The challenges of religion in jl mackies article evil and omnipotence

In other words, 1 through 4 form a logically inconsistent set. It may be exceedingly unlikely or improbable that a certain set of statements should all be true at the same time.

Consider the following descriptions of various worlds. Mackie argues once again that this would imply a limit on God. The problem is stated as, "if one believes that god is omnipotent and wholly good, why does evil still exist?

why evil exist?

If free actions were random, we would have no reason to condemn people. We only blame a person if we think their actions come from a bad character.

Jl mackie quotes

They charge that a good God would and should eliminate all evil and suffering. It is also important to note that, simply because Plantinga's particular use of free will in fashioning a response to the problem of evil runs into certain difficulties, that does not mean that other theistic uses of free will in distinct kinds of defenses or theodicies would face the same difficulties. Most people are tempted to answer "No" when first exposed to this description, but think carefully about it. No amount of moral or natural evil, of course, can guarantee that a man will [place his faith in God] Mackie sees no reason why God could not simply allow men to do those things which are good, yet intervene when they decide to do wrong. Some evil exists. He writes, A world containing creatures who are sometimes significantly free and freely perform more good than evil actions is more valuable, all else being equal, than a world containing no free creatures at all. However, at some point we will be held accountable for the evil that we do. Of most significance is the change from seeing God's creation of this world as necessary to holding that it is a contingent fact that God created the best possible world. The problem has two basic formulations, one is deductive, the other inductive.

We said above that a set of statements is logically inconsistent if and only if that set includes a direct contradiction or a direct contradiction can be deduced from that set.

A universe with some evil is better than a universe with none The basic idea here is that certain kinds of evil are necessary for certain kinds of good; eg. 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.

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J.L. Mackie's Evil and Omnipotence Essay