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Evil and God

Evil and God

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Volnei Ramos Martins on Feb 10, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Page 40

therefore, will not suffice to make his case. What the atheologian must do to establish that (X) is reasonably true is show
both that the theodicies and defenses proposed by the theist to show that there are no gratuitous evils other than those
whose possibility is necessary for there being some greater good or preventing some greater evil are not sound and that
there is good reason to expect that God would not have other good reasons for not eliminating more evil than he does. It
will be remembered that it was theodicies and defenses which the atheologian had to exclude from N in order to make
his prima facie case. The theist contends that once included in N, i.e., N*, there is no reason to think that the probability

of E on N* and is greater than on N* and G. If the atheologian excludes theodicies and defenses from N, his
argument is inadequate in that in abstracting from the total evidence he has abstracted from important and perhaps
decisive evidence. As argued above, that something is improbable on some evidence does not entail that it is improbable
on the total evidence. If the atheologian includes evidence from theodicies and defenses, it would seem that there is no
reason to think (X) true. The atheologian is therefore required at minimum to show that the proposed theodicies and
defenses are unsound if he is to make his case for the truth of (X) and ultimately (V).

Even were he to succeed in refuting extant theodicies and defenses, however, there is less reason to think that he can
show that there is good reason to expect that God would not have other good reasons for not eliminating more evil than
he does, that the apparently pointless evil is really pointless and such that its possibility is not necessary for realizing the
greater good. I do not know how the atheologian would propose to show this (though at the same time I do not think the
theist can comfortably rest content solely with this defense). As we have seen, merely

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