Monday, January 16, 2012

The coexistence of God and evil is not a logical problem for most philosophers

Alvin Plantinga's version of the free will defense is an attempt to refute the logical problem of evil, the argument that to posit the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, wholly good god in an evil world constitutes a logical contradiction. Plantinga's argument (in a truncated form) is that "It is possible that God, even being omnipotent, could not create a world with free creatures who never choose evil. Furthermore, it is possible that God, even being omnibenevolent, would desire to create a world which contains evil if moral goodness requires free moral creatures." ...

According to Chad Meister, professor of philosophy at Bethel College, most philosophers accept Plantinga's free will defense and thus see the logical problem of evil as having been sufficiently rebutted. Robert Adams says that "it is fair to say that Plantinga has solved this problem. That is, he has argued convincingly for the consistency of God and evil." William Alston has said that "Plantinga [...] has established the possibility that God could not actualize a world containing free creatures that always do the right thing." William L. Rowe has written "granted incompatibilism, there is a fairly compelling argument for the view that the existence of evil is logically consistent with the existence of the theistic God", referring to Plantinga's argument. ... Among contemporary philosophers, most discussion on the problem of evil presently revolves around the evidential problem of evil, namely that the existence of God is unlikely, rather than illogical.