PHL 150 the problem of evil

PHL 150 the problem of evil - Paul Moses PHL 150 Expanded...

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Paul Moses 1 PHL 150 Expanded Essay Is Evil Really a Problem? J.L. Mackie spends the bulk of his essay “Evil and Omnipotence” answering the theists argument that evil exists in the world due to human free will. He lays out a rational response, attempting to logically disprove the existence of God. Mackie fails to address the true nature of good and evil, shattering the logic he uses to create his argument. In his essay, Mackie provides arguments showing that “religious beliefs… are positively irrational, that the several parts of the essential theological doctrine are inconsistent with one another” (200). He focuses on the fact that evil currently exists in the world, and uses that to explain why it is impossible for an omnipotent, wholly good God to exist. He focuses on answering four common explanations of the problem of evil, with a heavy emphasis on human free will. The first argument Mackie responds to contends that good can only exist if evil does as well. He has several objections to this argument, the primary one being that it limits God’s omnipotence. If God can only create good by also creating evil, which is the only logically possible outcome, then he is limited by the laws of human logic. The first possibility to explain this is that God isn’t omnipotent and is bounded by many of the same laws that bind humans, which greatly limits God’s omnipotence. The other possibility is that God can place limitations on himself, which brings the definition of omnipotence into question. Mackey wonders if an omnipotent being has the power to bind itself, referring to it as “The Paradox of Omnipotence” (203). He also states that if evil didn’t exist, there would still be good, it just wouldn’t be perceived as such. He uses the example of redness, saying that if everything was red then its redness would be
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This note was uploaded on 04/16/2008 for the course PHL 150 taught by Professor Trout during the Spring '08 term at Portland.

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PHL 150 the problem of evil - Paul Moses PHL 150 Expanded...

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