What Plantinga would really like to see is a stick that is not as long as itself. Furthermore, if God were morally perfect, then surely God would want to do something about it. [149][150], The 10th-century Rabbi called Saadia Gaon presented a theodicy along the lines of "soul-making, greater good and afterlife". Is this kind of situation really possible? An action is morally significant just when it is appropriate to evaluate that action from a moral perspective (for example, by ascribing moral praise or blame). B. If W3 is possible, an important plank in Plantinga’s Free Will Defense is removed. Regardless of the details of these alternatives, the fact remains that all they need to do in order to rebut the logical problem of evil is to describe a logically possible way that God and evil can co-exist. But Jehovah's Witnesses also hold that this period of suffering is one of non-interference from God, which serves to demonstrate that Jehovah's "right to rule" is both correct and in the best interests of all intelligent beings, settling the "issue of universal sovereignty". As an example, a critic of Plantinga's idea of "a mighty nonhuman spirit" causing natural evils may concede that the existence of such a being is not logically impossible but argue that due to lacking scientific evidence for its existence this is very unlikely and thus it is an unconvincing explanation for the presence of natural evils. If persecution and starvation did not occur, there would be no reason to consider these acts virtuous. From this line of thought one may conclude that, as these conclusions violate our basic moral intuitions, no greater good theodicy is true, and God does not exist. Each of these things seems to be absolutely, positively impossible. [64] A second issue concerns the distribution of evils suffered: were it true that God permitted evil in order to facilitate spiritual growth, then we would expect evil to disproportionately befall those in poor spiritual health. Can God create a round square? Based on the old logical problem of evil which has been addressed since a long time ago, I have certain objection to its premise. (Gen. 1:29-30, NIV). If an individual experiences pleasure or pain in this life, it is due to virtuous or vicious action (Karma) done by that individual in a past life. He claimed there is a reason all possible theodicies must fail. According to classical theism, the fact that God cannot do any of these things is not a sign of weakness. Consistency only requires that it be possible for all of the statements to be true (even if that possibility is never actualized). Logical Consistency and the Logical Problem of Evil, Divine Omnipotence and the Free Will Defense, Other Responses to the Logical Problem of Evil. It seems that God could have actualized whatever greater goods are made possible by the existence of persons without allowing horrible instances of evil and suffering to exist in this world. It holds that one cannot achieve moral goodness or love for God if there is no evil and suffering in the world. There are also many discussions of evil and associated problems in other philosophical fields, such as secular ethics,[6][7][8] and evolutionary ethics. An omniscient, wholly good being would prevent the occurrence of any intense suffering it could, unless it could not do so without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse. Our hypothetical person does, however, have complete freedom to decide which of the two good courses of action to take. God can’t have it both ways. Thus the Augustinian theodicist would argue that the problem of evil and suffering is void because God did not create evil; it was man who chose to deviate from the path of perfect goodness. But if it is possible for God to possess morally significant freedom and for him to be unable to do wrong, then W3 once again appears to be possible after all. ...It is simply that the Bible operates within a cosmic, moral and spiritual landscape rather than within a rationalist, abstract, ontological landscape. He argued that this is the best of all possible worlds that God could have created. [1] According to Michael Tooley, this defense is also highly implausible because suffering from natural evil is localized, rational causes and cures for major diseases have been found, and it is unclear why anyone, including a supernatural being whom God created would choose to inflict localized evil and suffering to innocent children for example, and why God fails to stop such suffering if he is omnipotent. Something is dreadfully wrong with our world. The implausibility of (MSR2) is taken by some to be a serious defect. In W3 God causally determines people in every situation to choose what is right and to avoid what is wrong. Skeptical theism defends the problem of evil by asserting that God allows an evil to happen in order to prevent a greater evil or to encourage a response that will lead to a greater good. It would be ridiculous to give moral praise to a robot for putting your soda can in the recycle bin rather than the trash can, if that is what it was programmed to do. As an attempt to rebut the logical problem of evil, it is strikingly successful. It need not even be true, since a false though coherent explanation would be sufficient to show logical compatibility. The problem of evil is often formulated in two forms: the logical problem of evil and the evidential problem of evil. A higher moral duty—namely, the duty of protecting the long-term health of her child—trumps the lesser duty expressed by (21). Logic and Theism. The population and economic theorist Thomas Malthus stated in a 1798 essay that people with health problems or disease are not suffering, and should not viewed as such. 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. [62]:21 The writers of the Bible take the reality of a spiritual world beyond this world and its containment of hostile spiritual forces for granted. [54] The dissenters state that while explaining infectious diseases, cancer, hurricanes and other nature-caused suffering as something that is caused by the free will of supernatural beings solves the logical version of the problem of evil, it is highly unlikely that these natural evils do not have natural causes that an omnipotent God could prevent, but instead are caused by the immoral actions of supernatural beings with free will whom God created. [186] An attribution to him can be found in a text dated about 600 years later, in the 3rd century Christian theologian Lactantius's Treatise on the Anger of God[note 3] where Lactantius critiques the argument. There is evil... Evidential problem of evil. Deus, inquit, aut vult tollere mala et non potest; aut potest et non vult; aut neque vult, neque potest; aut et vult et potest. Adams, Robert M. "Must God Create the Best?" This is the “logical problem of evil.”. [146] The earliest awareness of the problem of evil in Judaism tradition is evidenced in extra- and post-biblical sources such as early Apocrypha (secret texts by unknown authors, which were not considered mainstream at the time they were written). This chapter shows that the logical problem of evil is far from dead. The logical form of the argument tries to show a logical impossibility in the coexistence of God and evil, [1] [3] while the evidential form tries to show that given the evil in the world, it is improbable that there is an omnipotent, omniscient, and wholly good God. (29) God is not able to fail to know what is right. Si potest et non vult, invidus; quod aeque alienum a Deo. Another general criticism is that though a theodicy may harmonize God with the existence of evil, it does so at the cost of nullifying morality. Kessler), Wadsworth, Ursula Sharma (1973), Theodicy and the doctrine of karma, ‘‘Man’’, Vol. If God were all-knowing, it seems that God would know about all of the horrible things that happen in our world. [35][36] The greater good defense is more often argued in religious studies in response to the evidential version of the problem of evil,[36] while the free will defense is usually discussed in the context of the logical version. A willingness to sacrifice oneself in order to save others from persecution, for example, is virtuous precisely because persecution exists. [84], A different approach to the problem of evil is to turn the tables by suggesting that any argument from evil is self-refuting, in that its conclusion would necessitate the falsity of one of its premises. [5] One version of this problem includes animal suffering from natural evil, such as the violence and fear faced by animals from predators, natural disasters, over the history of evolution. [158] Fate is considered to be more powerful than the gods themselves and for this reason no one can escape it. In other words, their good behavior will be necessary rather than contingent. 255-256) writes. (8) If God is perfectly good, he would want to prevent all of the evil and suffering in the world. Rather, they are subcategories of the philosophical and existential problems of evil.