Comparing Three Twentieth-Century Philosophical Antitheodicies

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Pihlström , S J 2017 , ' Comparing Three Twentieth-Century Philosophical Antitheodicies ' , Humanities , vol. 6 , no. 4 , 98 . https://doi.org/10.3390/h6040098

Title: Comparing Three Twentieth-Century Philosophical Antitheodicies
Author: Pihlström, Sami Johannes
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Theology
Date: 2017
Language: eng
Number of pages: 16
Belongs to series: Humanities
ISSN: 2076-0787
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/229607
Abstract: This paper compares three twentieth-century examples of antitheodicist thought in the philosophy of religion (and, more generally, ethics): William James’s pragmatism, D.Z. Phillips’s Wittgensteinianism, and Emmanuel Levinas’s post-Holocaust ethical reflection on suffering. It is argued that all three—despite their enormous differences, given that the three thinkers discussed come from distinct philosophical traditions—share the fundamental antitheodicist argument according to which theodicies seeking to justify God’s reasons for allowing the world to contain horrible evil and suffering amount to morally problematic, or even immoral, failures to acknowledge other human beings and their meaningless suffering. Furthermore, it is suggested that this antitheodicist line of thought shared by all three is based on a Kantian transcendental analysis of the necessary conditions for the possibility of occupying a moral perspective on the world.
Subject: 614 Theology
611 Philosophy
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