Cosmodicy is the problem for atheists of justifying the fundamental goodness of the universe, which is essential to the atheist worldview, in the face of evil. It is closely connected with theodicy, which attempts to do this given the existence of God; yet, while many atheists think that by getting rid of God they have got rid of the problem of evil, cosmodicy demonstrates that the problem still exists, it has only assumed a different form. As one author has said "atheists are not supposed to have such thoughts"; and yet they do.
A number of theologians have grappled with the relationship between cosmodicy and theodicy. Johannes van der Ven argues that the choice between theodicy and cosmodicy is a false dilemma. Philip E. Devenish proposes "a nuanced view in which theodicy and cosmodicy are rendered complementary, rather than alternative concepts".
- James Wood, "Secularism and its discontents: Is That All There Is?", The New Yorker, August 15, 2011
- see van der Ven, J.A. “Theodicy or cosmodicy: a false dilemma?”, Journal of Empirical Theology, Volume 2, Number 1, 1989 , pp. 5-27(23); see also Johannes A. van der Ven, God reinvented?: a theological search in texts and tables, Empirical studies in theology, Vol. 1, Leiden [u.a.] Brill 1998, p. 205
- Devenish, Philip E. “Theodicy and Cosmodicy: The Contribution of Neoclassical Theism”, Journal of Empirical Theology 4 (1992): 5-23
- Mark Balto, “Logos As Will And Cosmodicy”, Minerva - An Internet Journal of Philosophy Vol. 10 2006