Religious Studies

Unknowable worlds: solving the problem of natural evil

a1 Department of Philosophy, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina 27858

Article author query
murphy fj   [Google Scholar] 


This paper draws attention to the way free choice participates in the occurrence of what is usually called natural evil. While earthquakes are natural phenomena, they injure only those who have chosen to live in places where they occur. But if God could not foresee these choices, then God could not foresee much about the amount and distribution of natural evil. Combining a libertarian notion of freedom with a denial of middle knowledge allows God to be much less implicated in the occurrence of natural evil. This gives some of the familiar theistic replies to the problem, such as Hick's soul-making theodicy, enhanced plausibility.