Free Will and the Problem of Evil

In this paper, I will attempt to show that J.L. Mackie’s objection to the free will account of The Problem of Evil is not successful. In Evil and Omnipotence, Mackie claims that God cannot be considered “both omnipotent and wholly good” (Mackie, p. 209) as he does not avail of the possibility of creating humans capable of choosing to do only good. My aim is to disprove this argument by appealing to the very definition of free will: the power to do as one pleases, without any constraints. Therefore, if God creates humans that are capable of doing only good, then such humans will not possess ‘free’ will, as they will be under moral constraints placed by God. This scenario is, therefore, not ...

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the existence of God. It questions whether or not it is okay to claim God exists, given that there is evil, hardship and suffering in the world. An omnipotent (all powerful), omnibenevolent (all good) and omniscient (all knowing) deity would not allow evil to exist. Therefore, the existence of evil and such a being, at the same time, seems logically incompatible. The core argument of The Problem of Evil takes the following form:

(1) A lot of evil and suffering occurs in the world we live in.

(2) The universe was created by an omnipotent, omniscient and omni-benevolent being; one capable of creating any possible universe.

(3) (From (1) and (2)) An omnipotent, omniscient and omni-benevolent being would not allow evil and suffering to occur. Therefore, (2) is false.

A modified version of this argument, referred to as the Free Will Account of The Problem of Evil, holds that evil and suffering exist due to humans making poor use of their free will (here, ‘evil’ refers ...

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Free Will and the Problem of Evil. (2011, March 28). Retrieved October 22, 2021, from
"Free Will and the Problem of Evil.", 28 Mar. 2011. Web. 22 Oct. 2021. <>
"Free Will and the Problem of Evil." March 28, 2011. Accessed October 22, 2021.
"Free Will and the Problem of Evil." March 28, 2011. Accessed October 22, 2021.
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Added: 3/28/2011 12:09:55 AM
Submitted By: bigv086
Category: Philosophy
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1237
Pages: 5

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