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Mackie’s Argument on Evil and Omnipotence Essay


Mackie argues that it is impossible for God and evil to exist simultaneously. He supports his argument by critiquing the theist believes that God is wholly good and omnipotent. According to Mackie, if God is truly omnipotent, evil should be nonexistent because God would use his power to eliminate it. Evil is inconsistent with a belief in God because it invalidates the theological argument that God is omnipotent.

Either the power has limited or He does not exist. This argument could be used to explain why evil is prevalent in the world. First, Mackie discusses a possible solution that assumes that evil and good are complementary (Mackie 203). The solution does not work because it invalidates God’s goodness and omnipotence. The argument implies that God’s omnipotence is limited, and therefore, He cannot eradicate evil.

On the other hand, it implies that God cannot create good without creating evil. The solution creates the impression that good cannot eliminate an evil because they are complementary. Therefore, they have to exist simultaneously. Another possible solution that Mackie discusses is the belief that evil is a necessity for the attainment of good (Miller 205). This solution teaches that God creates evil as a means to attain good.

It does not work because it limits His omnipotence. I think Mackie is right because if God is omnipotent, then He should eradicate evil. Omnipotent power surpasses the limits of natural laws and evil. This solution does not work because it implies that God’s power is limited (Miller, 205).

It teaches that God created evil as a means to achieve well because of the limitations of His power. This contradicts the theist’s belief that God is omnipotent. There is no reason as to why God should create evil as a means to attain good. I think Mackie is right because the solutions mentioned above are irrational and fallacious. They fail to withstand the criticism of rationality. If valid, they would not contradict the theological belief that God is omnipotent and wholly good.

Works Cited

Mackie, John. Evil and Omnipotence. Mind 64.254 (1955): 200-212. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2020, May 30). Mackie’s Argument on Evil and Omnipotence. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/mackies-argument-on-evil-and-omnipotence/

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"Mackie’s Argument on Evil and Omnipotence." IvyPanda, 30 May 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/mackies-argument-on-evil-and-omnipotence/.

1. IvyPanda. "Mackie’s Argument on Evil and Omnipotence." May 30, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/mackies-argument-on-evil-and-omnipotence/.


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IvyPanda. "Mackie’s Argument on Evil and Omnipotence." May 30, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/mackies-argument-on-evil-and-omnipotence/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Mackie’s Argument on Evil and Omnipotence." May 30, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/mackies-argument-on-evil-and-omnipotence/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Mackie’s Argument on Evil and Omnipotence'. 30 May.

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