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Skeptical Theism and the Problem of Moral "Aporia"

Mark Piper
International Journal for Philosophy of Religion
Vol. 62, No. 2 (Oct., 2007), pp. 65-79
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27646230
Page Count: 15
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Skeptical Theism and the Problem of Moral
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Abstract

Skeptical theism seeks to defend theism against the problem of evil by invoking putatively reasonable skepticism concerning human epistemic limitations in order to establish that we have no epistemological basis from which to judge that apparently gratuitous evils are not in fact justified by morally sufficient reasons beyond our ken. This paper contributes to the set of distinctively practical criticisms of skeptical theism by arguing that religious believers who accept skeptical theism and take its practical implications seriously will be forced into a position of paralysis or "aporia" when faced with a wide set of morally significant situations. It is argued that this consequence speaks strongly against the acceptance of skeptical theism insofar as such moral "aporia" is inconsistent with religious moral teaching and practice. In addition, a variety of arguments designed to show that accepting skeptical theism does not lead to this consequence are considered, and shown to be deficient.

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