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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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On the Epistemological Framework for Skeptical Theism

On the Epistemological Framework for Skeptical Theism

(p.32) 3 On the Epistemological Framework for Skeptical Theism
Skeptical Theism: New Essays

John M. DePoe

Oxford University Press

Most contemporary versions of skeptical theism are motivated solely by the idea that the human cognitive situation is such that individuals are unable to distinguish whether or not their judgment about the ultimate justifiability of any given evil is accurate. This view will be referred to as negative skeptical theism. This chapter proposes the framework of positive skeptical theism, where one remains skeptical about the human perspective to discern the justification for apparently gratuitous evils, but which positively recognizes second-order justifications that one would expect to find for the appearance of gratuitous evils if God exists. This alternative framework helps the skeptical theist to be skeptical about one’s ability to discern any God-permitting reason for a specific seemingly gratuitous evil, while avoiding the undesirable implications of negative skeptical theism.

Keywords:   problem of evil, skeptical theism, positive skeptical theism, gratuitous evils

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