In fact, according to the first chapter of Genesis, animals in the Garden of Eden didn’t even kill each other for food before the Fall. Millions starve and die in North Korea as famine ravages the land. (12′) If evil and suffering exist, then either: a) God is not omnipotent, not omniscient, or not perfectly good; or b) God has a morally sufficient reason for allowing evil. Current discussions of the problem focus on what is called “the probabilistic problem of evil” or “the evidential problem of evil.” According to this formulation of the problem, the evil and suffering (or, in some cases, the amounts, kinds and distributions of evil and suffering) that we find in the world count as evidence against the existence of God (or make it improbable that God exists). To create creatures capable of moral good, therefore, he must create creatures capable of moral evil; and he cannot leave these creatures free to perform evil and at the same time prevent them from doing so…. U. S. A. 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. [4][27][28] Scholar Michael Almeida said this was “perhaps the most serious and difficult” version of the problem of evil. The ancient philosopher Epicurus framed the contradiction in the form of a logical dilemma: Either God is unwilling to prevent evil or He is unable. The Logical Problem of Evil. Mackie admits that Plantinga’s defense shows how God and evil can co-exist, that is, it shows that “the central doctrines of theism” are logically consistent after all. (36) God is not able to contradict himself. (16) It is not possible for God and evil to co-exist. To refute the logical version of the internal problem of evil, the theist does not have to suggest a plausible or likely solution‑-all he has to do is suggest a possible one. He can create a world with free creatures or he can causally determine creatures to choose what is right and to avoid what is wrong every time; but he can’t do both. That certainly runs contrary to central doctrines of theism. They may not represent God’s actual reasons, but for the purpose of blocking the logical problem of evil, it is not necessary that Plantinga discover God’s actual reasons. They will also be able to guess why a different reason was chosen in this article.) (11′) If God is powerful enough to prevent all of the evil and suffering, wants to do so, and yet does not, he must not know about all of the suffering or know how to eliminate or prevent it (that is, he must not be all-knowing)—unless he has a morally sufficient reason for allowing evil. It is difficult to see how a God who allowed bad things to happen just for the heck of it could be worthy of reverence, faith and worship. In other words, (1) through (4) form a logically inconsistent set. Plantinga’s Free Will Defense has been the most famous theistic response to the logical problem of evil because he did more to clarify the issues surrounding the logical problem than anyone else. Philosophers of religion have called the kind of reason that could morally justify God’s allowing evil and suffering a “morally sufficient reason.”. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and perfectly good. Many atheologians believe that God could have created a world that was populated with free creatures and yet did not contain any evil or suffering. Why does evil exist at all? Peterson (1998, p. 9) claims that the problem of evil is a kind of “moral protest.” In asking “How could God let this happen?” people are often claiming “It’s not fair that God has let this happen.” Many atheists try to turn the existence of evil and suffering into an argument against the existence of God. So, W1 is clearly possible. Most philosophical debate has focused on the propositions stating that God cannot exist with, or would want to prevent, all evils (premises 3 and 6), with defenders of theism (for example, Leibniz) arguing that God could very well exist with and allow evil in order to achieve a greater good. Cancer, AIDS, famines, earthquakes, tornadoes, and many other kinds of diseases and natural disasters are things that happen without anybody choosing to bring them about. It is not that they will contingently always do what is right and contingently always avoid what is wrong. People in this world always perform morally good actions, but they deserve no credit for doing so. Here is a possible reason God might have for allowing natural evil: (MSR2) God allowed natural evil to enter the world as part of Adam and Eve’s punishment for their sin in the Garden of Eden. Better Never to Have Created: A New Logical Problem of Evil (2020) Horia George Plugaru Introduction. That means that a set of statements is logically consistent if and only if that set does not include a direct contradiction and a direct contradiction cannot be deduced from that set. Responding to this formulation of the problem requires much more than simply describing a logically possible scenario in which God and evil co-exist. They could never be praiseworthy. One point of conflict concerns the possibility of human free will in heaven. Both of these arguments are understood to be presenting two forms of the logical problem of evil. Better Never to Have Created: A New Logical Problem of Evil (2020) by Horia Plugaru. It should be obvious that (13) conflicts with (1) through (3) above. (MSR2) claims that all natural evil followed as the result of the world’s first moral evil. But improbability and impossibility, as we said above, are two different things. This agrees with the point of the problem of evil, that the existence of a flawed, evil, indifferent, or non-omnipotent entity would be compatible with reality, while the existence of an omnipotent and omnibenevolent entity would not. This brief discussion allows us to see that the atheological claim that statements (1) through (4) are logically inconsistent is a rather strong one. This version of the problem of evil has been used by scholars including John Hick to counter the responses and defenses to the problem of evil such as suffering being a means to perfect the morals and greater good because animals are innocent, helpless, amoral but sentient victims. People deserve the blame for the bad things that happen—not God. Since he did not do so, God did something blameworthy by not preventing or eliminating evil and suffering (if indeed God exists at all). Let’s first consider a down-to-earth example of a morally sufficient reason a human being might have before moving on to the case of God. Denying the truth of either (1), (2), (3) or ( 4) is certainly one way for the theist to escape from the logical problem of evil, but it would not be a very palatable option to many theists. They claim that, since there is something morally problematic about a morally perfect God allowing all of the evil and suffering we see, there must not be a morally perfect God after all. To refute the logical version of the internal problem of evil, the theist does not have to suggest a plausible or likely solution‑-all he has to do is suggest a possible one. 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. Firstly, let me lay out the argument as follows: 1. “Evil and Omnipotence.”, Stump, Eleonore. But once you find out that the pain was caused by a shot that immunized Mrs. Jones’ infant daughter against polio, you would no longer view Mrs. Jones as a danger to society. If God existed, there would not be evil, but since there is evil, God (as religious believers define him) cannot exist. And yet part of what it means for creatures to have morally significant free will is that they can do morally bad things whenever they want to. The desire to see a theistic response to the problem of evil go beyond merely undermining a particular atheological argument is understandable. Given the program running inside the robot and its exposure to an empty soda can, it’s going to take the can to the recycle bin. (39) Natural evil =df evil or suffering that results from the operations of nature or nature gone awry. The problem of evil is unusual in objections to religion in that many apologists accept that it is a persuasive and rational criticism of theism. This aspect of the problem of evil comes in two broad varieties: the logical problem and the evidential problem. If God can make a rock so big that he can’t lift it, exactly how big would that rock be? I suggest, then, that it is an ethically reasonable judgment… that human goodness slowly built up through personal histories of moral effort has a value in the eyes of the Creator which justifies even the long travail of the soul-making process. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food. It would be one thing if the only people who suffered debilitating diseases or tragic losses were the likes of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin or Osama Bin Laden. Also known as a reduction ad absurdum argument, whereby all three propositions cannot be true together. A variety of arguments have been offered in response to the problem of evil, and some of them have been used in both theodicies and defenses. But Plantinga thinks he is mistaken in thinking that W3 is possible and in not recognizing important differences between W3 and W4. by an ancient philosopher by the name of Epicurus. All he needs to do is give a logically consistent description of a way that God and evil can co-exist. The logical formulation utilises the logic of defeat, specifically analysing how beliefs about the nature and existence of God can be made logically compatible with beliefs or facts about the existence and nature of evil. As it is, however, thousands of good-hearted, innocent people experience the ravages of violent crime, terminal disease, and other evils. The logical problem of evil (including providence) involves mystery, requiring that Christians maintain doctrinal tensions in biblical proportion. Thus, some of those dissatisfied with Plantinga’s merely defensive response to the problem of evil may find these more constructive, alternative responses more attractive. A. Philosophers claim that you only need to use your imagination. Mar 20, 2019 #2. An implicit assumption behind this part of the debate over the logical problem of evil is the following: (18) It is not morally permissible for God to allow evil and suffering to occur unless he has a morally sufficient reason for doing so. In response to each of these questions, Plantinga’s answer is “No.” Each of the scenarios depicted in these questions is impossible: the objects or events in question couldn’t possibly exist. If evil exists, then God cannot exist. A pancreatic cancer patient suffers prolonged, excruciating pain and dies. (20) If God is doing something morally inappropriate or blameworthy, then God is not perfectly good. However, Mackie is reluctant to attribute much significance to Plantinga’s accomplishment. God uses evil for a greater good. According to Plantinga, libertarian free will is a morally significant kind of free will. This question raises what philosophers call “the problem of evil.”. Hick rejects the traditional view of the Fall, which pictures humans as being created in a finitely perfect and finished state from which they disastrously fell away. theistic John Hick Omnipotent Why Do Happen to Although each solution proposed was plausible, there are limitations like moral evil vs. natural evil which have their solutions as well, but make it apparent that the logical problem of evil is yet to be solved Logical problem of evil. Hick rejects the traditional view of the Fall, which pictures humans as being created in a finitely perfect and finished state from which they disastrously fell away. As a result, the problem of evil is often regarded as one of the greatest threats to religious belief,causing many religious writers to scramble to find a wide variety of solutions. From what I understand, according to the Bible, Satan is the root of all evil, not God. In response to this charge, Plantinga maintains that there are some worlds God cannot create. Hume establishes that the Logical Problem of Evil is an a priori (from definition) proof that God cannot exist because his characteristics contradict each other. (Those familiar with Plantinga’s work will notice that this is not the same reason Plantinga offers for God’s allowing natural evil. He might say, “Of course he hasn’t done that. They note that philosophers have always believed it is never rational to believe something contradictory. The logical problem of evil is often referred to as the inconsistent triad, this being that the following propositions; God is omnipotent, omnibenevolent and evil exists, are inconsistent. The problem of evil has also been extended beyond human suffering, to include suffering of animals from cruelty, disease and evil. They will be yours for food. It is now widely agreed that this intuition is correct. Does it succeed in solving the logical problem of evil as it pertains to either moral or natural evil? To begin with, (MSR1) presupposes the view of free will known as “libertarianism”: (22) Libertarianism=df the view that a person is free with respect to a given action if and only if that person is both free to perform that action and free to refrain from performing that action; in other words, that person is not determined to perform or refrain from that action by any prior causal forces. (2) God is omniscient (that is, all-knowing). She writes, Natural evil—the pain of disease, the intermittent and unpredictable destruction of natural disasters, the decay of old age, the imminence of death—takes away a person’s satisfaction with himself. (Stump 1985, p. 409). Is this kind of situation really possible? Some might think that (MSR2) is simply too far-fetched to be taken seriously. (10) If God knows about all of the evil and suffering, knows how to eliminate or prevent it, wants to prevent it, and yet does not do so, he must not be all- powerful. The evidential problem of evil (also referred to as the probabilistic or inductive version of the problem) seeks to show that the existence of evil, although logically consistent with the existence of God, counts against or lowers the probability of the truth of theism. Since (MSR1) and (MSR2) together seem to show contra the claims of the logical problem of evil how it is possible for God and (moral and natural) evil to co-exist, it seems that the Free Will Defense successfully defeats the logical problem of evil. Originating with Greek philosopher Epicurus,[20] the logical argument from evil is as follows: This argument is of the form modus tollens, and is logically valid: If its premises are true, the conclusion follows of necessity. (a) God creates persons with morally significant free will; (b) God does not causally determine people in every situation to choose what is right and to avoid what is wrong; and. Of course, it’s highly improbable, given what we know about human nature. If there exists an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent God, then no evil exists. If you could point to an actual instance of the type of situation in question, that would certainly prove that (40) is false. God is pictured as being in a situation much like that of Mrs. Jones: she allowed a small evil (the pain of a needle) to be inflicted upon her child because that pain was necessary for bringing about a greater good (immunization against polio). It certainly seems so. It has not, however, been the only such response. First, I think it directly contradicts the Christian faith to claim that God intentionally put evil into the world. There is no way that (13) and (14) could both be true at the same time. This chapter shows that the logical problem of evil is far from dead. Dystheism is the belief that God is not wholly good. Even Mackie admits that Plantinga solved the problem of evil, if that problem is understood as one of inconsistency. Evil is a problem, for the theist, in that a contradiction is involved in the fact of evil on the one hand and belief in the omnipotence and omniscience of God on the other. J. L. Mackie (1955, p. 200), for example, claimed. If there is some divine omnipotent, omnipresent, omnibenevolent Being in the universe, would He, She, or They not have made sure there was no evil in it? The assumption behind this charge is that, in so doing, God could leave human free will untouched. God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. Consider the following descriptions of various worlds. These inabilities follow not from God’s omnipotence alone but from his omnipotence in combination with his omniscience, moral perfection and the other divine perfections God possesses. The Logical Problem Of Evil 1535 Words | 7 Pages. As Flew (1955, p. 149) put it, “If there is no contradiction here then Omnipotence might have made a world inhabited by perfectly virtuous people.” Mackie (1955, p. 209) writes. Atheism, Theism, and the Problem of Evil – The Responses Followers of theism observe and acknowledge evil, pain, and suffering in this broken world. In other words. There is evil in the world. 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. (17) It is possible that God has a morally sufficient reason for allowing evil. God has obviously not causally determined people in every situation to choose what is right and to avoid what is wrong because there would be no evil or suffering if he had. Instead, Hick claims that huma… Is it possible? That is, that person would not be able to choose any bad option even if they wanted to. The logical problem of evil is often referred to as the inconsistent triad, this being that the following propositions; God is omnipotent, omnibenevolent and evil exists, are inconsistent. Similarly, the people in the possible world under consideration have no choice about being good. There was no problem of evil before the fall, nor will there be one in the eternal state. A variety of morally sufficient reasons can be proposed as possible explanations of why a perfect God might allow evil and suffering to exist. For example, someone who raises the problem of evil may be referring to the religious/emotional problem of evil, the logical problem of evil, the evidential problem of evil, moral evil, or natural evil, just to name a few.
2020 the logical problem of evil