Episode 33, Yujin Nagasawa and 'The Problem of Evil for Atheists' (Part I)

Welcome to Episode 33 on 'The Problem of Evil for Atheists' (Part I of II).

Yujin Nagasawa is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Birmingham, as well as President of the British Society for the Philosophy of Religion and Co-Director of the John Hick Centre for Philosophy of Religion. Obtaining his PhD from the Australian National University in 2004, Nagasawa’s work in philosophy is extensive, focusing on a range of topics from the problems surrounding consciousness to the nature and existence of God. 

Our focus for Episode 33, is Nagasawa’s ‘The Problem of Evil for Atheists’. The argument can be stated as follows, atheists believe that the world is generally good and they are happy and grateful to exist i.e. they are existential optimists. However, our entire evolutionary biological system is based upon the painful, miserable suffering of the weak. So, why should we think that the world is overall good and that we should be grateful to exist, if our existence depends on a violent, cruel and unfair biological system which guarantees pain and suffering for unaccountably many sentient animals? Nagasawa argues that the theist is in a better position to answer this question than the atheist, suggesting that the problem of evil provides good reason to abandon atheism and adopt theism.

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Part I. 'The Problem of Evil for Atheists'.

Part II. Further Analysis and Discussion.