Presentation on theme: "Philosophy of Religion Lecture 1: Intro"— Presentation transcript:
1 Philosophy of Religion Lecture 1: Intro Dan TurtonPHIL
2 What We’re NOT Asking Theological questions: Descriptive Questions: Usually presuppose that God existsDescriptive Questions:E.g. When exactly did the Jewish and Christian movements divide?;Who wrote the Bible?;What political and social structures influenced the rise of Scientology
3 The Kind of Thing We’re Asking Philosophical questions:Usually makes no assumptions about the existence of GodNormative Questions:E.g. Is it reasonable to have religious beliefs?Under what conditions would one be justified in believing (or disbelieving) in the existence of God?Should one be required to give reasons in support of religious judgments at all?
4 The Main QuestionFor the next 9 lectures, we are trying to answer the question:Is there a good justification for believing in the existence of God?Some major arguments and objections to them will be discussed
5 Words of WarningStudents in this class must respect the opinions of others when debating the question ‘Does God exist?’
6 Basic Vocab(ulary) Theist Atheist Agnostic believes there is a God believes there is no GodAgnosticis neither a theist nor an atheistcould think it’s equally likely that God exists and that God doesn’tor perhaps hasn’t thought about the question enough to form any beliefs on the matter
7 You are Not Alone Participants: 172 students in PHIL104 Theists AtheistsAgnostics52427830%25%45%
8 Advanced Vocab(ulary) Main Question: Is there a good justification for believing in the existence of God?ExistenceGodJustification
9 Existence Primitive notion To say that something (x) exists is not to say that:there exists an idea or concept of xx exists ‘in the mind’x exists for me but (perhaps) not for youit’s true for me that x exists but (perhaps) it’s not true for you
10 God An absolutely perfect being A first cause: a being that causes other things to exist but is not itself caused to existAn intelligent creator: a being that created the universeA being that possesses every property attributed to a being named ‘God’ in the Bible (Torah, Koran, etc.)An invisible, vastly powerful intelligence who deserves to be worshiped and lovedA being who sends those who do not believe in him to hell, and sends those who do believe in him to heavenA perfectly loving, all powerful, and all knowing being
11 JustificationTo say that one is justified in believing something is just to say that I have good reason to believe itTheoretical reasonsPractical reasons
12 Structure of Section Intro Paley’s Design Argument More on the Design ArgumentPascal’s WagerMore on Pascal’s WagerThe Argument from EvilMore on the Argument from EvilEven more on the Argument from EvilSummary and exam revision
13 Faith “The whole point is to have faith” If faith is believing in something without question, then how is faith in religion different to faith in fairies?You can have faith and still be interested in whether there is also good reason to believe that God existsYou can even still have faith if you think that we have more reasons not to believe in god, than to believe in God
14 Religious Experience“I have experienced God and require no more evidence/ discussion that he exists”So have millions of others, but lots of them are aligned to different religionsOur experiential evidence can be surprisingly deceivingE.g. spiritual or religious experienceDerren Brown
15 Arguments Against Religion in General “No one should believe in a religion because they were all made up by people”Being “managed” or “conveyed” by people doesn’t necessarily mean that a religion is falseWe are being more specific in this course anywayFocus is just on God, not religion
16 Science“There is no scientific evidence for God, therefore God probably doesn’t exist”“It’s impossible to prove or disprove God’s existence with science, therefore we should be agnostic”Science is not the last word on the existence of God
17 Philosophy of Religion Lecture 2: Paley on Design Dan TurtonPHIL
18 IntroWilliam PaleyWatches appear to be designed, so they probably have a designerThe same goes for natural things, e.g. eyesGod probably exists because he probably designed natural things
19 How did the watch come to be? It’s so complexAll of it’s complex parts seem to serve minor functions that allow the whole watch to do something usefulIt appears designed
20 Paley’s Argument from Design (P1) It is an indisputable and yet remarkable fact that many watches appear to have been designed.(P2) The best explanation for this appearance of design is that watches have been designed.(P3) Inference to the Best Explanation: If an hypothesis H is the best explanation of an observation O, then it is rational to believe that H is true.(C) Therefore, one should believe that watchmakers exist.
21 Inference to the Best Explanation A theory should minimize the number of entities it postulatesA theory should be consistent with the evidenceA theory should make reliable predictionsA theory should minimize the number of unexplained coincidencesA theory should be, as far as possible, simple and elegant
22 Inference to the Best Explanation The Knight Watchman’s dog spews watches all over the place and watch-sellers find them and sell themHave you ever met a watchmaker?
23 Watchmakers ExistEven if we have never met one, Paley thinks we do and should believe in them because of watchesMost importantly, watches really appear to have been designed…Which gives us good reason to think that they have been designed
24 Design Intentionally created for some purpose(s) Therefore, requires a designer - an intentional creator
25 The Appearance of Design An object bears the marks of design if:It is structurally complex,It has a purpose or function, andIt has the purpose it does in virtue of its structural complexity.Watches really appear to be designed!
26 (Bad) Reasons Watches Might Not be Designed MalfunctionSome components do not help produce the main functionYou don’t understand how they work, so how can you say that they appear to be designed?
27 Paley’s Argument - Watches (P1) It is an indisputable and yet remarkable fact that many watches appear to have been designed.(P2) The best explanation for this appearance of design is that watches have been designed.(P3) Inference to the Best Explanation: If an hypothesis H is the best explanation of an observation O, then it is rational to believe that H is true.(C) Therefore, one should believe that watchmakers exist.
28 Paley’s Argument - Nature (P1) It is an indisputable and yet remarkable fact that many natural things appear to have been designed(P2) The best explanation for this appearance of design is that many natural things have been designed(P3) Inference to the Best Explanation(P4) Therefore, one should believe that a designer of natural things exists(P5) God is the designer of natural things(C) Therefore, one should believe that God exists
29 Are Natural Objects Designed? Some certainly appear to be soThe eye is structurally complex,It has a purpose or function, andIt has the purpose it does in virtue of its structural complexity.
30 Eyes(P1) It is an indisputable and yet remarkable fact that eyes appear to have been designed.(P2) The best explanation for this appearance of design is that eyes have been designed.(P3) Inference to the Best Explanation: If an hypothesis H is the best explanation of an observation O, then it is rational to believe that H is true.(C) Therefore, one should believe that eye-makers exist.
31 Paley’s Argument - Watches (P1) It is an indisputable and yet remarkable fact that many watches appear to have been designed.(P2) The best explanation for this appearance of design is that watches have been designed.(P3) Inference to the Best Explanation: If an hypothesis H is the best explanation of an observation O, then it is rational to believe that H is true.(C) Therefore, one should believe that watchmakers exist.
32 Eyes(P1) It is an indisputable and yet remarkable fact that eyes appear to have been designed.(P2) The best explanation for this appearance of design is that eyes have been designed.(P3) Inference to the Best Explanation: If an hypothesis H is the best explanation of an observation O, then it is rational to believe that H is true.(C) Therefore, one should believe that eye-makers exist.
33 Philosophy of Religion Lecture 3: More on Design Dan TurtonPHIL
34 Today Recap of Paley’s argument Are eyes designed? Science: “no”The fine-tuning variant of the design argumentThe chances of a universe evolving that supports intelligent life is tinySo, God probably fine-tuned/designed the universe
35 What is the Best Explanation for this Appearance? Theories are better if they:minimize # of entities they postulateare consistent with the evidencemake reliable predictionsminimize unexplained coincidencessimple and elegantIs there a better explanation for eyes appearing to designed… than them being designed? (P2)
36 Evolution by Natural Selection Darwin: natural objects will evolve to bear the marks of design if the following four conditions are met:There is variation among the objects/traitsTraits are inheritedVariation in traits is randomThe objects/organisms compete
37 But the Eye? Really!?!"To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances… could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree." Charles Darwin, The Origin of SpeciesThe eye gave him a “cold shudder”
38 Yes, It Could Have Evolved! Reason tells me, that despite it being hard to imagine, many subtle random changes exposed to the pressure of selection over time can lead to the evolution of a perfect and complex eye from a simple and imperfect one. Furthermore, there exist examples of the steps along the way. Paraphrase of Charles Darwin, The Origin of SpeciesFrom the same page!!
39 Dawkins on How to Climb Mount Improbable How can we get to (explain) the eye on top of Mount Improbable?To get to the eye in one leap is impossibleBut, if we take lots of slow steps, then ClimbingMount ImprobableDoesn’t seem thathard
40 Slow Steps to the EyeThe eye didn’t just evolve in one step or by randomA slow process of organisms competing over thousands of iterations gave a selective advantage to various stages of proto eyesNote that the process involves random mutation, but it is not a ‘random process’
41 Light-sensitive cells Information sent to brainPin-hole cameraLens for focusingEtc
42 The Evidence is Out There Link to more on evolution
43 The Fine-Tuning Argument (P1) It is an indisputable and yet remarkable fact that the universe appears to have been designed(P2) The best explanation for this appearance of design is that the universe has been designed(P3) Inference to the Best Explanation(P4) Therefore, one should believe that a designer of the universe exists(P5) God is the designer of the universe(C) Therefore, one should believe that God exists
44 Does the Universe Appear to be Designed 1? If the initial explosion of the big bang had differed in strength by as little as 1 part in 1060, the universe would have either quickly collapsed back on itself, or expanded too rapidly for stars to form. In either case, life would be impossible.Calculations indicate that if the strong nuclear force, the force that binds protons and neutrons together in an atom, had been stronger or weaker by as little as 5%, life would be impossible.
45 Does the Universe Appear to be Designed 2? Calculations by Brandon Carter show that if gravity had been stronger or weaker by 1 part in 1040, then life-sustaining stars like the sun could not exist. This would most likely make life impossible.If the neutron were not about times the mass of the proton, all protons would have decayed into neutrons or all neutrons would have decayed into protons, and thus life would not be possible.
46 Does the Universe Appear to be Designed 3? The universe is structurally complex,It has a purpose or function (supporting intelligent life), andIt has the purpose or function it does in virtue of its structural complexity.So P1 seems correct – the universe appears to be designed
47 Best Explanation for the Universe’s Appearance of Design? God is all-powerful and all-knowingHe and only he has what it takes to design and create this marvelous universeThe universe can support life as we know it by chanceDifferent physical laws may well have allowed for the existence of a different kind of universe and other kinds of life
48 Intergalactic LottoThe odds of winning intergalactic lotto are 999billion to 1Everyone is automatically enrolledYou win intergalactic lottoDid chance or divine creation cause your win?
49 Best Explanation for the Universe’s Appearance of Design? God-centered explanation postulates one more entityThe scientific explanation involves some pretty big and fairly poorly explained coincidencesWhich is the best explanation?
50 Philosophy of Religion Lecture 4: Pascal’s Wager Dan TurtonPHIL
51 Today Decision Theory primer Pascal’s Wager Practical reason for being a theist (of a particular type)Because of heaven and hell, the expected utility of belief in god outweighs disbelief
52 Primer on Decision Theory We are practically rational to the extent that we do what’s in our best interests.Utility is a measure of our happiness or preference satisfaction.Decision Theory: we do what’s in our best interests when (and only when) we perform actions that maximize our expected utility
53 Decision Theory tries to be Precise In order to determine which action maximizes expected utility, we need to set up a consequence matrix, which includes:all relevant choices available to the agent (in the left column)all relevant possible outcomes after the agent has acted (in the top row)the probability of each outcome-choice pair (in parentheses next to the utility values)the utility of each outcome-choice pair (in each of the remaining empty boxes)
54 ‘The One’ So, you have met ‘the one’ in your PHIL104 lecture You are agonizingly in love with him/herWhat should you do??
55 A Consequence Matrix How likely are outcomes given the decision? Getting ‘the one’ to go out with youYou don’t get to go out with them – (“no”)You get to go out with them – (“yes”)Expected UtilityAsk them[0.8][0.2]Don’t ask them[0.99][0.01]How likely are outcomes given the decision?Must add up to 1 going across
56 Calculate the expected utility for each choice/outcome pair A Consequence MatrixGetting ‘the one’ to go out with youYou don’t get to go out with them – (“no”)You get to go out with them – (“yes”)Expected UtilityAsk them[0.8]*-20 = -19.2[0.2]*50 = 10Don’t ask them[0.99]*-10 = -9.01[0.01]*75 = 0.75Calculate the expected utility for each choice/outcome pair
57 Compare the expected utility for each choice A Consequence MatrixGetting ‘the one’ to go out with youYou don’t get to go out with them – (“no”)You get to go out with them – (“yes”)Expected UtilityAsk them[0.8]*-20 = -19.2[0.2]*50 = 10= -9.2Don’t ask them[0.99]*-10 = -9.01[0.01]*75 = 0.75= -8.26Compare the expected utility for each choice
58 Decision Theory Helps Us… … To see how dire our lovestruck position isNeither of the two options available to us will produce positive utility!The best choice is not to ask thoughIt minimises our disutility (suffering)But, maybe we should make the decision in a couple of days…
60 Wrong QuestionPascal thinks that ‘what is God?’ and ‘does God exist?’ are the wrong questionsThese questions involve the infinite and so are beyond usHe thinks we should ask ‘should we believe in God or not?’Theoretical reasons are inconclusive, butWe have practical reasons to believe
61 How Will You Bet? You have to play If you choose A, I flip a coin ‘Heads’ = you get the worst existence possible and it continues for ever‘Tails’ = you have a normal unrestricted lifeIf you choose B, I flip a coin‘Heads’ = you get the best existence possible and it continues for ever‘Tails’ = you have a normal life, but slightly more restricted than normal
62 Pascal’s Wager Should I believe in God? God Exists God doesn’t exist Expected UtilityBelieve[0.5]*∞ = ∞[0.5]*10 = 5∞ + 5= ∞Don’t believe[0.5]*10 = 55 + 5= 10
63 Standard Presentation of Pascal’s Wager Should I believe in God?God Exists(p≠0)God doesn’t existExpected UtilityBelieve[p]*∞[1-p]*-10= ∞Don’t believe[p]*-∞[1-p]*10= -∞
64 The Upshot?If the standard Pascalian setup of the wager is correct, then we have a good (practical) reason to believe in GodShould I believe in God?God Exists(p≠0)God doesn’t existExpected UtilityBelieve[p]*∞[1-p]*-10= ∞Don’t believe[p]*-∞[1-p]*10= -∞
65 I Can’t Make Myself Believe in God! I can’t force myself to believe in God!Pascal: you should learn from those who have converted to theismEven if I could, then God wouldn’t appreciate my only believing in him for my own best interests!Perhaps God doesn’t mind as long as you believeIt may start like this, but turn into belief regardless of your interests
66 Philosophy of Religion Lecture 6: The Argument from Evil Dan TurtonPHIL
67 Today Based on Dostoevsky’s ‘Rebellion’… Being clear about what God and evil areAsking why God might allow evilConcluding that even if there is a reason for the evil, it’s probably not good enough
68 What is Evil?All things equal, a state of affairs is evil if it involves the suffering of an innocentThe more suffering of innocents in any situation, the more evil it isThere can be other types of evil
69 Varieties of EvilWe can distinguish between the following kinds of evil:Natural evil v. human evilNecessary evil v. unnecessary evilMild evil v. horrendous evil
70 What is God?God is, by definition, omnibenevolent, omnipotent and omniscientAn individual x is omnibenevolent if and only if it is perfectly loving(all good/perfectly good)An individual x is omnipotent if and only if it can do anything(all powerful)An individual x is omniscient if and only if it knows everything(all knowing)
71 The Argument from Evil(P1) If God exists, he is omnibenevolent, omnipotent and omniscient. [By Definition](P2) An omnibenevolent being would prevent any unnecessary evil if she could and knew how.(P3) An omnipotent being could prevent all unnecessary evil.(P4) An omniscient being would know all about unnecessary evils and how to prevent them.(P5) Therefore, if God exists, there is no unnecessary evil. [From (P1), (P2), (P3) & (P4)](P6) But there is unnecessary evil. [Evidential Premise](C) Therefore, God does not exist. [From 5 & 6]
72 P6) Dostoevsky’s Examples of Unnecessary Horrendous Evil A 5-y.o. girl is mistreated by her parents, beaten, forced to eat her own excrement etc.A young boy is ripped apart by hounds in front of his motherA soldier cuts an unborn baby out of it’s mother’s womb, throws it in the air and catches it with his bayonet
73 Is that Suffering Unnecessary? Ivan discusses a few reasons why it might be considered necessary, but rejects them:We need evil to understand goodHumans allowed evil by choosing free willAll humans must suffer for the mistakes of our ancestorsGod has a plan which makes this suffering necessary for us all to share harmony in the end
74 We Need Evil to Understand Good Evil and good are like two sides of a coinyou can’t have a 1-sided coincould you know dark without light?Good would be meaningless normalcy without evilIvan: If the price to know goodness is so high, then I would prefer we knew nothing of goodnessPerhaps we could know goodness by evil occurring to adults only
75 Evil is a Necessary Consequence of Human Freewill God gave humans the power to choose to be good or evilWe would be like ants without this choiceA consequence is that sometimes we choose to be evilIvan?: If such great evil results from our freewill, then God should never have let us have it
76 We All Must Suffer for the Mistakes of our Ancestors Adam needn’t have eaten the apple, but he didThis made him guilty, andUs guilty too, since we are of himIvan: Our real-world sense of justice does not allow guilt to be inheritedWhy does God allow it?It doesn’t make sense to us
77 God’s Plan Requires the Evil We cannot fathom God’s infinite goodness, power and intellectAll suffering that we see is necessary for the ultimate good of us all being united in harmony(Or some other great good)Ivan: it’s unfair that some innocents suffer in this plan, esp. children!I won’t go to a heaven where the mother of the killed baby/child forgives the evil people who caused innocents to suffer for their own pleasure!
78 Is that Suffering Unnecessary? We need evil to understand goodHumans allowed evil by choosing free willAll humans must suffer for the mistakes of our ancestorsGod has a plan which makes this suffering necessary for us all to share harmony in the endAny other ideas how to make the evils we see necessary?
79 Philosophy of Religion Lecture 7: More on the Argument from Evil Dan TurtonPHIL
80 Today Recap Mackie Rowe Argument from Evil Evil and God are logically incompatibleRoweEvil and God are not logically incompatible,But evil provides a good reason to be an atheistBut, we should still be friendly
81 Mackie on EvilThinks the argument from evil shows that most forms of theism are internally inconsistentTheists believe all of these 3:God is all-powerfulGod is all-goodThere is evil in the worldBut no more than 2 of these could be true at any one time
82 Mackie Considers Responses He finds that all of them don’t fully workThey generally alter the definitions of the important terms
83 Evil is an IllusionThere is no evil, just the illusion of evil because…E.g.Change is required for evil and nothing actually ever changesAll of our worldly perceptions are illusoryThis illusion sure seems mean (evil) though!
84 God’s Plan Requires the Evil We cannot fathom God’s infinite goodness, power and intellectAll apparent evils are necessary for the ultimate good - being united in harmonySo apparent evils are really just part of the overall goodBut apparent evils are actually a bit evilIf we can imagine a way to bring about the great good without evil, then an all-powerful being could do it
85 Good cannot Exist without Evil But, God is omnipotent, so he can make good exist without evilOmnipotence = being able to do anything that is logically possibleGood is logically possible without evil (unlike relative terms e.g. bigger/smaller)
86 We Cannot Appreciate Good without Evil Our perceiving suffering in the world creates a juxtaposition with the goods we see, making them much betterThe net result is more goodness overallSurely there is enough evil in our history and imaginations to juxtapose the goods we see?Only a tiny amount of non-horrendous suffering is needed for this and we see more than that
87 Some Evil is Needed for Expression of Virtues The whole world is better if there is evil because it allows for heroism, compassion, benevolence etc.But evil also allows vices of cruelty, malevolence, callousness, cowardice etcThere doesn’t seem to be a net gain hereAnd why let innocents like children be the target of vices?
88 Evil is Due to Freewill 1 Is it better on the whole to have freewill? How much evil can we bear for freewill?Is there more or less evil than that?‘Free’ choices are constrained alreadyWhy do we not have the freewill to choose from just the neutral and good options?Imagine if we never thought of the possibility of doing evilIf God is all-powerful, then he either controls our choices or they are randomIf we really have full freewill, then God is not all-powerful
89 Evil is Due to Freewill 2If we really have full freewill, then God is not all-powerfulGod could prevent willful acts of human evil but refrains from doing so…But why would he do this?because freedom to carry out evil deeds outweighs the evil consequences?But this is not justice as we know it!
90 The Paradox of Omnipotence Can an omnipotent God create rules that restrict itself?Can God make a rock so heavy that it is un-liftable? …YESCan God lift that rock? …YESContradictionCan God make people with complete freedom of choice? …YESCan God control those people? …YES
91 What about Natural Evil? Natural evil is not caused by freewillIs there another reason why natural evils are necessary?Consistent laws of nature required to allow freewill to operate properlyCouldn’t consistent laws of nature prevent all natural suffering?E.g. natural force-fields for babies
92 RoweJust because we can’t see why an evil might be necessary does not mean that it cannot be necessaryTherefore, the Argument from Evil does not logically prove that an all-knowing, -powerful and -good God does not existBut, not knowing a good reason for why evil is necessary does give us a reason to be atheistsIs it reasonable to believe that all of the evil in the world is necessary for some greater good? …No
93 Varieties of Atheism Unfriendly Atheism: Indifferent Atheism: Theistic belief is not rationally justifiableIndifferent Atheism:Agnostic about whether theists’ belief in God is rationally justifiableFriendly Atheism:Some theists’ belief in God is rationally justified
94 Friendly AtheismCan a Friendly Atheist really think that they are justified in not believing in God while theists might well be justified in believing in God?We can think of the Argument from Evil as a reason not to believe in God and the Fine-Tuning Design Argument as a reason to believeThrow in religious experience for the theist but not the atheist and both seem to be reasonably justified in their beliefs
95 Philosophy of Religion Lecture 8: Even More on the Argument from Evil Dan TurtonPHIL
96 Today Recap Howard-Snyder Mackie, Rowe and ‘Ivan’ on the Argument from EvilHoward-SnyderThere are reasons why evil might be necessary, some of which we can’t even imagineDo these reasons (taken together) justify the huge amount of evil in the world?We cannot be sure that they do notWe should not even say it is likely that they do not
97 Howard-Snyder Not all of the article will be covered He discusses some theodicies (explanations of why evil is necessary)But, he thinks theists don’t really need them because the argument from evil contains a bad noseeum inference
98 Evil and Suffering“the history of our planet is… stuffed with undeserved, horrific evil and suffering”Intentional human evilA child dies from abuse by its parents every 6 hours in the USUnintentional human evilOn a boiling hot day, a Kentucky professor left his child in the back of his car all dayNatural evilChildren and animals suffer because of famine, disease and natural disasters
99 Two Problems The practical problem of evil Assumes God existsObserving evil may cause a theist to despair or rebel against GodLike ‘Ivan’: “put God on trial for negligence and gross incompetence”The theoretical problem of evilDoes not assume that God existsIs evil evidence that we should not be theists?“Philosophical twaddle” is his focus
100 Why Does God Permit Evil? Why do so many innocents suffer?And why do they suffer so much?When asked like this, an assumption is hiddenThe questioner assumes that:If we cannot give a good reason for why God permits this suffering, then there is no good reasonThis assumption is wrong
101 Is God only Semi-Potent? Theists might say that God is not all-powerfulProblem:How can a being be powerful and knowledgeable to create and sustain the universe but not be powerful enough to prevent evil?Is there something special about evil that makes him powerless to stop it?
102 Why the Evil, God?“If there was some greater good that could not possibly occur unless evil were permitted, it might well figure in God’s reason to permit evil.”Theodicies:Attempts to explain why God permits evil
103 Punishment Theodicy God is justified in punishing evildoers But what about natural evil?This response doesn’t get anywhere without reincarnation
104 Counterpart Theodicy Good requires evil to exist and vice versa But God is omnibenevolentJust before God created the universe, only he existedGod is all-good (no evil)Therefore, good can exist without evil
105 Free Will TheodicySelf-determination is the greater good for which we must countenance evilBut why not block others from harm without evil-doers realising?Then I can still determine my character and actions, but no innocents suffer as a result
106 What about Natural Evil? The free choices of nonhuman people (e.g. Satan & his demons) causes all natural evilsBut, science can better explain natural evils than Satan and demons canThis will not convince any atheists
107 Natural Law TheodicyWithout rigid laws of nature, we would live in a random world where fruitful exercise of freewill would be impossibleI want to hug you but my limbs act so erratically that I poke you in the eye and crush your ribsThe natural laws that govern the movement of physical bodies also result in earthquakes and landslides
108 “The Reason” There are reasons why evil might be necessary Let’s call all of them together “The Reason”“would The Reason justify God in permitting so much evil rather than a lot less?”E.g. same but no dementia or Ebola virus or genocideThe Reason does not justify so much evil
109 The Argument from Amount There is no reason that would justify God in permitting so much evil rather than a lot lessIf God exists, then there must be such a reasonC) So, God does not exist2 is usually conceded… but is 1 true?
110 Noseeum Inferences I can’t see it So, it’s probably not there Good noseeum inferencesLooking for milk in the fridgeBad noseeum inferencesLooking for slugs in the gardenIs it reasonable to believe that we are very likely to see (comprehend) the thing in question?
111 Noseeum ‘The Reason’So far as we can tell, there is no reason for God to permit so much evilTherefore, there probably is no reason for God to permit so much evilIs this a reasonable inference to make?Are we likely to see (comprehend) The Reason if there is one?
112 Chances of Comprehending The Reason There are several reasons to doubt that we could understand itWe have finite intellectWe’re unable to understand infinite goodsThere are probably lots of goods we are yet to discoverWe’re limited by evolution in thisThe Reason is probably too complex for us to understandGreat goods are often complex e.g. wine
113 Is there Unnecessary Evil? And how sure can we be?Does our inability to see a good reason for so much evil justify belief that there isn’t one?Where is the burden of proof here?Definitely on anyone trying to convert someone else either wayWe can imagine a world with lots of goods, and without so much evil…but what of the greater goods that we don’t know about?That depends… are there any?