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Skeptical Theism: New Essays$
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Trent Dougherty and Justin P. McBrayer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199661183

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199661183.001.0001

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Skeptical Demonism:

Skeptical Demonism:

A Failed Response to a Humean Challenge

(p.221) 16 Skeptical Demonism:
Skeptical Theism: New Essays

Wes Morriston

Oxford University Press

Drawing on materials in Hume’s Dialogues, this chapter develops an argument for saying that it is unreasonable to accept either the hypothesis that the universe is ruled by perfect benevolence, or that it is ruled by perfect malice. It then shows how skeptical theists would respond to this argument, and how their response might be imitated by an imaginary “skeptical demonist” (a defender of the "perfect malice" hypothesis). Finally, this chapter gives reasons for thinking that neither skeptical demonism nor skeptical theism is successful in blunting the force of the Humean challenge.

Keywords:   problem of evil, skeptical theism, David Hume, skeptical demonism, perfect benevolence

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