Mackie, “Evil and Omnipotence”

  1. What “telling criticism” does Mackie want to make of theism by way of the traditional problem of evil? That is, what does he think he can show about religious beliefs based on the problem of evil?
  2. Mackie’s problem of evil is a problem for the person who holds to a particular conception of God. What conception of God is that? (Hint: what two features is this God supposed to have?)
  3. What is the problem in its simplest form?
  4. What additional premises or “quasi-logical rules” does Mackie suggest to show that a contradiction arises from belief in God?
  5. What are the adequate solutions to the problem of evil that Mackie identifies? What are the fallacious solutions?

Sample Solution