College of Arts and Sciences
moral argument, problem of evil, existential, direct inductive argument, existence of God, ethics, philosophy, religion
Ethics and Political Philosophy | Ethics in Religion | Metaphysics | Philosophy | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion
Smith, Jonathan, "The Moral Argument, Existential Problems of Evil, and a Non-Existential Alternative" (2019). Senior Honors Theses. 859.
Within this paper, it is shown that certain ethical assumptions are implicit within the claim that certain kinds of evil exist. When taken in tandem with the moral argument for the existence of God, these assumptions can be arranged in such a way as to provide a contradiction. To avoid this contradiction, I posit a non-existential alternative to direct inductive arguments from evil, but the non-existential alternative gives rise to novel objections. When considering their respective ethical implications, both the existential and non-existential variations of direct inductive arguments fail. Since any direct inductive problem of evil must be either existential or non-existential, without an adequate response to such objections, the success of direct inductive arguments is greatly diminished.