Correlates of beliefs about, and solutions to, the problem of evil
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Scientific articles 
Original versionMental Health, Religion & Culture. 2023, 26 (2), 182-193. 10.1080/13674676.2023.2219633
This study explored people’s attitudes towards various explanations for the theological Problem of Evil. Five hundred adults rated the importance of 16 possible solutions to the Problem of Evil. Participants also indicated their religious and political beliefs, their Belief in a Just World and their endorsement of Conspiracy Theories. Results showed that many differences in ratings were a function of religious beliefs and belief in the afterlife. The 16 solutions were subjected to a factor analysis which revealed three factors labelled Deistic, Luck and Chance, and Human Behaviour. Those who claimed to be more religious, and believed in an afterlife, were more likely to support Deistic solutions. These solutions were also supported by younger, less educated, and less intelligent people who believed in the Just World and Conspiracy theories. Just World beliefs were related to Luck/Chance explanations, whereas believing in Conspiracy theories related to Human Behaviour explanations.