Saturday, May 18, 2013

Quick thought on God and Evil

"Some things are necessarily true"

In reading God, Freedom and Evil by Alvin Plantinga I came across an explanation that opened my eyes to logic and necessity a little further.

Atheist or Atheologians as Plantinga puts it are essentially saying of God that:

(1)  God is omnipotent
(2)  God is wholly good
(3)  Evil exists

Their claim is of course that this is logically inconsistent with a God existing. But in terms of inconsistencies, where this argument currently stands, there is no inconsistency with this set of propositions.

The atheologian must adopt certain additional premises which John Mackie lays out:

(4)  A good thing always eliminates things as far as it can
(5)  There are no limits to what an omnipotent being can do

If in fact these premises are true then in it would follow that

            (6) Therefore, God does not exist

I think when you properly examine these additional premises; you discover they are false in their assumptions. On (5) for example, is it possible for this all-powerful being to create, say a round-triangle? How about a married-bachelor? Can God bring it about that He both exists and does not exist? I think we can see from these quick examples that even a being that is all-powerful cannot create/do things in logical contradiction to themselves. Neither is this evidence against God nor is it evidence against God being less than omnipotent. If we eliminate the validity of these hidden premises the argument that God does not exist as a result of evil is defeated. I think we can show that (5) is false which would result in the conclusion (6) being false:

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