Chapter

The Need for Theodicy

Richard Swinburne

in Providence and the Problem of Evil

Published in print August 1998 | ISBN: 9780198237983
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598548 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198237987.003.0001
 The Need for Theodicy

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In order for God to allow a bad state E to occur, (1) he must have the right to allow it (or an equally bad state) to occur, (2) to allow it must be the only morally permissible way in which he can bring about a good G, (3) God does everything else logically possible to bring about G, and (4) the expected value thereby of allowing E is positive. Unless he has strong prior reasons for believing that there is a God, a theist needs to have (or have to begin to construct) such a theodicy with respect to all known evils, explaining why a good God would allow them to occur, if his belief that there is a God is to be rational.

Keywords: evil; God; moral permissibility; theodicy

Chapter.  13083 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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