oliveira, Timothy O’Connor, Harrison Waldo, Phil Woodward, and Stephen Wykstra. I’d also like to thank several reviewers—two from Faith and Philosophy, three from this journal—for their particularly helpful and detailed comments that resulted in an ultimately improved paper.

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PhilosophyWuhan UniversityWuhanChina

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