Year

1988

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Hons.)

Department

Department of Philosophy

Abstract

There ore some philosphers, such as John Mackie, who believe that the existence of God is logicallg inconrtpatible with the existence of nrtoral evil. Alvin Plantinga, in a series of books and articles, attempts to provide a Libertarian response to Mackie's arguments. Our paper is an examination of this response, and culminates in the claim that i f the Libertarian notion of "inclining, without necessitating" is coherent, then i t is logicallg possible both that God exist and that there be moral evil. In outline, our argument is as follows. If the Libertarian notion of "inclining, without necessitating" is coherent, then it is logicallg possible both that (F1) freewill and causal determination are incompatible, and that (F2) statements of the form " if p were to obtain, then X would freelg do A" be true. Butifit is logicallg possible that both (Fl) and (F2) are true, then i t follows that Mackie's argument is unsound, and Plantinga's response correct. In dealing with various objections to our argument, we show that theg cruciallg depend on the (unargued and question-begging) assumption that the Libertarian notion of "inclining, without necessitating" is not coherent.

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