For hundreds of years, philosophers and intellects have pondered over the question of "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Most of history's great philosophers have stumbled upon this question at one time or another in their writings.
J. L. Mackie was no different, and in his writing of "Evil and Omnipotence," attempts to formulate an argument on this topic.
J. L. Mackie's main argument can be states as follows:.
1. God is an omnipotent, omniscient, and a wholly good being.
2. An omnipotent being is capable of doing anything.
3. An omniscient being knows everything.
4. A wholly good being desires no evil.
5. If God new everything about evil, had the power to destroy all evil, and had the .
desire to destroy all evil, then there would be no evil.
6. God has made men so that they have the free will to choose either good or evil.
7. If it is logically possible for a man to choose good one time, then it should.
be logically possible for a man to always choose the good.
8. Surely a wholly and omnipotent god would choose this option (7).
9. Since there is evil in this world then an omnipotent and wholly good god does.
A valid argument is such that if the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true. In sense of the definition, the above argument of Mackie can clearly be seen as valid. Mackie's argument is also extremely convincing. Mackie basically argues that it seems logically possible that God would have the power to grant us our free will, but also that our free will would include no acts of evil. But since God did allow evil to exist in our free will, this contradicts the idea that God is an omnipotent and wholly good being. In a recent philosophy class, a point was made about heaven. Since one is able to fathom the idea of heaven, in which free will exists with no evil, couldn't God have created a world so that all of the choices that one makes are good, or that humans find choosing evil less tempting then they currently do? This is what Mackie's argument attempts to prove.