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Probability in the Philosophy of Religion$
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Jake Chandler and Victoria S. Harrison

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199604760

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604760.001.0001

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Comparative Confirmation and the Problem of Evil

Comparative Confirmation and the Problem of Evil

Chapter:
(p.126) 7 (p.127) Comparative Confirmation and the Problem of Evil
Source:
Probability in the Philosophy of Religion
Author(s):

Richard Otte

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604760.003.0007

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

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