Griffioen, Amber. Theraputic Theodicy? Suffering, Struggle, and the Shift from the Gods-Eye View
2018, Religions 9(4).
Added by: Emily PaulAbstract: From a theoretical standpoint, the problem of human suffering can be understood as one formulation of the classical problem of evil, which calls into question the compatibility of the existence of a perfect God with the extent to which human beings suffer. Philosophical responses to this problem have traditionally been posed in the form of theodicies, or justifications of the divine. In this article, I argue that the theodical approach in analytic philosophy of religion exhibits both morally and epistemically harmful tendencies and that philosophers would do better to shift their perspective from the hypothetical 'God's-eye view' to the standpoint of those who actually suffer. By focusing less on defending the epistemic rationality of religious belief and more on the therapeutic effectiveness of particular imaginings of God with respect to suffering, we can recover, (re)construct, and/or (re)appropriate more virtuous approaches to the individual and collective struggle with the life of faith in the face of suffering.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
Scrutton, Tasia. Why Not Believe in an Evil God? Pragmatic Encroachment and Some Implications for Philosophy of Religion
2016, Religious Studies 52(3): 345-360.
Added by: Emily PaulAbstract: Pointing to broad symmetries between the idea that God is omniscient, omnipotent and all-good, and the idea that God is omniscient, omnipotent but all-evil, the evil-God challenge raises the question of why theists should prefer one over the other. I respond to this challenge by drawing on a recent theory in epistemology, pragmatic encroachment, which asserts that practical considerations can alter the epistemic status of beliefs. I then explore some of the implications of my argument for how we do philosophy of religion, arguing that practical and contextual as well as alethic considerations are properly central to the discipline.
Comment: A thought-provoking paper to use when teaching non-classical conceptions of God, which I think would be useful in an undergraduate course after teaching classical conceptions of God. Omnibenevolence in particular is an attribute that isn't often construed in a non-classical way, which makes this paper particularly interesting.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
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Comment: Useful for an introductory or intermediate Philosophy of Religion course - probably following or preceding the study of a 'classical' theodicy. It would be interesting to then have seminar questions in which students are invited to compare the two approaches to theodicy.