The Daimler Chrysler Merger

In: Business and Management

Submitted By alace
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Pain and Pleasure:An Evidential for Theists Problem
PAUL DRAPER FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY

I.

THE NATURE

OF THE PROBLEM

I will argue in this paper that our knowledge about pain and pleasure creates an epistemic problem for theists. The problem is not that some proposition about pain and pleasure can be shown to be both true and logically inconsistent with theism. Rather, the problem is evidential. A statement reporting the observations and testimony upon which our knowledge about pain and pleasure is based bears a certain significant negative evidential relation to theism.' And because of this, we have a prima facie good epistemic reason to reject theism-that is, a reason that is sufficient for rejecting theism unless overridden by other reasons for not rejecting theism. By "theism" I mean the following statement: There exists an omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect person who created the Universe. I will use the word "God" as a title rather than as a proper name, and I will stipulate that necessary and sufficient conditions for bearing this title are that one be an omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect person who created the Universe. Given this (probably technical) use of the term "God," theism is the statement that God exists. Some philosophers believe that the evils we find in the world create an evidential problem for theists because theism fails to explain these evils (or most of what we know about them). (See, for example, (Hare 1968).) This position is attractive. It seems to reflect
NOUS 23 (1989) 331-350 ? 1989 by Nouis Publications 331

332

NOUS

the intuitions of a great many people who have regarded evil as an epistemic problem for theists. After all, the most common way of stating the problem of evil is to ask a why-question like "if God exists, then why is there so much evil in the world?" And such questions are either genuine…...

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