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. Mackie and McCloskey can be understood as claiming that it is impossible for all . The logical problem of evil claims that God’s omnipotence, omniscience and. 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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Mackie on the problem of evil

He expresses doubt about whether Plantinga has adequately dealt with the problem of evil. Can an omnipotent being make things which he cannot subsequently control?

For instance, a child, whose parents have been murdered, is given a particular test by God. In other words, 16 It omnipotencce not possible for God and evil to co-exist. No amount of moral or natural evil, of course, can guarantee that a man will [place his faith in God] And if God and his actions are not in time, can omnipotence or power of any sort be meaningfully ascribed to him?

If one is true, the other is false; if one is false, the other is true. This is even true for those who are victims of evil. Although sketching out mere ominpotence without giving them any evidential support omnipotende typically an unsatisfactory thing to do in philosophy, it is not clear that Mackie’s unhappiness with Plantinga is completely mqckie.

Malevolence, cruelty, callousness, cowardice. But whether this offers a real solution of the problem is another question. Any two or three of them might be true at the same time; but there is no way that all of them could be true.

These facts about evil and suffering seem to conflict with the orthodox theist claim that there exists a perfectly good God. I think asking a question like this is interesting, but useless. God is pictured as being in a situation much like that of Mrs.


This is the “logical problem of evil. The belief is that each and every one is given a unique test and that each person must go through it so they may learn humanity.

In the end, theodicy would seem to have to argue that this is the best of all possible worlds a difficult task.

Even Mackie admits that Plantinga solved the problem of evil, if that problem is understood as one of inconsistency. Those who fail and resort to evil by losing hope of success will be punished in the hereafter and maybe even in this world.

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.

There is nothing contradictory about supposing that there is a possible world where free creatures always make the right choices and never go wrong. The worlds described will be possible if the descriptions of those worlds are logically consistent. From the Publisher via CrossRef no proxy mind.

Evil and Omnipotence: Critique – Analysis Essay |

Now God can create free creatures, but he cannot cause or determine them to do makie what is right. He will be able to have a foundation for his or her life and happiness will likely come. In the last section we noted that many people will find MSR2 ‘s explanation of natural evil extremely difficult to believe because it assumes the literal existence of Adam and Eve and the literal occurrence of the Fall. However, we all die, and if we believe in an eternal hereafter, death evol be evil.

Each of these things seems to be absolutely, positively impossible.

However, Mackie is reluctant to attribute much significance to Plantinga’s accomplishment. Being upset that God has not done something that is logically omnipotfnce is, according to Plantinga, misguided. Login Username Password or login with. However, atheologians claim that statement 13 can also be derived from 1 through 3. When someone claims 40 Situation x is impossible, what is the least that you would have to prove in order to show that 40 is false?


In other words, it appears that W 3 isn’t impossible after all. Mackie argues that if an omnipotent and morally perfect god exists, why then is there so much evil in this world? If God is all-powerful, all-knowing and perfectly good, why does he let so many bad things happen?

Logical Problem of Evil

Why, then, did God give them free will? Statements 6 through 8 jointly imply that if the perfect God of theism really existed, there would not be any evil or suffering.

If there is any blame that needs to go around, it may be that some of it should go to Mackie and other atheologians for claiming that the problem of evil was a problem of inconsistency. It is now widely agreed that this intuition is correct.

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:. So if God had to introduce evil as a maackie to good, he must be subject to some causal laws. 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:.

Special attention is given to the free will defense, which has been the most widely discussed theistic response to the logical problem of evil. If God were all-powerful, God would be able to do something about all of the evil and suffering.

He states that if one accepts that evil exists, then he or she cannot accept that God is both omnipotent and morally perfect.

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