The Argument Against the Existence of God

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J.L Mackie's, "Evil and Omnipotence" is an argument against the existence of an omnipotent and wholly good God on the basis of the problem of evil. According to theological doctrine, God is omnibenevolent but this belief is rendered inconsistent by the presence of evil in the world and the theologian can subscribe to it only by divorcing himself from reason…

Introduction

The theologian embraces three propositions - God is omnipotent, God is good and evil exists. Mackie's brilliant argument for the problem of evil has shown that the first two propositions cannot be true while the third exists. He has made use of two additional premises to drive the point home. He calls these "quasi-logical rules connecting the terms 'good', 'evil', and 'omnipotent'" (Mackie 78). These additional propositions state that good is in a state of opposition with evil and seeks to eliminate it and that omnipotence is without limits. Therefore Mackie's argument and the problem of evil has decimated the very core of theistic belief by claiming that "the several parts of the essential theological doctrine are inconsistent with one another, so that the theologian can maintain his position as a whole only by a much more extreme rejection of reason" (Mackie 77). Thus his argument calls for a complete reconstruction of the theological doctrine as we know it.
At the onset Mackie outlines certain adequate solutions to the problem of evil that is also consistent with the essential theistic propositions or which rejects one or more of the propositions. He makes it clear that only those who believe that God is omnipotent and wholly good are confounded by this problem. ...
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