The parent analogy: a reassessment

The parent analogy: a reassessment According to the parent analogy, as a caretaker’s goodness, ability and intelligence increase, the likelihood that the caretaker will make arrangements for the attainment of future goods that are unnoticed or underappreciated by their dependents also increases. Consequently, if this analogy accurately represents our relationship to God, then we should expect to find many instances of inscrutable evil in the world. This argument in support of skeptical theism has recently been criticized by Dougherty. I argue that Dougherty’s argument is incomplete, for there are two plausible ways of construing the parent analogy’s conclusion. I supplement Dougherty’s case by offering a new argument against the parent analogy based on failed expectations concerning the amount of inscrutable evils encountered in the world. Consequently, there remains a significant empirical hurdle for skeptical theism to overcome if it is to maintain its status as a defeater for our reliability when tracking gratuitous evils. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal for Philosophy of Religion Springer Journals

The parent analogy: a reassessment

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by The Author(s)
Subject
Philosophy; Philosophy of Religion; Religious Studies, general; Non-Western Philosophy
ISSN
0020-7047
eISSN
1572-8684
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11153-016-9588-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

According to the parent analogy, as a caretaker’s goodness, ability and intelligence increase, the likelihood that the caretaker will make arrangements for the attainment of future goods that are unnoticed or underappreciated by their dependents also increases. Consequently, if this analogy accurately represents our relationship to God, then we should expect to find many instances of inscrutable evil in the world. This argument in support of skeptical theism has recently been criticized by Dougherty. I argue that Dougherty’s argument is incomplete, for there are two plausible ways of construing the parent analogy’s conclusion. I supplement Dougherty’s case by offering a new argument against the parent analogy based on failed expectations concerning the amount of inscrutable evils encountered in the world. Consequently, there remains a significant empirical hurdle for skeptical theism to overcome if it is to maintain its status as a defeater for our reliability when tracking gratuitous evils.

Journal

International Journal for Philosophy of ReligionSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 4, 2016

References

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