Evil and Omnipotence. Problem of evil proves belief in God irrational not just non-rational. Problem of evil puts them in a much worse position. They must now be prepared to believe not just what cannot be proven, but what can be disproved from other beliefs they hold. God is wholly good. God is omnipotent.

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Evil and Omnipotence. Problem of evil proves belief in God irrational not just non-rational. Problem of evil puts them in a much worse position. They must now be prepared to believe not just what cannot be proven, but what can be disproved from other beliefs they hold.

God is wholly good. God is omnipotent. Evil exists. A good thing always eliminates or opposes evil as much as it can. No limits to what an omnipotent thing can do. No logical?

Solve problem by. Rejecting a or b. Rejecting c --existence of evil. Rejecting d: Good is not opposed to the kind of evil that exists. Rejecting e: There are limits to what an omnipotent thing can do. If something is bigger than something else then there has to be something smaller than something else too. But then good and evil are not opposed; good does not try to eliminate evil as much as it can, but instead requires it.

But this is peculiar; not what we mean when we say God is good better or that murder is evil worse Mackie rejects claim that any quality must have a real opposite. But everything could be red and nothing non-red.

So God could have made everything good, though if he did we would not notice it. Even if every quality must have a real opposite, this provides no solution to problem of evil, unless one is willing to say, there is just enough evil to serve as a counterpart to good. If for red to exist some non-red must, a tiny spec would be enough. And the same if for good to exist some evil must also exist.

So either God is not omnipotent or there are some limits to what an omnipotent thing can do. This assumes that logic is independent of God. If logic were created by God e. Evil is necessary as a means to good. So if God had to introduce evil as a means to good, he must be subject to some causal laws. And this conflicts with ordinary theistic view of omnipotence.

God is not bound by causal laws. For example, he can perform miracles turn water into wine, or walk on water. Most theists think God created causal laws. The universe is better with some evil in it than it would be if there were no evil. Evil may contribute to goodness of whole in which found.

Like in aesthetics , contrast heightens beauty e. 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.

Existence of pain and disease make possible sympathy, benevolence, heroism, and struggle to overcome these evils. Heightened happiness by contrast with misery. Sympathy with suffering. Heroism in face of danger.

So the universe is better in virtue of having 1 st order evils. This is the best of all logically possible worlds because it includes the important second order goods, even though real evils 1 st order evils of pain and disease exist.

In the end, theodicy would seem to have to argue that this is the best of all possible worlds a difficult task. Mackie reply: Thinks that existence of 2 nd order evil is the weakness in this argument. God would especially want and try to get rid of them. But 2 nd order evil exists. Might one argue that 2 nd order goods far outweigh 2 nd order evils in importance and so this is still the best of all possible worlds?

What reason might be given for this idea? Evil is due to human free will not God. Much Evil is not due to God, but to human free will. Combine this with above solution to 1 st order evil pain , which is necessary to 2 nd order goods sympathy, struggle against evil. 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. If God can make people who freely choose to act well on some occasions, there is nothing logically impossible about him making people who freely choose the good on all occasions.

God was not faced with choice of making innocent automata or beings whose free actions would sometimes create evil. He had the better option of making beings who freely always act right. Possible Reply : Making of wrong choices is logically necessary for freedom.

Is this true? Only the possibility of making such choices would seem to be required. Must take a view of freedom as randomness or indeterminacy including with choosing good and evil acts. For if God made men as they are, but did not determine their wrong choices, this can only be because the wrong choices are not determined by men as they are not determined by their characters. Is a wrong free act not really evil, because the freedom is a value that outweighs is wrongness?

We would not say this about Dostoevsky cases Theists claim that sin is really evil, not that the freedom involved makes it an overall good! Can an omnipotent being make things which he cannot subsequently control?

Can he make rules which then bind himself e. Because if one answers yes, then he is no longer omnipotent. If answers no, then there are things he cannot do and he is not omnipotent. Mackie distinguishes between two types of omnipotence. Can either say. God always has 1 , and if so no beings ever have powers to act independently of God. Or say God has 2 and uses it to assign independent powers to act to certain things, so that thereafter God did not have omnipotence 1. And if God and his actions are not in time, can omnipotence or power of any sort be meaningfully ascribed to him?

Putting God outside of time solves paradox. No times can be assigned to his actions. But not clear we can make sense of God acting if he is outside time. Could say God has 1 and 2 and chooses never to use 2. Or could say he had 1 and 2, chose to use 2 and now no longer has one.


The Problem of Evil

In section A, Mackie outlines the "Adequate Solutions" offered by some religious thinkers. Although he admits that these solutions work up to a point, Mackie describes them as " half-hearted " because, he argues, they don't take the idea of evil seriously enough. In Section B, Mackie deals more harshly with the "Fallacious Solutions" offered by more mainstream religious thinkers. Mackie thinks these solutions all fail because they only appear to be retaining the three main propositions of the problem of evil God's omnipotence, God's goodness, the reality of evil ; he aims to show that they abandon one of these propositions in one way or another. But he notes that this need not convince someone that there is no reason for believing in God:.


Logical Problem of Evil

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