Saturday, September 12, 2009

The greater good defense


“Steve, if you want to be taken seriously then you still owe the world an answer what the ultimate greater good is, which you say demands the means of evil. Additionally, you owe the world an answer why this greater good cannot be achieved without evil and a flawed mankind.”

Since I’ve already answered these questions on multiple occasions, I don’t have to repeat myself here. But let’s state the alternatives:

1.Evil exists.

(Unless you take the position of Mary Baker Eddy. In that case, the illusion of evil exists. But the illusion of evil is indistinguishable from the reality of evil.)

2.Either evil was preventable or unpreventable.

Was God impotent to prevent evil?

Even if, for the sake of argument, we say that some evils were unpreventable, other evils were clearly preventable. For example, many evils are humanly preventable. And, presumably, if a human being can prevent it, then God can prevent it. Surely God, even a finite God, can do at least as much as we can.

3.So why did God allow preventable evils?

Do preventable evils serve a purpose, or no purpose?

If preventable evils serve no good purpose, then why did God allow them in the first place?

How does it exonerate God to say that God allowed preventable evils which serve no purpose?

Put another way, did God have a good reason to permit preventable evils? If not, then how does the absence of a good reason to permit them exonerate God?

4.Appropos (3), were these evils gratuitous or necessary (as a means to an otherwise unobtainable end)?

If they were unnecessary, then why did God fail to prevent them?


  1. Hi, I have visited your great blog. Continue to work.

  2. A non-Calvinist could argue that the greater good was the preservation of free will and its natural consequences.

  3. He could, but my opponent, while a non-Calvinist, rejects the greater good defense in principle.

  4. He is also on record rejecting the free will defense and falls silent when we ask for his alternative.