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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Omnopotence seems constitutionally incapable of choosing or even wanting to do what is wrong. But once you find out that the pain was caused by a shot that immunized Mrs.

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It seems that, although Plantinga’s Free Will Defense may be able to explain why God allows moral evil to occur, it cannot explain why he allows natural evil.

According to Plantinga, Mackie is correct in thinking that there is nothing impossible about a world in which people always freely choose to do right. If God can make a rock so big that he can’t lift it, exactly how big would that rock be? To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above.

IV.—EVIL AND OMNIPOTENCE | Mind | Oxford Academic

Divine Omnipotence and the Free Will Defense Some scholars maintain that Plantinga has p the idea of an omnipotent God because he claims there are some things God cannot do—namely, logically impossible things. According to classical theism, the fact that O cannot do any of these things is not a sign of weakness.


All he needs to do is give a logically consistent description of a way that God and evil can co-exist. God can’t have it both ways. It is now widely agreed that this intuition is correct. Imagine a possible world where God creates creatures with a very limited kind of freedom. From the Publisher via CrossRef no proxy mind. Can he create a stick that is not as long as itself? Natural evil—the pain of disease, the intermittent and unpredictable destruction of natural disasters, the decay of old omniotence, the imminence of death—takes away a person’s satisfaction with himself.

If, however, mackir is not possible that God has a morally sufficient reason for allowing evil, then it seems that 13 would be true: Only the possibility of making such choices would seem to be required.

Logical Problem of Evil

And this conflicts with ordinary theistic view of omnipotence. None of the statements in 1 through 4 directly contradicts any other, so if the set is logically inconsistent, it must be because we can deduce a contradiction from it.

He might say, “Of course he hasn’t done that. People have free will in this world and there is evil and suffering. It does not require the joint of a consistent set of statements to be plausible.

If answers no, then there are things he cannot do and he is not omnipotent. Causal forces beyond your control would make you tell the truth on every occasion.

If you can show that x is merely possible, you will have refuted It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. That certainly runs contrary to central doctrines of theism.


Was Plantinga’s Victory Too Easy? Sets limits to what God can do: An implicit assumption behind this part of the debate over the logical problem of evil is the following:. It’s only when people have morally good reasons that we excuse or condone their behavior. However, it is not clear that human freedom requires the existence of natural evils like deadly viruses and natural disasters.

So, if one of them were faced with three possible courses of action—two of which were morally good and one of which was morally bad—this person would not be free with respect to the morally bad option.

One point of conflict concerns the possibility of human free will in heaven. Although Plantinga claimed that his Free Will Defense offered merely possible and not necessarily actual reasons God might have for allowing evil and suffering, it may be difficult for other theists to embrace his defense if it runs contrary to what theism says is actually the case in heaven. In the description of the sixth day of creation God says to Adam and Eve, I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.

Even Mackie admits that Plantinga solved the problem of evil, if that problem is understood as one of inconsistency.