Chapter

Comparative Confirmation and the Problem of Evil

Richard Otte

in Probability in the Philosophy of Religion

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199604760
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741548 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604760.003.0007
Comparative Confirmation and the Problem of Evil

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In this chapter, probability and confirmation theory are used to investigate the problem of evil, concentrating on whether a theist should consider our ignorance of a good reason for God to permit evil to support a non-religious alternative over a typical theist’s beliefs. It is argued that, according to Likelihoodism, our ignorance of a good reason does not favour a competing hypothesis over the religious view that there is an incomprehensible good reason for God to permit evil. Bayesian accounts of comparative confirmation, which are alternatives to Likelihoodism, have the same result. Furthermore, according to both Likelihoodism and Bayesian accounts of contrastive confirmation, our ignorance of a good reason for God to permit evil may actually support typical religious beliefs over alternative hypotheses.

Keywords: problem of evil; Likelihoodism; comparative confirmation; probability; Bayesian

Chapter.  8010 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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