bility does not conflict with divine omnipotence is not a reasonable requirement. If the atheologian cannot really conceive of a better world, the theist does not have to show that it was impossible for God to create a better set of world-constituents or natural laws, or even that this is the best of all possible worlds. Indeed, the last task is as impossible as the atheologian's attempt to conceive of a better possible world. All the theist need show is that a world which operates according to natural laws is a necessity if one is to have moral agents, which we have done.


CONCLUSION

It can be argued that in order to provide a morally sufficient reason for natural evil, the theist must show that God, in creating, could not have created a world other than that run by natural laws, and that this does not conflict with God's omnipotence. To do this we argued that there are two alternative world-constructions: a world operated by miracle and a world operated by natural laws. We have seen that a world operated by miracle is incompatible with a world inhabited by significantly free moral beings. Hence, assuming P1, to realize the greater good it was impossible for God, in creating, to create a world which was not operated by natural laws. Further, since a world run by miracle would entail a contradiction with respect to the existence of moral agents, the impossibility of creating this world and realizing the greater good does not conflict with God's omnipotence. As such, we have a morally sufficient reason for natural evil.

Secondly, we did not, nor need we, attempt to show that the natural laws which govern our world make our world the best of all possible worlds. To do this, one would have to develop other possible world-systems, and show that these would result in more evil. This kind of project, it

-117-

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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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