Philosophy of Religion

Truth, Reality and God: Themes from the Philosophy of Religion

Philips argument is based on his belief that, the concept used by theodicists; that God allows evil things to happen as a way of creating overall good, is inconsistent with the conventionally acceptable nature of God. The conventional understanding of God is that he does not seek forgiveness for any of his actions nor does he suffer any consequences.  The question posed by Philip as to whether God acts with or without second thought shows that; if he does it without a second thought, then he would be Sadistic. On the other hand, if God allows evil to happen after a second thought, the fact that the evil causes suffering to people implies that it can make God to suffer remorse for allowing it (Adams, 1999).

The argument is based on the view that God can be judged on the moral standards that govern humans. Even in cases where individuals are not willing to allow bad things, they are sometimes forced to make choices where a bad outcome is inevitable. In such situations they end up feeling remorseful and seek some forgiveness. Philip is simply trying to show that contrary to what theodicists want people to believe, they cannot justify God allowing evil for common good; without interfering with the universal belief that God is perfect. However , it is important to note that Philip’s argument is based on the fact on human experience on the guilt resulting after allowing evil things to happen  and therefore other people may argue that God is different from humans (Davis,2009)


Adams, M. M. (1999). Horrendous evils and the goodness of God. Melbourne: Melbourne UniversityPress.

Alston, W. P. (1991). The inductive argument from evil and the human cognitive condition. Philosophical Perspectives, 5, 29–67

Davis, S. T. (2001) (Ed.). Encountering evil: Live options in theodicy (2nd ed). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.


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