Paper Example on Evil and Omnipotence

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University of Richmond
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Literature review
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God is omnipotent, wholly and yet evil still exists ("Atheist Solution to the Problem of Evil" 23). According to the author, the three propositions cannot all be right. One of the premises has to be untrue for the three to have a consistent with one another. Most philosophers tend to argue that, God existence is false though that should not be enough reason for people to believe that there is no God (Swinburne 23). Mackie goes ahead by giving some quasi-logical rules as a way of proving his arguments. First, the author presumes that a good thing can eliminate evil to any level possible. He also claims that the existence of God has no limits. From the two premises, it is clear that omnipotence and good can eradicate all possible evil ("Atheist Solution to the Problem of Evil" 30). The two added propositions, therefore, shows inconsistent in the first three hence disapprove philosophers point that God does not exist. There are those who do not believe that evil exists since its existence demands that a good omnipotent being cannot exist.

Mackie defends his thesis by listing and negating various argument responses to the arguments. Even though he agrees that the five principles are contradicting, he refutes the fact that it is a promising position for theologians to base their arguments. The author goes ahead and dismisses various fallacies that see as solutions. Mackie argues that in as much as error solutions may appear plausible at first, it does not amount to a rejection of any principle that asserts the contradiction (Davies 31). The author believes that the fallacies are baseless hence cannot enable theologians to respond the issue of evil.

In his first response, the writer refutes the claim that good cannot exist without evil since the two are counterparts. In the text, it has philosophers seems to argue that one cannot recognize virtuous without experiencing evil (Adams 76). The author disapproves this by stating that immoral and noble can never be logical opposite like up and down (Adams 81). The comparison does not make sense in that up and down are not qualities. Here, the philosophers are trying to limit Gods omnipotence what should not be the case (Swinburne 91). In the second fallacious solution, it is stated that for moral to exist there must be evil what Mackie also contest. This claim shows that God usually uses evil to bring about goodness (Adams 83). It does not in any way solve the problem of evil since it restricts gods power hence disapproves what is meant by omnipotence. The argument can only be true if one proposition of God is omnipotence is denied.

"The universe is better with some evil in it than it could be if there were no evil" is the third solution though Mackie did not refute it entirely. The solution had half-truth in it what brings about the first and second order of evil (Davies 32). According to the author, it seems some acts of goodness comes as result of a crime like a disease will bring about sympathy. In as much as the second order of evil gives the fallacy some credit, it does prove how it will solve the problem of evil in general. With such solutions, some levels of goodness and evilness will be required. Mackie disagrees with the claim since no moral can satisfy that requirement.

Evil is due to the human free will was the last fallacious solution he disapproved while defending the thesis. The answer contradicts the fact that God is wholly good (Davies 37). In his argument, he claims that if God has the power to make human act on his free will on doing evil he can as well make them act rightly throughout without sinning. Therefore, in this case, the author believes that God cannot make something that He cannot control since that strips him off of being omnipotent (Adams 331). God is mighty, and He has control over all that He has made, and human free will is not an exception. Mackie, therefore, rebuke this solution based on the incoherence of the idea of freedom of the will (Langtry 45). God having granted human the freedom to do whatever they want never meant they should misuse it by committing evil.

Mackies response to the evil problem solution is adequate as per my views. Some people may need clarification on the many questions unanswered though they will still come to the same conclusion. Mackie believes that God is beyond the realm of logic because of he is omnipotent. Any true Christian can argue this way in the sense that God is not under any law (Langtry 63). Since he makes the rules for human, He does not need to follow any law. The most atheists will question the logic behind this argument, but in a real sense, logic does not apply to Christian faith and belief (Davies 51). Christians believe that omnipotence is usually guided by the desire to God to give freedom and dignity to human beings. It also establishes a redemptive kingdom that that humanity has learned to love as well as fulfill their worth as creatures. They believe that God does use power only when it is consistent with real plans and purpose. God is never happy whenever human with the evil that His people commit but evil only occurs when its result will lead to a positive solution.

While examining Mackies defense, morality should be considered as a major issue to humanity. God would be pleased to have a universe where people can make moral choices like being faithful to love as they would want to love and live in paradise (Bevans 43). Whenever one chooses to be unfaithful to the moral requirement in the universe, the person automatically becomes alienated from God. The moral of evil that is lack of love came as a result of human action hence gods power should not be questioned (Langtry 43). Whenever human decide to commit a crime, they automatically put God out of life hence the goodness and powerfulness of God should not be questioned (Bevans 51). It is at this point that atheists fail to understand about God. Gods omnipotence is usually guided by His intention to create a universe that can accomplish the upright purpose it was meant to do (Bevans 73).

Moral evil may has come as result of human fails to do the right thing and has complicated things; God had developed a method by which such kingdoms could be established and managed eternally without denying humanity ability to make meaningful moral choices (Swinburne 113). Mackies did a commendable work and had truly proved that the goodness and powerfulness of God are questionable (Bevans 47). Christians should also remember that there are sufficient answers to their questions regarding the authors defense hence the paradox of evil should not prevent rational faith among believers.


Works Cited

Adams, M. M. "God Because of Evil: A Pragmatic Argument from Evil for Belief in God." The Blackwell Companion to the Problem of Evil, 2014, pp. 160-173, doi:10.1002/9781118608005.ch11.

"The Atheist Solution to the Problem of Evil." Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy, 2008, pp. 221-227.

Bevans, Stephen. "A God of omnipotent love." John Oman and his Doctrine of God, pp. 82-101.

Davies, B. "The Problem of Evil." Thomas Aquinas on God and Evil, 2011, pp. 1-8, doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199790890.003.0001.

Langtry, B. "Logical Arguments from Evil, against the Existence of God." God, the Best, and Evil, 2008, pp. 130-147, doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238798.003.0006.

Swinburne, R. "Omnipotent." The Coherence of Theism, 2016, pp. 150-174, doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198779698.003.0009.


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