Assessing a Revised Compensation Theodicy

Bruce R. Reichenbach
2022 Religions  
Attempts to resolve the problem of evil often appeal to a greater good, according to which God's permission of moral and natural evil is justified because (and just in case) the evil that is permitted is necessary for the realization of some greater good. In the extensive litany of greater good theodicies and defenses, the appeal to the greater good of an afterlife of infinite reward or pleasure has played a minor role in Christian thought but a more important role in Islamic thought. In a
more » ... t article, Seyyed Jaaber Mousavirad invites us to reconsider the greater good theodicy of compensation. He contends that not only are all evils justified in that God compensates the sufferer in an afterlife, but because the evils experienced produce some good, God has reason for bringing about or allowing evils in the first place. In what follows, I argue that this modified compensation theodicy is flawed in its premises, faces serious problems with its concept of justice, treats people as means only and not as intrinsically valuable, and ultimately fails to show that an afterlife compensation, along with some good produced here and now by evil, justify God bringing about or allowing evil.
doi:10.3390/rel13111080 fatcat:2vtbhf4xqravbmstqm6w5cltwq