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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Logical Problem of Evil

Many atheologians believe that God could have created a world that was populated with free creatures and yet did not contain any evil or suffering. The responses of both Hick and Stump are intended to cover wnd only the logical problem of evil but also any other formulation of the problem as well. Omnipotencee, some of those dissatisfied with Plantinga’s merely defensive response to the problem of evil may find these more constructive, alternative responses more attractive.

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They reason as follows: They must now be prepared to believe not just what cannot be proven, but what can be disproved from other beliefs they hold. An action is morally significant just when it is appropriate to evaluate that action from a moral perspective for example, by ascribing moral praise or blame.

He can create a world with free creatures or he can causally determine creatures to choose what is right and to avoid what is wrong every time; but he can’t do both. Something is logically omnipoetnce just when it can be conceived without contradiction.

Sets limits to what God can do: According to his Free Will Defense, God could not eliminate the possibility of moral evil without at the same time eliminating some greater good. To create creatures capable of moral good, therefore, he must create creatures capable of moral evil; and he cannot leave these creatures free to perform evil and at the same time prevent them from doing so Erik Wielenberg – – Faith and Philosophy 17 1: God can’t have it both ways.


Evil is a problem, for the theist, in that a contradiction is involved in the fact of evil on the one hand and belief in the omnipotence and omniscience of God on the other.

If there is nothing bad in this world, it can only be because the free creatures that inhabit this world have— by their own free will —always chosen to do the right thing. Each of these things seems to be absolutely, positively impossible. The atheologian is maintaining that statements 1 through 4 couldn’t possibly all be true at the same time.

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:.

What would it look like for God to have a morally sufficient reason for allowing evil?

ex-apologist: Notes on Mackie’s “Evil and Omnipotence”

MSR1 claims that God macke get rid of much of the evil and suffering in the world without also getting rid of morally significant free will. God, Freedom, and Evil. Causal forces beyond your control would make you tell the truth on every occasion. Like in aestheticscontrast heightens beauty e. The essential point of the Free Will Defense is that the creation of a world containing moral good is a cooperative venture; it requires the uncoerced concurrence of significantly free creatures.


Plantinga claims that when we think through what robust free will really amounts to, we can see that atheologians are unbeknownst to themselves asking God to do the logically impossible. They reasoned that there must be oknipotence to the problem of evil than what is captured in the logical formulation of the problem. If God is going to allow people to be free, it seems plausible to claim that they need to have the capacity to commit crimes and to be immoral.

Let’s figure out which of these worlds are possible. 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: Grave – – Mind 65 The Argument from Evil in Philosophy of Religion. According to classical theism, the fact that God cannot do any of these things is not a sign of weakness. Here is a possible reason God might have for allowing natural evil:.

Because the suggestions of Mackei and Stump are clearly logically possible, they, too, succeed in undermining the logical problem of evil.

It leaves several of the most important questions about God and evil unanswered. However, we should keep in mind that all parties admit that Plantinga’s Free Will Defense successfully rebuts the logical problem of evil as it was formulated by atheists during the mid-twentieth-century. An earthquake kills hundreds omniotence Peru.

Putting God outside of time solves paradox.