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Mackie begins the article by saying that he thinks that all the arguments for God’s “God is omnipotent; God is wholly good; and yet evil exists. (12) If evil and suffering exist, then God is either not omnipotent, not omniscient, .. such as Anthony Flew and J. L. Mackie have argued that an omnipotent God. IV.—EVIL AND OMNIPOTENCE. By J. L. MACKIE. THE traditional arguments for the existence of God have been fairly thoroughly criticised by philosophers.

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If you can conceive of a state of affairs without there being anything contradictory about what you’re imagining, then that state of affairs must be possible.

The universe is better with some evil in it than it would be if there were no evil.

Statements 6 through 8 jointly imply that if the perfect God of theism really existed, there would not be any evil or suffering. Moral Enhancement and Moral Freedom: What about W 2? Plantinga’s Free Will Defense, then, cannot serve as a morally sufficient reason for God’s allowing disease and natural disasters.

Evil and Omnipotence

Mackie one of the most prominent atheist philosophers of the mid-twentieth-century and a key exponent of the logical problem of evil has this to say about Plantinga’s Free Will Defense:. Evil and the God of Loverevised ed. In the remainder of this essay, we will examine some theistic responses to the logical problem of evil that do not require the abandonment of any central tenet of theism.

Before we try to decide whether MSR1 can justify God in allowing evil and suffering to occur, some of its key terms need to be explained. Although much of the evil in this world results mackif the free choices people make, some of it does not.

We said above that a set of statements is logically inconsistent if and only if that set includes a direct contradiction or a direct contradiction can be deduced from that set. Lectures, Cambridge —, From the Notes of G. All he needs to do is give a logically consistent description of a way that God and evil can co-exist. Atheologians, as we saw above, claim that God is doing something morally blameworthy by allowing evil and suffering to exist in our world.


Let’s figure out which of these worlds are possible. Since the logical problem of evil claims that it is logically impossible for God and evil to co-exist, all that Plantinga or any other theist needs to do to combat this claim is to describe a possible situation in which God and evil co-exist.

According to classical theism, the fact anf God cannot do any of these things is not a sign of weakness. Mackie and McCloskey can be understood as claiming that it is impossible for all of the following statements to be true at the same time:.

Responding to this formulation of the problem requires much more than simply describing a logically possible scenario in which God and evil co-exist.

Journalist and best-selling author Lee Strobel commissioned George Barna, the public-opinion pollster, to conduct a nationwide survey. Making of wrong choices is logically necessary for freedom. It should be obvious that 13 conflicts with 1 through 3 above. They must now be prepared to believe not just what cannot be proven, but what can be disproved from other beliefs they hold.

Don’t already have an Oxford Academic account? In fact, it appears that even the most makie atheist must admit that MSR1 and MSR2 are possible reasons God might have for allowing moral and natural evil.

Here is a possible reason God might have for allowing natural evil: In response to this charge, ,ackie maintains that there are some worlds God mackkie create. Progressive universe with a gradual overcoming of evil by good is really a better world than a world with static eternal unchallenged supremacy of good.

If answers no, then there are things he cannot do and he is not omnipotent. Generally, we believe the following moral principle to be true. If the descriptions of those worlds are inconsistent or contradictory, the worlds in question will be impossible. They note that philosophers have always believed it is never rational to believe something contradictory.


God could not eliminate much of the evil and suffering in this world without thereby eliminating the greater good of having created persons with free will with whom he could have relationships and who are able to love one another and do good deeds.

The kinds of goods a theistic god would provide: Many theists maintain that it is a mistake to think that God’s omnipotence requires that the blank in the following sentence must never be filled in:. Jones’ infant daughter against polio, you would no longer view Mrs. History of Western Philosophy. In the end, theodicy would seem to have to argue that this is the best of all possible worlds a difficult task. To make the conflict more clear, we can combine 12 and 3 into the following single statement.

Atheologians claim that, if we reflect upon 6 through 8 in light of the fact of evil and suffering in our world, we should be led to the following conclusions: Is this kind of situation really possible? God is either not omnipotent, not omniscient, or not perfectly good.

Logical Problem of Evil

This orthodox view of heaven poses the following significant challenges to Plantinga’s view: It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Ahd, Omnipotence and Time. In other words, whether there is immorality in either one of these worlds depends upon the persons living in these worlds—not upon God.

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