Dale Tuggy

Dale Tuggy is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he teaches courses in analytic theology, philosophy of religion, religious studies, and the history of philosophy.


  1. Dougherty on Animal Theodicy | The Greatness of the Open God
    July 8, 2015 @ 7:11 pm

    […] to theodicy as it pertains to the animal kingdom. Trent Dougherty was just recently interviewed here by Open Theist Dale Tuggy on his view on both matters. I like what he has to say, particularly […]

  2. Vexing Links (6/13/2015) | vexing questions
    June 13, 2015 @ 5:42 pm

    […] Podcast’s Dale Tuggy interviews Trent Dougherty on the problem of evil and animal suffering [Spoiler Alert: there is no easy solution to these […]

  3. Animal Resurrection | Randal Rauser
    June 6, 2015 @ 3:38 pm

    […] a two-part podcast interview with Trent Dougherty on the problem of evil and animal suffering. (Part 1; Part 2). The second podcast focuses on Dougherty’s recently published book The Problem of […]

  4. Randal Rauser
    May 26, 2015 @ 11:43 am

    Good conversation. However, I thought y’all were a bit hard on meticulous providence. It seemed to me that the rejection of this doctrine was motivated at least in part by a rejection of the idea that you would tell a suffering person that their suffering happened for a reason. But that’s a matter of pastoral wisdom. Obviously anybody who tells a grieving parent that there is a reason their child died could use a good clout to the ears. But that’s a separate issue from whether one ought to accept meticulous providence.

    Given that gut feelings/intuitions played a significant role in this episode, I think it is worth noting that some people who suffer find comfort in the belief that God has allowed their suffering for some greater reason. To take one example, in the midst of a terminal cancer diagnosis, Garth Callaghan has become famous for writing inspirational napkin notes to his daughter. He wrote the following: “I believe in my heart that God has put me on this path and that it is my mission to inspire parents to write notes to kids, as well as to inspire cancer patients to fight like heck.”

    • Dale Tuggy
      May 28, 2015 @ 7:21 pm

      Thanks once again for such an intelligent comment. Yes, I don’t think we made clear why we don’t like that. Your guess is a good one, but in my case it is more like it seems that God would be intentionally bringing about evils. I don’t buy for a second the idea that he’s constrained by this ultra-mysterious realm of counterfactuals of freedom, the knowledge that Molinists postulate. So then, it looks like on that theory of providence his will is always done; he will always be getting exactly what he wants. But it seems clear that if God is good, then his will is not always done. This is part of my motivation for being an open theist. What Trent said about God having only general reasons only in some cases – I think that fits well with open theism. I’m not sure if it fits any other view of divine providence…

      • Randal Rauser
        May 29, 2015 @ 9:12 pm

        That’s very helpful, thanks!

        So would you be okay with the idea that God allowed Garth Callaghan to be stricken with (and potentially die from) a particular cancer at least in part as a vocational calling to inspire parents to develop meaningful relationships with their children and to encourage those who suffer to develop virtues in the face of this suffering?

        God may not have brought about the tumor, but he’s also not healing it and he certainly could do that. Is it consistent with your view of providence that God has a particular reason why he’s not healing Callaghan?

        • Dale Tuggy
          June 1, 2015 @ 1:25 pm

          Yes, there might be a particular reason for his not healing the victim, or there might not. There might only be a general reason, that is, motives that God has for enacting the general policies that sometimes results in this sort of thing. I disagree with Trent and with other philosophers that something one suffers without deserving it has to be of benefit specifically to oneself. I think that God very well may allow some tragedy befall me which pretty much only benefits others.