The Concept of Evil (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

According to most, if not all, theories of evil character, to have anevil character it isn't sufficient to do evil, or have evil-makingcharacteristics, only on occasion; it is necessary to have evil-makingcharacteristics regularly, frequently, or repeatedly (See, e.g.,Calder 2003 and 2009; Card 2002; Thomas 1993; Barry 2009).Consistency accounts take this idea to the extreme: according toconsistency accounts to be an evil person we must have evil-makingcharacteristics consistently, or almost always. For instance, DanielHaybron argues that it is necessary and sufficient for evil characterto be utterly lacking in motives or sentiments of moral worth (Haybron2002a and 2002b). For Haybron, evil people almost always lack empathyand concern for others, and they are in no way motivated to helpothers or to do what is morally right. On Haybron's view, the conceptof evil character very closely resembles the concept of psychopathy(For a description of psychopathy see Section 3.5.1).

(4) Therefore, if there were a God, there would be no unnecessary natural evil. (From 1, 2, and 3)

The question that immediately arises is whether a proposition thatwould undercut an inductive argument from evil if one knew it were true canundercut the argument if one is unable to assign any probability to theproposition’s being true, and if so, how. One thought might be thatif one can assign no probability to a proposition, one should treatit as equally likely to be true as to be false. But propositionsvary dramatically in logical form: some are such as might naturallybe viewed as atomic, others are sweeping generalizations, others arecomplex conjunctions, and so on. If one treated any proposition towhich one could not assign a probability as equally likely to be trueas to be false, the result would be an incoherent assignment ofprobabilities. On the other hand, if one adopts this idea only inthe case of atomic propositions, then given that stories that areadvanced in defenses and theodicies are typically quite complex,those stories will wind up getting assigned low probabilities, and itis then unclear how they could undercut an inductive argument fromevil.


The Problem of Evil: Crash Course Philosophy #13 - YouTube

The claim that there exists unnecessary natural evil is really four claimsin one:

Then it follows that it is impossible for an omnipotent andomniscient being to perform a morally wrong action, and thereforethat the failure of such a being to prevent various evils in thisworld cannot be morally wrong.


Theodicy and the question of Evil in the world

The appeal to human cognitive limitations does raise a very importantissue, and we have seen that one very natural account of the logicalform of the inductive step in the case of a direct inductive argumentis not satisfactory. But, as we have seen in sections 3.3 and 3.4,there are other accounts of the type of reasoning involved in thecrucial inductive step in evidential forms of the argument fromevil. First of all, the appeal to human cognitive limitations doesnot itself show that there is anything wrong either with thereasoning that Draper offers in support of the crucial premise in hisindirect inductive version of the argument from evil, or with theinference to the best explanation type of reasoning employed in theupdated version of Hume’s indirect inductive formulation of theargument from evil. Secondly, the appeal to human cognitivelimitations provides no reason at all for rejecting the version ofthe argument from evil that appeals to fundamental equiprobabilityprinciples of inductive logic, principles that arguably must obtainif any sort of induction is ever justified.

Boethius and the Problem of Evil « School of Christian …

I A Persian Devil appears in an engraving in the Didron collection in the form of a man, clothed and wearing necklets, bracelets, and anklets, but with claws on his heels and toes, and horns on his head. He is named Ahriman, Spirit of Darkness, the Iranian enemy of Ormuzd, second-born of the Eternal One, like Ormuzd an emanation from the Primal Light; equally pure, but ambitious and full of pride, he had become jealous of the first-born of God."--Didron, , II., p. 122.

Religion and Spirituality: The Origin of Evil - Vision

The most popular attempt at a total refutation of the argument fromevil claims that, because of human cognitive limitations, there is nosound inductive argument that can enable one to move from the premisethat there are states of affairs that, taking into account only whatwe know, it would be morally very wrong for an omnipotent andomniscient person to allow to exist, to the conclusion that there arestates of affairs such that it is likely that, all things considered,it would be morally very wrong for an omnipotent and omniscientperson to allow those states of affairs to exist.