Fence-Sitting Agnostics

Interesting article about the shift in Templeton Funding.

Interesting article.

Unfortunately, it repeats a well-worn clunker:

Actually, there’s clear proof that an all-loving, all-powerful Father-Creator god doesn’t exist. It’s called “the problem of evil.”

Whatever one may personally think of the “theodicy problem”, it is certainly not a proof of anything. For example, many would assert that a God who values freewill choice thereby allows for the problem of evil. In other words, for freewill to exist, evil becomes not only possible but rampant.

I’ve not extensively kept up to date on this topic but long ago I had philosopher colleagues (including an atheist department chair) who characterized the Theodicy Argument as “settled about a century ago” and “just not that interesting.” I’d be interested in what those better trained in the history of philosophy among our PS ranks would have to say on this topic. Perhaps @Eddie has insights on this one.

…is touched on here, and also before and after:

Pascal’s wager is an argument for those preaching to the Christian choir. It won’t convince others.

Similarly, the problem of evil is an argument for preaching to the atheist choir. It isn’t going to convince Christians.


…is not really addressed in any of the content above or linked, so I’m not sure what you are commenting on. (It’s atheists/agnostics that bring consistently bring up the problem of evil, anyway – @T_aquaticus does, at least.)

I was using Pascal’s wager as a contrast with the problem of evil. Both groups – theists and atheists – use arguments that won’t persuade the other side.


You might look at @jongarvey’s arguments, linked above, regarding that, and try to counter them there, and in comments nearby also note the reality of God’s providence for his children.

That puts the matter well. I’m always amazed when our modern “skeptics” (who are actually only selectively skeptical, not skeptical generally) write as if they have discovered some new “killer” argument against religious faith, apparently unaware that the argument has been kicking around for 2,000 years or more. The level of historical knowledge possessed by most modern intellectuals is dismally low.

I don’t know that the theodicy question can be said to have been “settled,” but I agree that in its usual form, it is “just not that interesting.”

The New Testament has been kicking around for 2,000 years, and yet Christians still quote it.

If an argument remains unanswered after 2,000 years, then I don’t see the harm in bringing it up.

Except it has.

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How so?

You don’t remember yesterday?

Do you?