The Logical Problem of Evil: On What Perfection Means

Previously on this blog, I offered a logical argument from evil against the existence of God, split over two posts. Some helpful comments on that argument confirmed for me that the weakest link in the argumentive chain was a certain premise..

(C) If God exists, then he instantiates all good-making properties, and no evil-making properties.

.. which I had taken to be an unproblematic consequence of perfect-being theology. Here I’d like to provide some motivation for the connection. For ease of exposition, I assume that God exists, and as in the previous posts, ‘good-making property’ refers to types rather than tokens.  Continue reading

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The Logical Problem: Support from Above

In the previous post, I sketched a valid argument from evil concluding the non-existence of God. I noted then that premise (3) was the most dubious, and promised to give it support. So..

Support for (3)

(A) God exists. (Assumption)
(B) If God exists, he is ontologically independent (i.e. it is possible that he should exist, without any other thing existing).
(C) If God exists, then he instantiates all good-making properties, and no evil-making properties.
(D) Thus, it is possible that God alone should exist, instantiating all good-making properties and no evil-making properties.
(E) Then, there is no good-making property whose instantiation entails instantiation of an evil-making property.
(F) Therefore, every evil-making property is such that its existence is not entailed by some good-making property.
(3) Every evil-making property is such that its existence is not entailed by some greater good-making property.

Continue reading

The Logical Problem of Evil: Sketching an Argument

The Logical Problem of Evil attempts to demonstrate that the existence of a traditional God is incompatible with the existence of evil, and so, given the obvious existence of evil, the non-existence of God. A famous version of this argument, given by J.L. Mackie argues1..

(1) If God exists, God is an omnipotent and wholly good being.
(2) A good being always eliminates evil as far as it can.
(3) There are no limits on what an omnipotent being can do.
(4) Evil exists.
(C) God does not exist.

Equally famous is the reply of Alvin Plantinga2. Continue reading