PHI101_71013_Lecture23_Dec03

PHI101_71013_Lecture23_Dec03 - PHI 101 (71013) Dr. Tuomas...

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PHI 101 (71013) Dr. Tuomas Manninen ASU-West Richard Swinburne “A theistic response to the problem of evil” December 3, 2009
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Swinburne’s response to  Swinburne’s response to  PoE PoE Richard Swinburne, a prominent Christian philosopher,  attempts to offer what is called a  theodicy : a theory that  attempts to harmonize the existence of evil with the  existence of God.  Theodicy: from Greek words ‘Theos’, God, and  ‘dikea’, justice.   Roughly translated: a theory intended to justify the  ways of God to men.
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Recall: Russell’s argument Recall: Russell’s argument On Russell’s interpretation, the problem of evil turns on  what we are justified in believing. In particular, why think we are justified in believing  that there is excessive suffering? Question: does the fact that we do not see a reason why  God would allow so much suffering justify us in  believing that there is no such reason?
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Russell’s conclusion Russell’s conclusion “My argument that God does not exist is that the best  explanation of all the apparently pointless suffering we  see is that it has no point, not that it has one beyond our  ken” (233).
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Swinburne’s rejoinder Swinburne’s rejoinder Swinburne re-affirms God’s properties: “God is, by  definition, omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly good”  (236). Problem of Evil: is the existence of God compatible  with the existence of evil in the world? A theodicist answer is yes, an antitheodicist answer is  no.
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Varieties of evil Varieties of evil There exists a variety of evils in the world: 1. Physical evil: painful sensations felt by humans  and animals. 2. Mental evil: painful emotions, e.g. feelings of  loss and failure and frustration. 3. State evil: undesirable states of affairs that do  not involve suffering (e.g. envy, hatred; but  also, beauty of nature that is spoiled by trash) 4. Moral evil: “the evil actions of men, mainly  actions having as foreseeable consequences  evils of the first three types” (237)
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Classifying evil Classifying evil The first three kinds of evils are passive evils (or  natural evils), which are only indirectly caused by  humans, or they result from the laws of nature. The fourth kind of evil is active evil (or moral evil),  which are directly caused by humans.
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Theodicy vs. antitheodicy Theodicy vs. antitheodicy The theist contends that a successful theodicy is  possible; the existence of God is compatible with  the existence of evil. The atheist (or agonistic) will claim that the 
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This note was uploaded on 11/11/2010 for the course PHI PHI 101 taught by Professor Delvin during the Fall '10 term at ASU.

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PHI101_71013_Lecture23_Dec03 - PHI 101 (71013) Dr. Tuomas...

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