P. 1
Evil and God

Evil and God

|Views: 155|Likes:

More info:

Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Volnei Ramos Martins on Feb 10, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





file:///D:/=FIX/=CREATE%20CHMs=/Reichenbach,%20...am%20UP%201982)%200823210812/files/page_82.html [5/28/2009 2:23:21 PM]


< previous page


next page >

Page 83

to the innocent victim, and we are morally allowed to use adequate, freedom-restricting force to accomplish the
protection of the innocent and prevention of the specific crime.

The suggestion advanced here by the atheologian utilizes the principle that if God is good he will intervene in
miraculous fashion in human events so as to remove the worst moral evils. Failure to intervene is inconsistent with his
goodness. But "the worst evils" is a comparative notion. Suppose that God removed all evils of 107 magnitude in our
world. There would still be instances of "the worst evils" in our world, namely evils of 106 magnitude, and according to
the principle advanced, God now would be under obligation to remove all evils of 106 magnitude. Were these removed,
by the same argument the now worst evils (those of 105 magnitude) would have to be removed, and so on. In short, by
consistently applying the principle that a good God is under obligation to intervene to remove the worst evils, we derive
the consequence that God is required to remove all moral evils. But this would be to remove man's significant freedom,
a position which we rejected previously as conflicting with P1.

It is no reply to this argument to suggest that there is a point where the worst evils are not so bad (say, at 103
magnitude) and thus could be allowed by a good God. For an individual who knows only these evils, evils of 103 are
the worst and would seem to argue against God's goodness or existence in the same way that the atheologian appeals to
the worst evils humans experience today. He would not countenance the argument that since there are greatly worse
evils conceivable, the present evils are not so bad and thus would not count against the goodness of God.

If the principle were modified to say that God must remove all evils consistent with there being human freedom and
preserving the world as a theater for moral action, then it is being suggested that there is some line beyond which

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->