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The Significance of Religious Experience$
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Howard Wettstein

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199841363

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199841363.001.0001

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Against Theodicy

Against Theodicy

Chapter:
(p.151) 8 Against Theodicy
Source:
The Significance of Religious Experience
Author(s):

Howard Wettstein

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199841363.003.0008

The problem of theodicy is a philosophical classic. This chapter argues that not only are the classical answers suspect, but that the question itself is problematic. In its classical form, the problem presupposes a conception of divinity—call it “perfect-being theology”—that does not go without saying. Even so, there is a significant gap between what the western religions seem to tell us about the reign of justice and what we seem to find in the world. The chapter argues that approaches to evil need to maintain focus on this discrepancy. This chapter concludes with some suggestions for the shape of “non-opiate” ways of coming to terms with evil.

Keywords:   evil, suffering, Job, justice, Spinoza, theoretical problem of evil, existential problem of evil, sub specie aeternitatis, midrash

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