presenting individual cases of apparently pointless evils
does not provide the relevant evidence, for such cases fail
to show that what seems pointless is really pointless or
that their mere pointlessness counts against (T).
In conclusion: it seems that the atheologian is no more
successful with his evidential or inductive argument than
with his deductive one. His inductive argument from evil
does not disconfirm God's existence, nor has he presented
relevant evidence to show that evil tends to disconfirm
God's existence. Nor do the prospects appear bright that
he can produce the relevant evidence. Thus it remains to
be shown that the existence, variety, and profusion of evil
make it irrational to believe in the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, good, and loving personal God.
William Rowe, Philosophy of Religion (Encino: Dickenson, 1978),
David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion ( New York: Hafner, 1948), p. 73.
For the derivation of this theorem from the axioms of the elementary calculus of probability, see
Wesley Salmon, The Foundations of
Scientific Inference ( Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1966),
Wesley Salmon, "Religion and Science: A New Look at Hume's
Dialogues," Philosophical Studies 33 ( 1978), 143-68.
Rowe, pp. 87f.; Hume, Parts X and XI.
Evil must be excluded from N, otherwise N would entail E, and
the value of P(E/N&G + ̄) and P(E/N&G) would each be 1, with the
result that P(G/N&E) = P(G/N). Morally sufficient reasons, defenses, and theodicies must be excluded in order to develop a prima facie
case. The reasons for excluding construed evidence for God's existence
will be spelled out and evaluated below.
H. J. McCloskey, God and Evil ( The Hague: Nijhoff, 1974), pp. 8-10;
Rowe, pp. 92-93.
For recent defenses of the cosmological argument see Bruce R. Reichenbach
, The Cosmological Argument: A Reassessment ( Springfield, Ill.: Thomas, 1972) and
William L. Craig, The Kalām Cosmological Argument