The question that is asked time and time again is whether or not god exists. It is evident that people hold different beliefs. It is evident that through some of the beliefs of J.L. Mackie that it could be argued that God does not actually exist. I find this argument to be more agreeable. In Mackie’s Evil and Omnipotence, he argues many points to support why it should be believed that god does not exist. At the beginning of the article, Mackie states that the initial issue with God’s existence is that, “God is omnipotent; God is wholly good; and yet evil exists” (Mackie, Paragraph 3). If god is such a pure and good being, then he should be able to combat all evil.
In “Evil and Omnipotence”, J.L Mackie argues that solutions provided for the problem of evil are implausible. Mackie claims that the problem of evil is God’s inability to be both omnipotent and omni-benevolent yet have evil exist. This contradiction cannot be physically disproven; and therefore, must be logically disproven. Mackie uses a novel method of providing solutions to this problem and elaborating on their lack of logic. In this paper, I will further explain the problem of evil, expand on the solution “Good cannot exist without evil,” and argue for Mackie’s view against this solution.
There are billions of people in the world. They all start as small infants, then grow up. But not everyone turns out the same as the next. Some turn out to be truly evil beings. The truth is, many humans have done acts of evil, but no one is born evil. They are born like a blank slate, bound to be shaped by society. People believe others are either born to be corrupted or born to be kind. In this essay, to prove that people are born as a blank state and not either one of those we will show some examples from the story Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley.
Hume (textbook, p. 305) develops, in detail, what is presumably the most grounded contention against the presence of God in a valid deductive argument. He states, “Is he willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?” In a similar vein: If God exists, he is all-knowing, omnipotent, and ethically flawless. If God were all-knowing, God would know about all the terrible occasions that occur in our reality. If God were omnipotent, God would have the capacity to do something. Furthermore, if God were ethically flawless, then unquestionably God would want to do something about all the evil and suffering. But, yet there are still countless instances of evil that fills our world. Concluding, since God does not prevent or eliminate all unnecessary suffering, logically, God does not exist. Hume concludes that if you want to make sense of all the evil randomness of the universe with the sense of God’s attributes, “You must prove these pure, unmixed, and uncontrollable attributes from the present mixed and confused phenomena, and from these alone. A hopeful undertaking!”
This question has been asked for hundreds of years, are humans born inherently good or bad? Some might argue that as people mature, society’s influences ultimately determine whether or not that person will end up being good or bad. These people suggest that humans are naturally born of good intent. Many studies show that this may be true. In another case it can be argued that some people are born with a natural instinct to do bad things. This would be arguing that a serial killer was born a serial killer, and that they were born with the instinct to do bad things. People are born good, and there are many studies to suggest so. There is more evidence that suggests that humans are born with the natural instinct to do good things.
In this reading reflection I will be discussing Richard Swinburne’s argument on “Why God Allows Evil” which starts on page 254 in “Exploring Philosophy: An Anthology” by Steven M. Cahn. This was also discussed in class on 9/15/16.
Through out history evil has been best depicted as the absence of goodness and goodness as the absence of evil. With goodness being comprehended as the direct opposite of evil. It is under speculation that maybe there can 't exist only one general meaning of good vs. evil. I trust this, in light of the fact that any one individual 's perception of good or evil is without a doubt directed by one 's social comprehension of certain qualities and ethics within their culture, i.e. the power of social conformity (Muncaster-Social Psychology Lecture, 2016). Yes, there can be cases of evil that is seen as malevolent all over the world but due to the ethnocentric component of the perception of cultural morals and values, one is unable to categorize another individual as evil or good based upon their own cultural understanding of this notion. As they have been socially and culturally influenced to believe contrary to the fact.
Without thinking, the laws and social rules we abide by every day are actually a fragile barrier keeping the worst of human nature from overtaking modern society. In the allegorical novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, a plane full of British school boys is shot down over an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. They are stranded without adult supervision or means to communicate with the outside world. This creates the perfect setting for Golding to explore the best and worst of human nature. It is in this setting that Golding illustrates what can happen when laws and rules vanish and human instinct reigns. Although everyone has the capacity to act good, there is also evil within everyone and it is only
Good and evil is present everywhere. In many shapes and forms, good and evil manifest. It is always around us and always within us. Good is that which is morally right. Someone who is good does the right thing regardless of whether or not anyone will know. People of virtue go out of their way to put others first and think about how they can help others and the world around them. Conversely, evil is understood to be morally repugnant behavior or acts which intentionally cause harm to others. Someone who is bad only thinks about themselves and how they can use others to their own benefit.
JL Mackie was persuasive in his argument by showing that belief in an almighty God is not rational. He proves this by posing the problem of evil. According to JL Mackie, if God exists and is omniscient, omnipotent, and good then evil would not exist. However, evil exists in this world, sometimes in the form of undeserved suffering (diseases that affect humans, earthquakes, famines ...) and others perpetrated by man (murders, wars ...). If God exists and has the capability to be powerful, good, omniscient and omnipotent, why would he let evil be perpetrated? Is a God unable to suppress the evil or does he have no solution to problem of evil? The thesis posited by Mackie that evil exists and there is no God to stop the evil is still relevant to today. We still have wars, incurable diseases and struggles on this planet.
The existence of God has been presented by a multitude of philosophers. However, this has led to profound criticism and arguments of God’s inexistence. The strongest argument in contradiction to God’s existence is the Problem of Evil, presented by J.L Mackie. In this paper, I aim to describe the problem of evil, analyse the objection of the Paradox of Omnipotence and provide rebuttals to this objection. Thus, highlighting my support for Mackie’s Problem of evil.
“The Problem of Evil” is simply the question, why does God allow evil to happen? God is omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving, and rational, therefore why does evil exist? There is either no God or he is not what we think he is, since evil could be prevented by him with no risk. Atheists and anti-theodicist see a problem with the idea that God could prevent evil. They believe that because God is so powerful and perfect, that he would not allow such immoral actions to be done. On the other hand, theists like Swinburne, believe that evil is necessary for important reasons such as that it helps us grow and improve. In this paper I will argue that the theist is right, because the good of the evil in this specific case on problems beyond one’s control, outweighs the bad that comes from it.
In the 18th century, Genevan philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau influenced the French Revolution through his ideas and principals. In his book, The Social Contract, Rousseau said that every man is born good until corrupted by society. Rousseau was correct in saying that people were born good, people were naturally born with a pure heart because God made us that way. However, one could argue that man is born evil based off of the perspective of society’s moral laws, which Rousseau may not have considered. Man is born evil because every human being is born with a desire for possession and a hunger for power.
This paper will discuss the problem of evil. In the first part, I will discuss Walter Sinnott-Armstrong’s atheist stance and William Lane Craig’s theist stance on the problem of evil. In the final part of this paper, I will argue that Walter Sinnott-Armstrong’s argument is stronger.
In chapter three of Aquinas for Armchair Theologians by Timothy Renick, Aquinas’s philosophy on evil in the world and the free will of humans is heavily discussed. Renick describes a very complex topic and transforms it into something the average person can read and understand. Aquinas answers the questions of whether evil exists, did God create evil, why does evil exist, and if evil exists, who or what removes it. He also answers the questions of whether humans have the free will to make decisions or has God predetermined every decision and its outcome according to his plan. While I found this article somewhat easy to follow, I can understand how some of Aquinas’s arguments can lead to debate or confusion on the nature of God, evil, and free will. Despite this, because of reason and what God is envisioned to be, I agree with conclusions that Aquinas has made.