1.) plausible that this is the best possible

1.) Many theists hold that there is only one best possible world, and that is either the Theistic Multiverse where God has only creates and sustains universes that are worth creating and sustaining (Kraay), or that even if there are other worlds, the existing world is the best one that God could have created (Leibniz).  In my personal opinion, I do not believe that there exists a best possible world out there. The term “best” is relative to the criteria that it is being judged by. Instead, I would like to think that there will always be a better world out there, perhaps even an infinite number of better worlds out there, especially if the scoring were to be based solely on the level of evil present in the world. I argue that first of all, even if there were to exist a best possible world then it would certainly not be the world that you and I inhabit. On this world there is far too much evil, both natural and moral for it to be plausible that this is the best possible world. If it is the case that there is a better world than the one that is inhabited by you and I, then God’s power will be scrutinized. Theists hold that God is omnibenevolent and omnipotent; if God were to be these things, then the problem regarding evil should not exist; what wholy good creator would want to watch his innocent creatures suffer? There should be no reason for him to allow one to hurt another, and for natural evils to take the lives of innocents who have never committed a single sin. The existence of better worlds would imply that either God is not the theist combination of omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient or that he simply does not exist. If we were to assume that there exists a being like God, as the theists suggest, a morally perfect being with enough power and knowledge to do better, there should exist a world that is better than the one that currently exists. If God had indeed created this world, while allowing for the evils to occur, I imagine that he could have created a better world where the evils either occur in lesser quantities or have a reasoning behind them. Kraay had argued that in a Theistic Multiverse, no other universes are created because theism requires that God is the sole creator and sustainer of anything and everything that exists. If there is then an infinite number of surpassable worlds then God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and omnibenevolence is invalidated. Not only would the existence of other better worlds imply that God had created a world that was not the best, but if that were the case, then it means God, like the world that he has created, is surpassable. And if it is the case that God is surpassable then he is not truly omnipotent. And if there were to be a being could surpass God, then there could exist a being that is simply higher than God.2.) Both Eleonore Stump and Richard Swinburne address the problem of evil in their theodicies. The problem of evil goes as follows: A perfect God Exists Evil Exists A perfect God would only allow evil if only there were a morally sufficient reason to allow it. There is no morally sufficient reason for God to allow evil. Eleonore Stump rejects the fourth premise and argues that there is indeed a morally sufficient reason for God to allow evil. She states that after the original fall of Adam/angels, human being began having a defective will. Stump says “all human beings since Adam’s fall have been defective in their free wills, so that they have a powerful inclination to will what they ought not to will, to will their own power or pleasure in preference to greater goods.” She believes that they are predisposed to oppose God’s will and the only way of going to heaven is if humans freely choose to allow God to fix their will. The reason that God allows for suffering and evil is to serve as a mechanism of allowing people who are born with a defective will a chance to will and choose to have God fix the defect. Her version of the free will defense focuses on the free will of a person who endures the suffering as opposed to one who creates the suffering. She states that every person suffers from a “disease” of the will; the disease is that we are disposed to oppose God’s will. God allows us to suffer, according to Stump, because he does not want to interfere with the freedom of humans, and instead waits for humans to freely will for God to repair this defect. She would most likely say that the value of freedom is very high in that it would distinguish those who want to will God to fix them as opposed to those who do not; in a way it separates the believers from the non-believers. She’d most likely argue in favor of its importance as free will is central to her argument. Richard Swineburg argues in favor of the free will defense. However, he asserts that if the free-will defense works in regards to why God might permit the existence of moral evil, then it might have footing in regards to why God would permit the existence of natural evils. He argues that if God gave men verbal knowledge of the consequences of their actions then there wouldn’t be much room for the men to make their own choices via free will. Therefore, if there are no verbal clues given by God, in the attempt to preserve the free will, then the knowledge must be obtained through inference of events that have previously occurred. Since the knowledge of what could happen is available to men, then there is responsibility assigned to them. Swineburg argues that the giving of the knowledge involves the production of natural evils. He asserts that the existence of natural evils are essential if men are going to have a significant choice regarding their own destiny. Therefore, he concludes that a good God would bring about natural evils, as a way to give them knowledge, to ensure that humans have free will. Similar to Stump, he’d argue that there is an importance for the existence of free will. Without free will, then humans would have no sense of responsibility, nor would they understand the consequences of their actions. 3.) The problem of evil that is approached by many addresses the fact that there is a difficulty maintaining the following: God exists, and is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good and Evil exists.The base of the argument stems from the fact that philosophers question how there could exist a God, especially in our world, when there is so much evil and horror. By stating that God is omnipotent, omniscient and perfectly good, it implies that God should be not only able to, but willing to stop the evil in the world. Philosophers have argued that the two statements above cannot logically co-exist. So therefore, either God is not omnipotent, omniscient and perfectly good, or he does not exist. Marilyn McCord Adams is not worried about this approach to God’s existence stating that “it does the atheologian no good to argue for the falsity of Christianity on the ground that the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, pleasure-maximizer is incompossible with a world such as ours, because Christians never believed God was a pleasure-maximizer” (298, McCord Adams). She believed that the concern in trying to determine a reason for the evil is unreasonable and lessens the severity bad things while trivializing everyday evils that  are witnessed. Instead, of attempting to find a way to justify the existence of evil by suggesting that either God is not omnipotent, omniscient and perfectly good, or that evil is illusory, Marilyn McCord Adams proposes a different approach. She is more concerned with an explanation regarding how God “makes good” in that an individual’s suffering is given a heavenly reward and integrates experiencing evil into experiencing God. She asks how “What can God do to make our existence a great good to us, without trivialising the horrendous evils that we know about?” Adams introduces the idea of “horrendous evils” and defines it as “the participation in which (that is, the doing or suffering of which) constitutes prima facie reason to doubt whether the participant’s life could (given their inclusion in it) be a great good to him/her on the whole.” She gives examples of such “horrendous evils” that she believes would be regarded as paradigmal such as “the rape of a woman and axing off of her arms, psycho-physical torture whose ultimate goal is the disintegration of personality, betrayal of one’s deepest loyalties, child abuse of the sort described by Ivan Karamazov, child pornography, parental incest, slow death by starvation, the explosion of nuclear bombs over populated areas”  Adams believes that God can neither defeat not balance off these horrendous evils by forcing free-will humans into maturity but must allow them to grow and develop. Horrendous evils can only be balanced off by something far greater in its goodness than the horrors that it may cause and that goodness is a relationship with God. These evils exist, and it is only when we find the goodness, or purpose in them that we can overcome them and find a way to keep a relationship with God. 4.)  It is no question that Buddhism and Christianity have several differences, the afterlife is by no means an exception. The goal of Buddhism is to enable people to overcome suffering on the basis of the Four Noble Truths, dependent the understanding of human nature. The Buddha believed that there are no substance selves and that the only selves that exist are dependent process-selves. He believed in karma, action that is driven by intention that subsequently results in future consequences, and rebirth. According to the Buddha’s teaching on dependent origination, everything is ultimately interdependent and nothing is completely independent. His argument can be structured as followed: (1)We are not substance-selves. (2) We are process-selves in a dependent sense and hence have better or worse, but  always unsatisfactory, rebirths in accord with the morality of our actions. (3) We have the opportunity to escape the cycle of rebirth and attain Nirvana.Essentially, in Buddhism we suffer through several repeat births and deaths until we no longer believe that we are substance-selves as opposed to dependently process-selves. Nirvana is attained by living selflessly; through the combination of karma and dharma Buddhism believes that one can escape samsara and achieve nirvana, an end to the suffering (with the suffering being the endless cycle of rebirth and death). In Christianity, there is a different view on the afterlife. Instead of the idea of samsaras taking center stage, the spotlight is held by the idea of going to heaven/ hell/ or purgatory after death. Upon death, judgements are handed out by God regarding the person behavior while on Earth. In heaven, the deceased can enjoy the presence of their previously deceased loved ones and God. Even though the body dies and is buried, it is believed that their unique soul lives on and is given a new life by God in either heaven, hell, or in purgatory, earning their way into heaven. When we die, some believe that the soul becomes the person without the matter while others believe that it is a mutilated person. There are two Thomistic views of the afterlife: survivalist vs. corruptionist. In the survivalist view the substantial form exists after death and constitutes a the person albeit mutilated. In the corruptionist view, the substantial form exists after death but that doesn’t constitute a person. I’d argue that Christianity meshes most with the survivalist view where the soul becomes the person without the matter. This is because of the concept of heaven and hell. The idea of the afterlife in Christianity is that while our physical body rots in the ground, our soul goes up to heaven and reaps all the benefits of having been a good person while living our time out on Earth. Meanwhile, I’d argue that Buddhism meshes most with the corruptionist view because in Buddhism your “self” changes over time. The “self” is a composite of the five khandas, and with those five khandas a karma is accrued over time. This karma then decides where you go next in life. And since, Buddhism’s core belief is that nothing is permanent it would not be problematic for the corruptionist view since the substantial form in Buddhism does not depend the existence of a soul, but rather on karmic actions. 5.) The Falling Elevator Model addresses the idea of God’s ability and mechanism for resurrection of humans. It was designed to be consistent with Van Inwagen’s metaphysics regarding the resurrection and survival for living organisms as it is a modification to his original idea. The model states that at the moment of one organism’s death, God will allow it each atom of the organism to continue on. This continuation of the atom involves the atom to have the ability to create a duplicate in another space and time. In this manner, the organism is preserved. It is dependent on Van Inwagen’s idea that when whenever matter gathers together and creates an organism that a “Life” is given to the matter, even as bits and pieces of the matter change over time, as long as they are participating in the same “Life” the organisms continues to exist in a “self-maintenance” type of manner. It is asserted that the organism maintains what is known as “immanent causation” where the later stages of its existence depend on the ones that have previously occurred (the stages have to be linear and not discombobulated in sequence). The Falling Elevator model allows this “Life” of an organism to separate from the dead matter that is going in another direction. The “Life” is then connected to another location where the the organic structure of the organism has already been preserved. At the moment of death, God allows for each atom of the original organism to partake in “immanent-causation” that directly result in the later stages of each respective atom’s “Life at the present location.” At the same time, God is allowing each atom to produce a duplicate of itself in another world in a manner that resembles cellular fission. But the “Life” does not divide, it simply goes in another direction, while the body goes in the opposite. One objection to the Falling Elevator Model of survival would question how it is possible that little atoms would be able to transport into another location and arrange themselves in a manner that is able to recreate a body like the one that had just died. How could a object that just lost its ability to house “Life” be capable of having enough power and organization to reappear at a new location that is, essentially, random? How would it be possible for the atoms have the guidance and sense of direction to orient themselves? A second objection to the Falling Elevator Model of Survival would be in regards to the fact that the model implies that the previous organism can lost all of its atoms, while also being able to replace them with new atoms and create a new organism that is the same as the old organism. Philosophers such as Hershenov have argued that new matter is assimilated into a body gradually over time. In the Falling Elevator Model of Survival the old matter is destroyed all at once, so therefore, how would it be possible for the new matter to assimilate into something that does not exist? In that case, the body that is created, would wind up being a duplicate of the

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