Few arguments pursue such a simple logic against theistic thought more effectively than the Problem of Evil. In short, this analyzes god's properties and the incoherent nature of his good verses the evil in the world. In response, Alvin Plantinga makes a compelling Free Will Defense argument for a review of the nature of god's omnipotence and how it can be consistent with the existence of evil. While Plantinga makes a strong argument to shift the burden of proof back upon the proponents of the problem of evil, such as Mackie, he makes one fatal assumption: that free will is superior to a world with no free will. Taking into account the reasons to believe in the ascendancy of predetermined decisions, one must seriously reconsider the effectiveness of Plantinga's argument.
[...] He uses the example of a mayor, Curley Smith, who accepts a bribe for a certain amount of money in building a new highway. Plantinga argues that god could not both actualize the circumstance where Curley was given the opportunity to accept the bribe (or to decline) and actualize the outcome. These two ideas are incompatible. It is in this sense, that Plantinga concludes that the “Leibniz Lapse” the idea that god has actualized the best possible of all worlds is false. [...]
[...] Given these traits, god must know of any potential evil, has the power to prevent potential evil, and wants to prevent potential evil. Therefore, the existence of god would be inconsistent with the existence of evil. Of course, evil exists in the world, so one can conclude that it is impossible for god to exist. This argument is logically deductive; the conclusion is definitively based on the premises. To better understand the argument, one should consider the standard objections. First, some claim that god is not really a perfect being, eliminating the necessity of a deity who must either have the power to stop evil or who would want to do such a thing. [...]
[...] However, Plantinga's assertion that he is merely trying to prove that god could possible allow evil still does not cover his contention that god both places value on freely doing good and that it is necessary that more good than evil occur. In fact, in considering god as a perfectly benevolent deity, the paramount question is why god would allow for the capacity of choice in the first place. God need not even create the scenario necessary that brings about the need for free will. [...]
[...] Instead, he presents it as a possibility that remains consistent with the notion evil and the existence of god. Therefore, he hopes to reapply the burden of proof to the original proffers of the problem of evil. While this notion of transworld depravity and the subsequent illogical limits on god's omnipotence meets certain logical standards, the question is still raised regarding whether Plantinga presents a reasonable argument. There exist a number of different objections to Plantinga's ideas. Possible objections include the problem of natural evil, the question of the rational foundation of transworld depravity, or the many properties of evil in the world in which god might still have control given his omnipotence. [...]
[...] Another argument backing the compatibility of evil and god focuses on the good that can come out of evil. Some claim that because some good presupposes evil, the evil is acceptable. This ties into the ideas of compassion and the value placed on such a virtue. One final argument often used in refuting the problem of evil argument is the notion of free will. The idea of free will is a hotly contested issue in both the theist and atheist camps. [...]
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