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Providence and the Problem of Evil$
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Richard Swinburne

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198237983

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198237987.001.0001

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The Need for Theodicy

The Need for Theodicy

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 The Need for Theodicy
Source:
Providence and the Problem of Evil
Author(s):

Richard Swinburne (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198237987.003.0001

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

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