Higher-Order Problems of Evil
August 25, 2014 — 17:18

Author: Yujin Nagasawa  Category: Existence of God Problem of Evil  Tags: , , , ,   Comments: 32

Trent’s interesting post about evil and hiddenness has reminded me of the following draft that I wrote some time ago:

The problem of evil challenges theism by raising the following question: if God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, why is there evil in the actual world? Theists have proposed many responses to the problem, such as the free will response, the soul-making response, the greater good response, and so on. Whether any succeeds has been debated for hundreds of years.

Suppose now, for the sake of argument, that there is a successful theistic response to the problem of evil explaining the reason, call it X, that God has to allow evil. Unfortunately, this does not end the story because the existence of X raises a new question: If God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, why does He not tell us that X is the reason that He has to allow evil? A state of affairs in which we remain puzzled by not being told by God that X is the reason that He has to allow evil seems to undermine the existence of an omnipotent and omnibenevolent God. Let us call this the ‘second-order problem of evil’.

Suppose, for the sake of argument, that there is a successful theistic response to the second-order problem of evil explaining the reason, call it Y, that God cannot tell us that X is the reason that He has to allow evil. Unfortunately, this does not the end the story because the existence of Y raises a new question: If God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, why does He not tell us that Y is the reason that He cannot tell us that X is the reason that He has to allow evil? A state of affairs in which we remain puzzled by not being told by God that Y is the reason that He cannot tell us that X is the reason that He has to allow evil seems to undermine the existence of an omnipotent and omnibenevolent God. Let us call this the ‘third-order problem of evil’.

And so on, ad infinitum.

What does this observation teach us? First, it teaches us that theists who think that they have found a successful response to the problem of evil should beware of overconfidence; such a response raises new challenges for them. Second, it encourages theists to investigate a link between evil and God’s hiddenness. The only plausible explanation, if there is any, that God does not prevent evil, does not tell us X is the reason that He has to allow evil, does not tell us is the reason that He cannot tell us that X is the reason that He has to allow evil, and so on, appears to be that God has to remain hidden from us; that is, God has to avoid any form of interaction with us which suggests His existence. We can see this clearly by showing that the above infinite regress does not arise for the problem of divine hiddenness, despite the fact that the problem of divine hiddenness is structurally parallel to the problem of evil. Suppose that there is a successful theistic response to the problem of divine hiddenness explaining the reason, call it Z, that God has to remain hidden from us. Unlike the case of the problem of evil, the existence of Z does not raise the following second-order question: If God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, why does He not tell us that Z is the reason that He has to hide Himself? If there is any valid reason that God has to hide himself then He cannot tell us that that is the reason because by telling it to us God would fail to hide Himself from us. This seems to indicate that there is a link between the problem of evil and the problem of divine hiddenness and that theists might be able to stop the infinite regress of the higher-order problems of evil by appealing to God’s hiddenness. Conversely, it might be that the higher-order problems of evil cannot be resolved without first resolving the problem of divine hiddenness.

Comments welcome!

Comments:
  • ¨The only plausible explanation, if there is any, that God does not prevent evil, does not tell us X is the reason that He has to allow evil, does not tell us Y is the reason that He cannot tell us that X is the reason that He has to allow evil, and so on, appears to be that God has to remain hidden from us,¨ which brings us back to the original problem of evil, that he is not omnipotent. The bottom line is theists have never successfully responded to the problem of evil, and they still can not.

    August 25, 2014 — 22:40
  • Remark

    Just a couple of points regarding God’s giving us his reason for allowing the existence of evil: first, were he to do so, imagine the debates that would ensue regarding the moral sufficiency of that reason (which would simply re-introduce the problem of evil despite being given a (indeed God’s) solution to it; and, were we all finally to agree on the moral sufficiency of that reason, many of our cherished college departments of Philosophy of Religion would go out of business!

    August 26, 2014 — 5:55
  • Eric Silverman

    Wouldn’t most Judeo-Christians say that God has told us the reason for evil in the book of Job? I would classify it as a greater good type response. It isn’t presented with analytic logic, but lots of people have come away from the book feeling like they learned something important about the existence of evil and suffering.

    August 26, 2014 — 6:21
  • Alexander Pruss

    Yujin:

    You formulated this in terms of us being “puzzled”. We are puzzled by many things. Our being puzzled about something does not in general constitute an evil and is not in general fodder for a problem of evil.

    It is a central task of philosophy to bring it about that we are puzzled by very many things. This task is surely good, and yet is only good if our being puzzled in very many cases is good.

    It is part of the human good that we are puzzled by some things, come to figure out some of these, and come to be puzzled by new ones. Prima facie, our being puzzled by something is good, and is more apt to be evidence for theism than against.

    Of course, puzzlement implies a certain ignorance, and in some cases this ignorance is an evil. If one is puzzled by what one should do when given the choice between cheating and behaving honestly in paradigmatic cases, then the ignorance underlying the puzzlement is an evil. It’s the sort of thing each mature being of our sort should always already know.

    Maybe a case can be made that true theodicies are the sort of thing each mature being of our sort should always already know, that it is an evil when we don’t know them. But it’s not going to be an easy case, I think, pace the hiddenness arguments.

    August 26, 2014 — 13:32
    • Alexander Pruss

      Also, even in the cases where ignorance is an evil, it is better to be puzzled than to be indifferently ignorant. 🙂

      August 26, 2014 — 13:34
  • Yujin Nagasawa

    Thank you all for the interesting comments.

    Paul: You wrote, “The bottom line is theists have never successfully responded to the problem of evil, and they still can not.” That might be right but the point that I wanted to make above is that even if theists have successfully responded to the (first-order) problem of evil they still have to responded to higher-order problems of evil.

    Alex: It looks like my use of the term puzzlement was misleading. My main focus is not on an intellectual puzzlement but an emotional puzzlement that sufferers experience. Trent wrote in his post, “If God were vividly present to us, we could suffer almost anything”. A somewhat similar idea, which I had in mind in the above piece, is that if God explains to us why we have to suffer (or at least tells us that there is a good reason that we have to suffer) then it seems that the impact of evil will be less significant. Conversely, without such an explanation the force of evil remains very strong.

    August 26, 2014 — 15:05
  • The question ‘If God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, why does He not tell us that X is the reason that He has to allow evil?’ presupposes that God has not told us the reason(s). Theodicists think there is such a reason(s), and many of them think that God has revealed it to us. So Yujin’s problem only looms for skeptical theists or those ambivalent about whether such reasons are morally sufficient.

    Much turns here on whether the subject regards as successful what may in fact be ‘a successful theistic response to the problem of evil explaining it.’ (‘Remark’ makes a point like this above.) Suppose God tells you the reason why God allows evil; we can imagine two potential responses available to you. First, one can embrace theism and the revealed theodicy; or second, one can dispute the reason as morally insufficient, and thereby second-guess whether it was really from God (and presumably become either a skeptical theist, an atheist, or an agnostic).

    Whether one is rational in disputing any such reason as morally insufficient is a difficult question, particularly when motivated by what Yujin calls the ’emotional puzzlement’ which sufferers may experience: one can always ask, ‘But why am I going through this, specifically?’ Expecting that God would (have to) answer every such question ‘successfully’ is perhaps problematic in its own right. But expecting that we, particularly whilst experiencing terrible suffering, would be well-positioned to make accurate judgments of moral insufficiency seems to me even more problematic (precisely because the value we will place on avoiding suffering, while undergoing suffering, is likely to far exceed its actual value).

    August 27, 2014 — 6:33
    • Yujin Nagasawa

      Thank you for your interesting comments Matt! Just quick responses…

      You wrote: “So Yujin’s problem only looms for skeptical theists or those ambivalent about whether such reasons are morally sufficient.”

      I think you are right. I need to adjust the scope of my argument.

      You wrote: “Expecting that God would (have to) answer every such question ‘successfully’ is perhaps problematic in its own right.”

      If we can respond to the second-order problem of evil in that way, we can fairly easily respond to the (first-order) problem of evil itself too — “Expecting that God would have to eliminate every instance of evil is problematic”.

      You wrote, “But expecting that we, particularly whilst experiencing terrible suffering, would be well-positioned to make accurate judgments of moral insufficiency seems to me even more problematic (precisely because the value we will place on avoiding suffering, while undergoing suffering, is likely to far exceed its actual value).”

      That’s an interesting point, but I wonder if it applies to all relevant instances of suffering.

      August 27, 2014 — 12:32
  • Michael Almeida

    Yujin, you write,

    Suppose now, for the sake of argument, that there is a successful theistic response to the problem of evil explaining the reason, call it X, that God has to allow evil.

    You assume that a successful theistic response would entail that God exists. Why assume that? A successful theistic response need not depend on providing a reason that God has for allowing evil. A successful response need only provide a justification for existing evil. Consider a world w in which there is one evil E. Let E be justified by good G (and suppose we agree about what such a justification would look like). There might or might not be a God in w, but there’s no unjustified evil in w. And you don’t get a regress of reasons.

    August 27, 2014 — 8:58
    • Michael Almeida

      Suppose now, for the sake of argument, that there is a successful theistic response to the problem of evil explaining the reason, call it X, that God has to allow evil.

      Quick point. Suppose I do have reason X that God has for allowing Y. If I have a reason X that God has, then it follows that God has X, i.e., (Ex)((x = God) & x has X for Y). But that too stops any regress that threatens God’s existence, right? I might have further questions about why God didn’t make X obvious, but my initial (by hypothesis) successful response ends any question of God’s non-existence.

      The natural move is to considering reasons God would have for Y were he to exist. Let X be such a reason. Does that lead to regress? We have by hypothesis a successful initial response to the problem of evil Y. In the closest world w to ours in which God exists, he has reason X for Y. Do we have reason to doubt that God exists if we cannot come up with a reason Z for not making X obvious? I don’t think so. If it is true in w that God has X for Y, then we can safely conclude that God exists. But maybe neither of these is a way you want to formulate the objection.

      August 27, 2014 — 10:09
      • Yujin Nagasawa

        I say (roughly speaking) that we can’t be fully satisfied even if we find a successful solution to the problem of evil because there remains a question: why does an all-loving, all-powerful God not tell us that that’s the successful solution?

        Is your response the following?: If we did have a solution, then we would know exactly why God has to allow evil, so there is no need for God to tell us that’s the successful solution.

        Maybe I need to weaken my conclusion a bit: we can’t be fully satisfied even if we have plausible responses to the problem of evil because there remains a question: why does an all-loving, all-powerful God not tell us exactly why He has to allow evil.

        So, as you correctly point out, regress doesn’t arise so neatly. It’s not as if as one problem is answered another problem arises.

        August 27, 2014 — 13:01
    • Yujin Nagasawa

      Thanks for the interesting comments, Mike! I don’t think my argument assumes that a successful theistic response would entail that God exists. It only assumes that if there is a successful response (which could well be a purely naturalistic response), we expect an omnipotent and morally perfect God (*if* He exists) would tell us that that is a successful response.

      August 27, 2014 — 12:36
      • Michael Almeida

        Ok, so you don’t want to say what you say here,
        Thanks Yujin,
        You write,
        … there is a successful theistic response to the problem of evil explaining the reason, call it X, that God has to allow evil.

        That phrase does entail that there is a successful theistic response only if God exists. You don’t want to say that, right? You want to say something conditional. That can be tricky, but I’ll leave it to you.

        You say
        If God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, why does He not tell us that Y is the reason that He cannot tell us that X is the reason that He has to allow evil?

        But we discovered X, right? So God has made X available to us. Why does he have to “tell” us X or else tell us why he didn’t tell us X? Why isn’t it enough that X is available to those who care enough to think about it?

        August 27, 2014 — 19:44
        • Yujin Nagasawa

          Thanks, Michael. This is very helpful. The above post was just a draft but I have to improve the presentation of my argument so that it won’t be implying what I don’t really mean.

          I wonder if something like the following would work better. “Suppose that there is a successful explanation that the existence of God and the existence of evil are compatible. Call it X. *If* God exists at all, why can He not tell us that X is true? *If* God exists at all and *if* He cannot tell us that X is true, then why can He not tell us at least that Y is the reason that He cannot tell us that X is true?”

          You are right that I shouldn’t be saying “We have discovered X. But the there is a further problem of evil.” because if we have discovered X then God has made X available to us. (Although it remains controversial whether it is enough that X is available only to those who care enough to think about it.)

          September 5, 2014 — 5:48
          • Yujin Nagasawa

            The above formulation is probably still not ideal but my point is that X and Y do not entail that God exists because they are only meant to show the compatibility between God and a relevant form of evil.

            September 5, 2014 — 5:57
  • Yujin:

    1. It’s true that the additional suffering involved in not knowing the justification can raise a problem of evil. I don’t think this gives us a regress ad infinitum. It may cause significant suffering not to know what justifies God in permitting an evil, and it may cause significant suffering not to know what justifies God in permitting the former suffering, but it is unlikely that the suffering would go beyond this level. I doubt that many people, if any, suffer at not knowing what justifies God in letting them suffer from not knowing what justifies God in letting them suffer from not knowing what justifies God in letting them suffer some first-order suffering.

    For a state of affairs to cause significant emotional suffering, it has to be a state of affairs we are able to conceptualize in a sufficiently vivid way. Of course, we can easily form an operator for nth level suffering, and we can think the thought that we have a case of nth level suffering, but we are unlikely to have significant emotional suffering as a result of it.

    2. Do we have empirical data that we suffer significantly less when we know what justifies the suffering?

    I suspect it depends on what we find out to be the justifying reason and what kind of suffering we are talking about. For instance, suppose that Sam was dumped by Sally because the kinds of humor he engages in is embarrassing and unfunny, and it would drive Sally crazy to spend any more time with him. Sam suffers both because he was dumped and because he thinks Sally acted unreasonably. If he found out, however, why exactly Sally’s actions were reasonable, that wouldn’t be likely to make him feel better. (There would be instrumental benefits, of course, if he were to change his forms of humor; but more likely than not, he’s not going to change that.)

    The most plausible theodicies for significant cases of suffering have components of soul-building. But soul-building seems to me to be akin to counseling. And I suspect that it is not uncommon that a counselor has to keep back the justification for an intervention (pleasant or unpleasant) in order for the intervention to be effective. Or to keep it back not to send the patient into despair.

    3. Here’s a potential way to address the empirical question. Some people take themselves to have satisfactory theodicies for all evils. Thus, some people think that soul-building is a universal theodicy. They may well be wrong, but that’s beside the point, since the question is about the subjective impact of taking oneself to have a theodicy. So the question is: Do people suffer significantly less when they have such a universal theodicy? I suspect they do suffer a little less, but is the difference significant? I am not sure. (Amusing thought: If the answer is positive, then utilitarians perhaps have a duty to spread plausible theodicies, whether the theodicies are true or not.)

    4. I suspect that how much suffering is alleviated by a theodicy depends on the level of detail. At low levels of detail, like the Plantingan bare “The fusion of all goods justifies this”, the effect is likely weak. At high levels of detail, the degree of suffering-alleviation may be high. But high levels of detail run into the counselor problem. If God were to reveal I to me the exact depths of my selfishness and pride that make it appropriate for him to let me suffer some evil, I doubt I’d be the happier for it.

    August 27, 2014 — 9:49
  • Alexander Pruss

    Reflecting on the classic photocopier line experiment and more recent work, I think the last point I made in my comment is likely to be false. I now suspect that accepting a theistic platitude like “God has his reasons” is likely to reduce suffering (maybe this is part of the explanation of why religious people tend to be happier?), and that having a more specific story is not likely to be significantly better.

    If so, then the higher order problem is largely going to reduce to the old problem of hiddenness. For if one knows that God exists, then typically one is in position to know the theistic platitude. And the theistic platitude is all one needs.

    Of course, sometimes, a more specific theodicy will raise one’s confidence in theism and the theistic platitude. But if my above suspicions are right, then the benefits of the more specific theodicy will then be largely screened off by the rise of confidence in the theistic platitude.

    August 27, 2014 — 10:29
    • Yujin Nagasawa

      Thanks for the excellent comments, Alex!

      I entirely agree with your comment 1. Even if the regress of “why” questions is infinite that does not mean that the addition of suffering continues infinitely.

      You’ve raised a good question about empirical data. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is shown that people suffer less when they have a universal theodicy but it’s not clear to me how much less they suffer. The correlation between death anxiety and religious belief seems comparable and it’s disputed.

      August 27, 2014 — 16:20
  • Remark

    I may have missed the point of the above post, but surely, no-one would suppose that the existence of God is entailed by the set of propositions constituting a successful theistic response to the problem of evil. Certainly, one might infer from them that the existence of God is logically compatible with the existence of evil, were there such a being as God. But that is not to infer there must be a God. Also, the claim that in w, ‘E is justified by G’ is a response to someone who wants to know why E exists, or why G exists, or what the connection between the two might be. He has a response, but if God is left out, how can it be a ‘theistic’ response? Apologies for any misunderstanding.

    August 27, 2014 — 10:40
    • Michael Almeida

      I don’t want to derail or side-track the thread, so I will answer Remark briefly.

      Yujin writes, …there is a successful theistic response to the problem of evil explaining the reason, call it X, that God has to allow evil.

      If a successful theistic response to the problem of evil would (as stated in the italicized quote above) ‘explain the reason, call it X, that God has to allow evil’, then a successful theistic response would entail that God exists. For if God does not exist, then God has no reasons for anything. See the comment at August 27, 2014 at 10:09 am above for more detail on this and alternatives Yujin might have had in mind.

      Second, if an evil E is justified by G, then G would justify anyone (including God) in allowing evil E. So, it would be a theistic response. I’m understanding justified evils in the standard way (see Rowe) where G justifies E just in case ☐(G ⊃ E) and (G & E) is greater than (~G & ~E), where ‘☐’ is metaphysical necessity.

      August 27, 2014 — 10:54
      • Remark

        Thank you for taking the trouble to explain your meaning further – appreciated. I have a few things to say about it, but won’t because I don’t wish to ‘derail’ the thread.

        August 28, 2014 — 6:01
  • John Alexander

    How does believing that God has a reason x that is explained by y, and we know neither x or y, practically different from there being no God and no x or y? It seems to me that the former is going to be held by those that already think that a theistically defined God exists based on the criterion of consistency, while those that do not believe that there is no such being are going to hold the latter view, also based on consistency. I assume that both can have a consistent set of beliefs, though they differ and we know that one is wrong, even if we do not know which one that might be. I think that this becomes a non-issue at the practical level when we think about the fact that both the theist and non-theist think that the evil (E) exists and needs to be confronted and dealt with. Do we really need an explanation as to why E exists if both sides agree that E exists and is something that needs to be eliminated and/or overcome? (This may be a candidate for x) Both will find, it is hopeful,the strength to deal with E and they will probably deal with in a similar fashion even though their motivations and explanations might be different. It seems to me that the non-theist can overcome horrendous types evils as well as the theist. And, is that not what is really important?

    August 28, 2014 — 10:22
  • Josh

    Yujin, intriguing post. I have a flatfooted comment that relates to Alex’s note about degrees of specificity. The least specific explanation (“defense” or “theodicy”?) may be this one: God has a justifying reason, R, for permitting the various evil in our world. Call this the ‘General Answer’. I don’t see why the General Answer doesn’t solve the problem of evil (that’s the “flatfooted” part!), since without assuming that God exists or does not exist, I don’t see how I, or anyone else, is able to figure out whether or not the General Answer is false or likely to be false (also flatfooted…). Now for the more relevant thought: if the General Answer solves the first-order problem of evil, then for each of the higher-order problems, there is a structurally identical Answer that solves it, too.

    September 4, 2014 — 16:26
    • Yujin Nagasawa

      Thank you, Josh. It seems to me that the General Answer can be applied to all the problems of evil just because it is not informative. It only says (if I understand it correctly) “God has some (unspecified) reason for permitting evils”.

      September 5, 2014 — 5:22
      • Josh

        Yes, it is not informative, and for that reason it doesn’t solve the problem(s) of evil in the sense of giving a solution that helps us understand why God may permit evil (even if were enough to solve the epistemological problem(s)…).

        September 6, 2014 — 21:01
        • It’s informative with respect to explaining the evil: it tells us that part of the explanation for the evil is that God had a good reason not to prevent it. This is informative and nontrivial: it wouldn’t be true if there were no God, or if God didn’t have the power to prevent this sort of evil, or if God wasn’t sufficiently morally upright that he would need a good reason not to prevent an evil.

          But it’s not informative with respect to explaining God’s justification for permitting the evil, since it just says that God is justified for permitting the evil. 🙂

          September 8, 2014 — 9:06
  • Mohammad Saleh Zarepour

    I think if your argument is sound then it can be generalized for the case of all other kinds of Type C arguments against the existence of God (except argument from hiddenness as you said). Am I right? Therefore, it means that arguments from hiddenness, compared to other Type C arguments, is more fundamental. Interesting!

    October 2, 2014 — 15:36
    • Good point, Mohammad. For example, the argument from no best possible world says that God doesn’t exist because this world is not the best possible world (even if we ignore all evil events in this world). We can then raise a second-order point: How come God does not tell us the reason that He chose not to create the best possible world?

      This might be less emotionally forceful than the second-order problem of evil because the argument from no best possible world doesn’t have to involve pain and suffering–but the structure is the same.

      October 2, 2014 — 17:23
  • Kingwen Xuan

    I think the skeptic theism can give a good response to this high-order problem of evil. The skeptic theism has two crucial points: 1, God is higher than human persons, and there are something in God that humans are not able to know, that is what called mystical things. 2, If God wills, he can make humans know for those they used to be unknown. that is to say, those now are high-order unknown things, can be known, some day, in some way.
    sure, this is very simplified way to say it. but i think the basic idea behind skeptic theism is correct.

    October 4, 2014 — 4:30
    • Hi Kingwen. Yes, skeptical theism is almighty in this context, but, arguably, not in a very informative way.

      October 4, 2014 — 12:13
      • thks, Yujin! good to have yr comment. here try to make it a little bit clear.
        the first. the skeptic theism is skeptic about our ability to know some parts of God. sure, there are some painful evils and sufferings that we don’t know why.
        the second. skeptic theists believe there are reasons for these evils, but, as Steve Wykstra says, God is God, we humans are humans, that is why we don’t know. again, as Wykstra says, this is embarrassingly simple. so, they can cancel the 2nd or many-order problem of evil.
        the many order evil argument can be put in this way:
        1. if there is an omnipotent and omnibenevolent God, He would let us to know why there are evils. (the premise of many order problem of evil, call it MOE)
        2. we don’t know why.
        3. there is no God. (1, 2, MT)

        and skeptic theists deny the 1st premise MOE. the argument goes like this MP:
        1. God is God, humans are humans. (the skeptic theism premise)
        2. If God is God, humans are humans, then it is not the case that MOE.
        3. it is no the case that MOE. (1, 2, MP)

        October 8, 2014 — 1:09
  • Ron Morales

    This argument has a few peoblems.

    1. It assumes that God, to be morally supreme or perfect, would have a moral obligation to make his reasons for allowing evil known. Simply noting that some people, believers or otherwise, would be disturbed or upset by not knowing what God’s reasons would be does not justify making such an assumption, since that would assume that were an all good God to exist, he would have a moral obligation to avoid such mental stress on people, believers or otherwise. But that just points to some other alleged evil that God would supposedly have a moral obligation to prevent. But why should we assume that God would have a moral obligation to eliminate such mental suffering? To assume THAT would require the additional assumption that God would have no moral justification for allowing such suffering. That leads to the next point:

    2. Asking the theist what possible reasons God could have for alllowing any kind of suffering, whether it’s moral evil or the psychological discomfort of not knowing why God allows evil, is something of a burden shifting fallacy. A question is not an argument. An argument from evil demonstrating God’s likely nonexistence only works if one assumes as a premise that God would have a moral obligation to prevent evil of whatever sort the person making the argument finds problematic. Asking the theist what that justification would be and then concluding that there is no justification if the theist cannot adequately answer the question is an argument from ignorance fallacy. An assumption isn’t true merely because it hasn’t been proven false. The proponent of an argument has a burden to defend contentious premises of his argument, and the assumption that God would have a moral obligation to disallow any observed evil (and hence has no moral justification for allowing it) is a contentious premise that no theist need accept. It is thus the burden of someone trying to use the problem of evil to prove the nonexistence of God to defend the premise that God, were he to exist, would both have a moral obligation to eliminate some existing evil and concurrently would have no moral justificatio0n for allowing it. If the proponent of such an argument cannot justify that premise of her argument, then the argument fails because it contains a key premise that isn’t justified.

    3. There’s something of a false dichotomy going on by claiming that the only justifiable reason for God not letting us know about his justifications for allowing evil is that he is completely hidden. That’s not necessary. All that’s necessary is that he has some justifiable reason for not letting us know his reasons for allowing evil and his reasons for not letting us know why he allows evil. That wouldn’t require that he be completely hidden from us in all othr ways. And that’s only morally problemati if one can demonstrate that he would have a moral obliation to let such reasons be known.

    May 12, 2015 — 14:37
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