Essay Review

Introduction


The greatest challenge to the belief in the existence of an omnipotent God is the problem of evil. The theologian’s perception entails that the all-powerful God should know that evil occurs, prevent it from happening, and try to eradicate its existence.

According to Warburton, those who believe in the omnipotent God and the existence of evil have inconsistent beliefs that are often contradictory (58). The three statements that lead to contradiction are God is omnipotent; God is only concerned with goodness; and the existence of evil (Warburton 59). Despite the three being essential to theological positions, one cannot consistently adhere to all of them.

The additional principles that serve to connect the terms good, evil, and omnipotent indicate that the good eliminates the evil and that there are no limits to what the omnipotent God can do. Nevertheless, despite the ability of the omnipotent God to eliminate evil in the world, instead, He only promotes goodness and allows the people to choose between good and evil. Hence, the omnipotent God allows the existence of evil in the world because He aims at promoting goodness rather than eliminating evils.


Interpretation of the Argument


The problem of an omnipotent God allowing the existence of evil in the world has led to various theories designed to try and explain the phenomena. One of the solutions designed includes the statement that “the universe is better with some evil in it than it could be if there were no evil in it” (Warburton 63).

The solution can further be interpreted to imply that the best possible organization of the universe would be progressive. The gradual triumph of evil by good is a subtler theme that would be the eternal unchallenged supremacy of good. Furthermore, the solution indicates that the existence of stains of evil adds to the importance of good as a whole. Therefore, the existence of evil is essential for the good to thrive.
Furthermore, the existence of evil can lead to the emergence of good as the aftermath.

According to Warburton, evils such as pain and disease can be referred to as first-order evil (64). Pleasure and happiness are the contrasting feelings which can be referred to as first-order good. Furthermore, there is the existence of second-order good which requires the presence of evil as an essential component. Its existence leads to the decrease in first order evil while there is an increase in first-order good.

Second order good is also regarded as more critical than first-order good as it outweighs the first order evils. Notably, Mackie acknowledges God’s goodness as third order goodness which aims at maximizing the second-order goods. The virtue of God is aimed at promoting good rather than minimizing evil. Therefore, despite God promoting goodness through the first and second order goods, He also allows for the contrasting first and second order evils to the goodness.


Critical Objection to the Argument


The existence of good leads to the possibility of second order evil which contrasts to goodness. The second order evils comprise of malevolence, cruelty, callousness, and cowardice. The second order evils are aimed at decreasing the good while promoting the existence of evil. The presence of such kind of evil leads to the need of the omnipotent God who can eliminate its existence (Warburton 65).

Notably, the existence of the second order evil makes the previous solution of the problem of evil useless. Furthermore, the existence of third order good leads to the possibility of the existence of a contrasting third order evil. Hence, the presence of the three forms of evil is aimed at minimizing the existence of goodness.


Reply to the Critical Objection


The existence of both second order evils and goods is essential in making the world a better place. The triumph of second-order goods against the existence of second order evil should be a gradual process that would make the supremacy of good relevant. Furthermore, the existence of second order evil adds to the importance of good as a whole. The presence of higher order evils is also essential to prove the existence of God who is responsible for the contrasting high order goods. Hence, God allows for the presence of evil because the world is a better place with the existence of both the second-order goodness and evils.


Conclusion


The world is a better place with the existence of both good and evil. The co-existence allows for the gradual overcoming of evil by good. Pain and misery are illustrations of the first order evils. Pleasure and happiness are the essential types of first order goods. The presence of the first order evils allows for the existence of second-order goods, which include sympathy, and that counteract suffering, benevolence, and heroism in facing danger. The second order goods are aimed at maximizing the first order goods while minimizing the first order evils.

Furthermore, the existence of second-order goods allows for the presence of second order evils which include malice, cruelty, callousness, and cowardice. The presence of the second order evils is aimed at increasing evil while decreasing goods. Notably, the goodness promoted by the omnipotent God is referred to as third order goods.

Additionally, the presence of third order goodness allows for the existence of a counteracting third order evil. The latter increases evil while decreasing good. The problem of evil exists because it is a contrasting feature of the existence of goodness in the world.

The omnipotent God allows for the presence of evil because He aims to promote goodness rather than eliminate evil in the world. Therefore, the all-powerful God allows for the existence of evil because the world is a better place with the presence of both goodness and evils.

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