Skip to main content

Scott Aikin on the Problem of Worship

In "The Problem of Worship" (Think 25:9 (2010)), Scott Aikin argues that no being could be a proper object of worship, and that therefore theism is false. The paper can be found here.

P.S., Scott Aikin is a co-author of the new book, Reasonable Atheism, as well as the co-author of the blog of the same name. (We noted the book and the blog on another occasion).

P.P.S., Over at Philosophical Disquisitions, John Danaher has an excellent expository post on Aikin's article, as well as this exegetical note on it.


John Danaher said…
Would it be okay to mention that I did an analysis of this article a couple of months ago?

Aikin's the Problem of Worship

Exegetical Note on the Problem of Worship

I thought the Think article had a number of typos and errors that detracted from the overall argument.
exapologist said…
Thanks John, that's very helpful.

Popular posts from this blog

Notes on Mackie's "Evil and Omnipotence"

0. Introduction
0.1 Mackie argues that the problem of evil proves that either no god exists, or at least that the god of Orthodox Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, does not exist. His argument is roughly the same version of the problem of evil that we’ve been considering.
0.2 Mackie thinks that one can avoid the conclusion that God does not exist only if one admits that either God is not omnipotent (i.e., not all-powerful), or that God is not perfectly good. 0.3 However, he thinks that hardly anyone will be willing to take this route. For doing so leaves one with a conception of a god that isn’t worthy of worship, and therefore not religiously significant.
0.4 After his brief discussion of his version of the problem of evil, he considers most of the main responses to the problem of evil, and concludes that none of them work.

1. First Response and Mackie's Reply
1.1 Response: Good can’t exist without evil; evil is a necessary counterpart to good.
1.2 Mackie’s reply:
1.2.1 this see…

Notes on Swinburne, "On Why God Allows Evil"

Notes on Swinburne’s “Why God Allows Evil”

1. The kinds of goods a theistic god would provide: deeper goods than just “thrills of pleasure and times of contentment” (p. 90). For example:
1.1 Significant freedom and responsibility
1.1.1 for ourselves
1.1.2 for others
1.1.3 for the world in which they live
1.2 Valuable lives
1.2.1 being of significant use to ourselves
1.2.2 being of significant use to each other

2. Kinds of evil
2.1 Moral evil: all the evil caused or permitted by human beings, whether intentionally or through negligence (e.g., murder, theft, etc.)
2.2 Natural evil: all the rest: evil not caused or permitted by human beings (e.g., suffering caused by hurricanes, forest fires, diseases, animal suffering, etc.)

3. The gist of Swinburne’s answer to the problem of evil: God cannot – logically cannot -- give us the goods of significant freedom, responsibility and usefulness without thereby allowing for the possibility of lots of moral and natural evil. This is why he has al…