J. L. Mackie’s “Evil and Omnipotence” criticizes the argument that God exists by showing that religious beliefs are positively irrational and that parts of the essential theological doctrine are inconsistent with one another. The problem of evil is one of the oldest problems in philosophy. The problem of evil is a logical problem for only the people who believe that there is a God who is both (1) omnipotent and (2) wholly good; yet (3) evil exists in the world. If God is wholly good and omnipotent, then how can there be a presence of evil in the world. Given the presence of evil, we must either conclude that God does not have the power to prevent the suffering that evil causes in which case God is not omnipotent or that God does not wish…show more content… However, these solutions are only temporary or “almost adopted” by the thinker because the thinker may not be consistent in their definitions and convert back to the old definitions. Therefore, these solutions are not true solutions, so we must find another way to solve the problem of evil.
The next set of solutions are called fallacious solutions. A fallacious solution is a solution defined as an argument which rejects one of the propositions but then, implicitly reasserts it later in the argument to solve the problem. However, these fallacious solutions use an equivocation use of the words “good” and “evil”, which cause vagueness about how good and evil are opposed to one another. Mackie notes that these ‘so-called’ solutions may seem plausible at first, but, in fact, do not amount to a solution which rejects any principle that causes the contradiction.
The first fallacious solution is that “Good cannot exist without evil.” The idea behind this solution is that evil is a necessary counterpart of good. Without evil, there could be no good in the world. Therefore, God could not have created the world without any evil in it because there would be no good. By saying that God cannot create good without creating evil at the same time contradicts premise one (that God is omnipotent) and premise five (that there are limits to what an omnipotent thing can do). Mackie rejects this