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The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 4, 1999

Philosophies of Religion, Art, and Creativity

Michael P. Levine
Pages 127-146

The Problem of Evil
Strange Mutations, Strange Solutions

The shift from the logical to the empirical argument from evil against the existence of God has been seen as a victory by analytic philosophers of religion who now seek to establish that the existence of evil fails to make the existence of God improbable. I examine several arguments in an effort to establish the following: (i) Their victory is pyrrhic. They distort the historical, philosophical and religious nature of the problem of evil. (ii) In attempting to refute the empirical argument they rely on disguised but well-worn strategies. (iii) A refusal to let evil count in any way against the probability of the existence of God indicates that their rejection is ideological and contrary to traditional theism. (iv) Aspects of their arguments are morally repugnant. (v) Their arguments are indicative of a lack of vitality, relevance and “seriousness” in Christian analytic philosophy of religion.

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