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Join the Philosophy Club for Presentation on How to Solve the Problem of Evil: A Deontological Strategy


Posted 03/13/2018
Submitted by Brian Skelly
Category: Campus Announcements, Student Announcements

               (Deontology: Moral philosophy based on principles of duty rather than on utility)

Come join us at this week’s Philosophy Club meeting Thursday, March 15th from 12:15 to 1:45 in 421 Auerbach Hall as Philosophy doctoral candidate Justin Mooney of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, presents "How to Solve the Problem of Evil: A Deontological Strategy”. Here is the layout of Justin’s presentation.

I. A paradigmatic argument from evil against theism:

(E1)     If God exists, then there is no gratuitous evil.

(E2)     There is gratuitous evil. So,

(E3)     God does not exist.

II. The Restriction Strategy

  1. Deontological resource. Agent-centered restrictions: moral restrictions that forbid certain kinds of actions even when only an action of that kind would bring about the best state of affairs one can bring about
  2. Strategy. Due to an agent centered restriction, God is not permitted to prevent the gratuitous evils that occur, so E1 is false.

iii. Problem. Overriding restrictions on preventing horrendous evils.

III. The Prerogative Strategy

  1. Deontological resource. Agent-centered prerogatives: moral permissions to perform actions that will bring about less than the best state of affairs one can bring about.
  2. Strategy. Due to an agent-centered prerogative, God is not obligated to prevent the gratuitous evils that occur, so E1 is false.
  3. Problem: divine love as a motivation for E1.

IV. The Combined Deontological Strategy

  1. Deontological Resources. Agent centered restrictions & prerogatives.
  2. Strategy. Combine the Restriction and Prerogative Strategies.
  3. Problems solved. (1) Restriction Strategy’s problem is solved because Prerogative strategy removes overriding obligations to prevent horrendous evils; (2) Prerogative Strategy’s problem is solved because Restriction Strategy requires God not to protect us from suffering even if God is motivated to.

See footnotes and Justin’s CV, attached.

Documents

Text With Footnotes
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Justin's CV
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