American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 94, Issue 4, Fall 2020

Bryan Frances
Pages 547-572

The Epistemology of Theistic Philosophers’ Reactions to the Problem of Evil

I first argue that, contrary to many atheistic philosophers, there is good reason to think the typical theistic philosopher’s retaining of her theism when faced with the Problem of Evil (PoE) is comparatively epistemically upstanding even if both atheism is true and the typical theistic philosopher has no serious criticism of the atheist’s premises in the PoE argument. However, I then argue that, contrary to many theistic philosophers, even if theism is true, the typical theistic philosopher has no good non-theistic reasons for rejecting any of the atheist’s premises, and she has good non-theistic reasons in favor of the atheist’s premises. In that respect, it’s extremely difficult for the theistic philosopher to respond to the PoE in an informative, non-question-begging way. I close by considering whether theistic philosophers should reject my second thesis.