chapter  3
14 Pages

The Function of Defense

ByMichael L. Peterson

The general aim of theodicy, by contrast, is to give positive, plausible reasons for the existence of evil in a theistic universe. Defense has come to be the theistic strategy most closely associated with discussions of the logical formulation of the problem of evil, whereas theodicy has come to be associated with the evidential formulation. The present task is to review and evaluate a very fascinating and instructive part of the debate over the logical problem. The atheistic challenger begins by accusing the theist of committing a logical mistake and ends up embroiled in logical fallacies herself. Admitting that the Free Will Defense is successful but remaining convinced that a viable argument from evil can still be mounted; some critics have shifted the attention to what we may call the evidential problem of evil. They agree that defense against the logical problem establishes that no claim about evil, conjoined with other key theistic beliefs, sets up an automatic contradiction.