OCR Religious studies - Mackie on the problem of evil


John L. Mackie formulated the problem of evil into an inconsistent triad:

  • God is omnipotent
  • God is omnibenevolent
  • Evil exists

It is logically inconsistent for these 3 statements to exist simultaneously - if God were omnipotent, he would have the power to remove evil (or could have created a universe free from evil); if he were omnibenevolent he would want to remove evil so that his creation did not suffer

The existence of evil is so tangible in its effects and scope that denial of its existencewould be nonsensical - this means that there is an issue with the other two statements

An alternative solution would be to resolve the inconsistent triad by removing one of the 3 points:

  • Remove God's omnipotence:


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