What the argument from evil should, but cannot, be

James Collin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Michael Tooley has developed a sophisticated evidential version of the argument from evil that aims to circumvent sceptical theist responses. Evidential arguments from evil depend on the plausibility of inductive inferences from premises about our inability to see morally sufficient reasons for God to permit evils to conclusions about there being no morally sufficient reasons for God to permit evils. Tooley's defence of this inductive step depends on the idea that the existence of unknown rightmaking properties is no more likely, a priori, than the existence of unknown wrongmaking properties. I argue that Tooley's argument begs the question against the theist, and, in doing so, commits an analogue of the base rate fallacy. I conclude with some reflections on what a successful argument from evil would have to establish.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalReligious Studies
Early online date25 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Sep 2018

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