God, Geography, and Justice

Authors

  • Daniel Linford Christopher Newport University
  • William R. Patterson Independent Scholar

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/eph.v23i2.28019

Keywords:

Problem of Evil, Atheism, Theodicy, Skeptical Theism

Abstract

The existence of various sufferings has long been thought to pose a problem for the existence of a personal God: the Problem of Evil (POE). In this paper, we propose an original version of POE, in which the geographic distribution of sufferings and of opportunities for flourishing or suffering is better explained if the universe, at bottom, is indifferent to the human condition than if, as theists propose, there is a personal God from whom the universe originates: the Problem of Geography (POG). POG moves beyond previous versions of POE because traditional responses to POE (skeptical theism and various theodicies) are less effective as responses to POG than they are to other versions of POE.

Author Biography

Daniel Linford, Christopher Newport University

I am currently an instructor at Christopher Newport University and an adjunct professor at Thomas Nelson Community College. I do research in philosophy of religion, value theory, and metaphysics. I earned my master’s degree in philosophy at Virginia Tech where I wrote a thesis on the relationship between atheism and the Thomistic doctrine of analogy. I am presently working on applying to PhD programs.

References

Almeida, Michael J. and Oppy, Graham. 2003. “Sceptical Theism and Evidential Arguments from Evil.” Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81(4): 496–516. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/713659758

Bergman, Michael. 2001. “Skeptical Theism and Rowe’s New Evidential Argument from Evil.” Noûs 35(2): 278–296. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0029-4624.00297

Craig, William L. 2007. “Theistic Critiques of Atheism”. In The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, edited by Michael Martin, 69–85. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dougherty, Trent. 2014. “Skeptical Theism”. In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta. http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2014/entries/skeptical-theism/. Accessed 26 October 2014.

Draper, Paul. 1989. “Pain and Pleasure: An Evidential Problem for Theists.” Noûs, 23(3): 331–350. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2215486

———. 1996. “The Skeptical Theist.” In The Evidential Argument from Evil, edited by Daniel Howard-Snyder, 175–192. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

———. 2009. “The Problem of Evil.” In The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology, edited by Thomas P. Flint and Michael Rea, 332–351. Oxford: Oxford University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199289202.003.0016

Gosepath, Stefan. 2011. “Equality.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta. http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2011/entries/equality/. Accessed 26 October 2014.

Hasker, William. 2010. “All Too Skeptical Theism”. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 68: 15–29. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11153-010-9252-7

Hick, John. 1966. “Evil and Soul-Making.” In Evil and the God of Love. Harper & Rowe.

Hudson, Hud. 2014. “The Father of Lies?” Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, edited by Jonathan Kvanvig, 147–166. Oxford: Oxford University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704768.003.0006

Hume, David. 1993. “Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.” In Writings on Religion, edited by Antony Flew, 183–292. Open Court: La Salle.

Inwagen, Peter V. 1988. “The Magnitude, Duration, and Distribution of Evil: A Theodicy.” Philosophical Topics, 16(2): 161–187. http://dx.doi.org/10.5840/philtopics198816218

———. 2006. The Problem of Evil. Oxford: Clarendon Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245604.001.0001

Jones, W. 1998. Is God a White Racist? A Preamble to Black Theology. Boston, MA: Beacon Press Books.

Kittel, Charles, and Herbert Kroemer. 1980. Thermal Physics. 2nd ed. San Francisco, CA: WH Freeman and Company.

Lloyd, Alan B. 2014. Ancient Egypt: State and Society. Oxford University Press: Oxford. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199286188.001.0001

Law, Stephen. 2014. “Sceptical Theism and a Lying God – Wielenberg’s Argument Defended and Developed.” Religious Studies 1: 1–19.

———. 2010. “The Evil-God Challenge.” Religious Studies 46(3): 353–373. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0034412509990369

Mann, D., J. Edwards, J. Chase, W. Beck, R. Reanier, M. Mass, B. Finney and J. Loret. 2008. “Drought, Vegetation Change, and Human History on Rapa Nui (Isla de Pascua, Easter Island).” Quarternary Research 69(1): 16–28. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yqres.2007.10.009

Mawson, T. J. 2005. Belief in God. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Mackie, John. 1955. “Evil and Omnipotence.” Mind: New Series 64(254): 200–212. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mind/LXIV.254.200

Martin, Michael. 1990. Atheism: A Philosophical Justification. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

McBrayer, Justin. 2010. “Skeptical Theism.” In The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta. http://www.iep.utm.edu/skept-th/. Accessed 26 October, 2014.

McHugh, Christopher. 2002. “A Refutation of Drange’s Arguments from Evil and Nonbelief.” Philo 5(1): 94–102. http://dx.doi.org/10.5840/philo2002516

Murphy, Frank J. 2005. “Unknowable Worlds: Solving the Problem of Natural Evil.” Religious Studies 41(3): 343–346. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0034412505007651

Otte, Richard. 2004. “Probability and Draper’s Evidential Argument from Evil.” In Christian Faith and the Problem of Evil, edited by Peter van Inwagen, 26–40. Grand Rapids, MI: William B Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Piper, Mark. 2007. “Skeptical Theism and the Problem of Moral ‘Aporia’.” International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion 62(2): 65–79. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11153-007-9128-7

Rowe, William. 1979. “The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism.” American Philosophical Quarterly 16(4): 335–341.

———. 1984. “Evil and the Theistic Hypothesis: A Response to S.J. Wykstra.” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 16: 95–100. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00136568

———. 1986. “The Empirical Argument from Evil”. In Rationality, Religious Belief and Moral Commitment, edited by Robert Audi & William Wainwright. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

———. 1988. “Evil and Theodicy.” Philosophical Topics 16: 119–132. http://dx.doi.org/10.5840/philtopics198816216

———. 1991. “Ruminations about Evil.” Philosophical Perspectives 5: 69–88. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2214091

———. 1996. “The Evidential Argument from Evil: A Second Look.” In The Evidential Argument from Evil, edited by Daniel Howard-Snyder. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Schoenig, Richard. 1999. “The Argument from Unfairness.” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 45(2): 115–128. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1003499118636

Sehon, Scott. 2010. “The Problem of Evil: Skeptical Theism Leads to Moral Paralysis.” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 67: 67–80. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11153-009-9213-1

Stanley, J., M. Krom, R. Cliff and J. Woodward. 2003. “Short Contribution: Nile Flow Failure at the End of the Old Kingdom, Egypt: Strontium Isotopic and Petrologic Evidence.” Geoarchaeology: An International Journal 18(3): 395–402. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gea.10065

Shook, John. 2014. “Rationalist Atheology.” International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion 78(3): 329–348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11153-014-9498-6

Swinburne, Richard. 1998. Providence and the Problem of Evil. Oxford: Clarendon Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198237987.001.0001

———. 2005. Faith and Reason. Second Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199283927.001.0001

Trakakis, Nick. 2005. “Is theism capable of accounting for any natural evil at all?” International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion 57(1): 33–66. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11153-004-5895-6

Wielenberg, Erik. 2010. “Skeptical theism and divine lies.” Religious Studies 46(4): 509–523. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0034412510000247

Wilks, Ian. 2013. “The Global Skepticism Objection to ST.” In The Blackwell Companion to the Problem of Evil, edited by Justin McBrayer and Daniel Howard-Snyder. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons.

Published

2016-02-18

How to Cite

Linford, D., & Patterson, W. (2016). God, Geography, and Justice. Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism, 23(2), 189–216. https://doi.org/10.1558/eph.v23i2.28019

Issue

Section

Articles