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Critical Remarks on a Theocentric Solution to the Problem of Evil

  • Yaşar Michael Kontny
  • Johannes Müller-SaloEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Münster Lectures in Philosophy book series (MUELP, volume 5)

Abstract

In this paper, Robert Audi’s thoughts on the ineffaceable problem of evil are critically discussed. Audi develops his thought on God and evil within a broader framework that seeks to defend the possibility of rational religious commitment. He proposes a theocentric solution to the problem, which is focused on the divine experience with creation and which asks for the conditions a world has to fulfill in order to be good enough for being created by an omnicompetent God. Following this line of thought, the problem of evil can be solved if the enormous value of divine experience made in the world and with all creatures that live on earth is included in the overall comparison of good and evil. The paper provides a detailed reconstruction of Audi’s argumentation and locates it within its broader philosophical contexts. Furthermore, it considers three difficulties Audi’s theocentric solution has to resolve: Firstly, a theocentric theodicy cannot fully explain the existence of natural evil, especially horrendous natural evil. Secondly, such a position seemingly has to accept fairly burdensome metaphysical assumptions regarding the character of divine experience. Finally, an alternative theocentric conception that allows for divine regret seems to be in line with Audi’s philosophy of religion and might eventually be more responsive to human experience with great moral evil.

Keywords

Natural evil Philosophy of religion Problem of evil Rationality of religious belief Theism Theodicy 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophisches Seminar, Westfälische Wilhelms-UniversitätMünsterGermany

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