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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Evil and Omnipotence

They charge that a good God would and should eliminate all evil and suffering. Farrell – – Mind 67 Many theists answer “Yes. However, it is not clear that human freedom requires the existence of natural evils like deadly viruses and natural disasters. Divine Omnipotence in Philosophy of Religion.

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. Heightened happiness by contrast with misery.

Logical Problem of Evil

Statement 14 is simply the conjunction of 1 through 3 omnipotenve expresses the central belief of classical theism. Why, then, did Msckie give them free will? 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.

How would you go about finding a logically possible x? It is impossible for them to do wrong. Some philosophers feel that Plantinga’s apparent victory over the logical problem of evil was somehow too easy.


From 9′ through 12’it is not possible to conclude that God does not exist. Sign In or Create an Account. 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. An earthquake kills hundreds in Peru. He suggests the following as a possible maclie sufficient reason:.

To begin with, MSR1 presupposes the view of free will known as “libertarianism”: It leaves several of the most important questions about God and evil unanswered. If God has made men such that in their free choices they sometimes prefer what is good and sometimes what is evil, why could he not have made men such that they always freely choose the good? It was, after all, Mackie himself who characterized the problem of evil as one of logical inconsistency:.

God is not bound by causal laws.

This article addresses one form of that problem that is prominent in recent philosophical discussions–that the conflict that exists between the claims of orthodox theism and the facts about evil and suffering in our world is a logical one. Science Logic and Mathematics. In fact, on the assumption that God exists, it seems to describe the actual world.

We would not say this about Dostoevsky cases Special attention is given to the free will defense, which has been the most widely discussed theistic response to the logical problem of evil. There is no way that 13 and 14 could both be true at the same time.

Rejecting c –existence of evil. Evil is necessary as a means to good. But not clear we can make sense of God acting if he is outside time. For example, he can perform miracles turn water into wine, or walk on water.


Does Plantinga’s Free Will Defense succeed in describing a possible state of affairs in which God has a morally sufficient reason for allowing evil? So, W 1 is clearly possible. The article clarifies the nature of the logical problem of evil and considers various theistic responses to the problem. Sign in Create an account. 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:.

But then it seems that God’s actions could not carry any moral significance. For if God brings it about or causes it to be the case in any manner whatsoever that the person either does A or does not do A, then that person is not really free. Philosophers claim that you only need to use your imagination. They are fully free and responsible for their actions and decisions. However, consider the sort of freedom enjoyed by the redeemed in heaven. It is better that men should act freely and sometimes do bad things than they be innocent automata and act rightly in a wholly determined way.

This is the “logical problem of evil.