The existence of moral evil

If God is going to allow people to be free, it seems plausible to claim that they need to have the capacity to commit crimes and to be immoral.

evidential problem of evil

For might it not be logically possible that there was an omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect being who created a neutral environment in which evolution could take place in a chancy way, and who afterwards did not intervene in any way?

This is a contradiction, so 1 is not true. According to Garrard, the evildoer has a particularly despicable motivational structure.

The existence of moral evil

Divine Omnipotence and the Free Will Defense Some scholars maintain that Plantinga has rejected the idea of an omnipotent God because he claims there are some things God cannot do—namely, logically impossible things.

The Miracle of Theism.

Solutions to the problem of evil

A world full of suffering, trials and temptations is more conducive to the process of soul-making than a world full of constant pleasure and the complete absence of pain. The question then is whether the appropriate revision of the first substantive premise is plausible. Some moral theorists would claim that we do, and that it is possible to set out a complete and correct moral theory. If W3 is possible, then the complaint lodged by Flew and Mackie above that God could and therefore should have created a world full of creatures who always did what is right is not answered. Drought and Famine: God will shut off rains, so neither land nor trees yield produce Leviticus It seems, then, that the Free Will Defense might be adapted to rebut the logical problem of natural evil after all. From this point of view, evil is a means to an end in as much as if it did not exist, there would be no means of spiritual development.

Other philosophers have suggested that evildoers desire to cause harm, or to do wrong, for more specific reasons such as pleasure Steinerthe desire to do what is wrong Perrettthe desire to annihilate all being Eagletonor the destruction of others for its own sake Cole A theistic explanation is, accordingly, less simple than an indifferent deity explanation, and therefore, provided that one can argue that the a priori probability of the latter hypothesis is not less than that of the former, one can appeal to the greater simplicity of the latter in order to conclude that it has a higher posterior probability than the theistic hypothesis.

Card also argues that we have just as much reason to question the motives of people who believe we should abandon the concept of evil as we do to question the motives of people who use the concept.

Responses to the problem of evil

If there exists an omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient God, then no evil exists. Eve Garrard and Luke Russell also point out that even if the concept of evil cannot provide a complete explanation for the performance of an action, it can provide a partial explanation. One way of supporting the latter claim is by introducing the idea of logical probability, where logical probability is a measure of the extent to which one proposition supports another Carnap, , 19—51, esp. One is by treating it as a case of instantial generalization. For if evil persons have evil-making properties frequently, or on a regular basis, then it makes sense to say that they are the worst sorts of people and deserve our strongest moral condemnation. For instance, Liberto and Harrington suggest that both altruistic and heroic actions have the following essential properties: 1 they are performed for the sake of others, and 2 they are performed at some cost or risk to the agent. That Plantinga initially focused upon abstract formulations of the argument from evil was not, perhaps, surprising, given that a number of writers—including Mackie, H. But, in addition, there can be combinations of unknown rightmaking and wrongmaking properties that would move an action in the direction of being morally right all things considered, but not sufficiently far to make it morally right all things considered. Evil and the God of Love, revised ed. But one is still assuming, in effect, that most of the detailed information about the evils found in the world is completely irrelevant to the argument from evil, and a little reflection brings out how very implausible this assumption is. For some religious people, the fact that people suffer can raise difficult questions about why God allows this to happen.

Thus, it does not appear that, with respect to any choice of morally good and morally bad options, God is free to choose a bad option.

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