Evil and God's Toxin Puzzle


I show that Kavka's toxin puzzle raises a problem for the “Responsibility Theodicy,” which holds that the reason God typically does not intervene to stop the evil effects of our actions is that such intervention would undermine the possibility of our being significantly responsible for overcoming and averting evil. This prominent theodicy seems to require that God be able to do what the agent in Kavka's toxin story cannot do: stick by a plan to do some action at a future time even though when that time comes, there will be no good reason for performing that action. I assess various approaches to solving this problem. Along the way, I develop an iterated variant of Kavka's toxin case and argue that the case is not adequately handled by standard causal decision theory

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This paper was published in PhilPapers.

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