Forum Philosophicum

Volume 13, Issue 2, Autumn 2008

Robert Simpson
Pages 213-227

Avoiding the Afterlife in Theodicy
Victims of Suffering and the Argument from Usefulness

Contemporary proponents of theodicy generally believe that a theodical reply to the evidential argument from evil must involve some appeal to the afterlife. In Richard Swinburne's writings on theodicy, however, we find two arguments that may be offered in opposition to this prevailing view. In this paper, these two arguments - the argument from usefulness and the argument from assumed consent - are explained and evaluated. It is suggested that both of these arguments are rendered ineffective by their failure to distinguish between the different ways in which persons may be of-use in the attainment of some good state of affairs.