3
Presuppositions

PRESUPPOSITIONS ARE BOTH A BOON AND A BANE to the philosopher. As a boon, they provide the philosopher with his philosophical fare. Indeed, what would the philosopher do were it not for presuppositions to be ferreted out of other philosophers' arguments! As a bane, they are the source of endless trouble. If left implicit, like a beast they are ruthlessly hunted, tracked to their lair, flushed from their hiding place, and exposed for all to see. If stated explicitly, they are open to critical attack, and being what they are, they often stand bare and defenseless before the onslaught. As non-deducible, they rest on less sure legs of justification, their stability more or less strong depending on the eye of the beholder. Yet presuppositions frequently must be made, and dealing with the problem of evil presents no exception. The atheologian's presuppositions (9) and (X) came under scrutiny in Chapters 1 and 2. Here we must state and defend our own, i.e, the presuppositions a theist might deem true in order to construct an adequate theodicy for evil.

In this chapter I will present four definitions and four presuppositions. The presuppositions I take to express necessary truths. Were they merely contingently true, then there could be other possible worlds in which they were not true. But the crux of our argument will be that for beings of a certain sort (moral agents) to exist in any world, certain states of affairs are required. Thus, these propositions must be true in all possible worlds.

-43-

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Evil and a Good God
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vi
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Notes xv
  • 1 - The Deductive Argument from Evil 1
  • Notes 22
  • 2 - The Inductive Argument from Evil 25
  • Notes 41
  • 3 - Presuppositions 43
  • Notes 60
  • 4: Theodicy for Moral Evils 64
  • 5 - Theodicy for Natural Evils 87
  • Conclusion 117
  • 6 - Must God Create the Best Possible World? 121
  • Conclusion 128
  • Notes 129
  • 7 - Why is God Good? 130
  • 8 - Is God Omnipotent or Finite in Power? 154
  • Index 197
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