Ability-based objections to no-best-world arguments
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
In the space of possible worlds, there might be a best possible world (a uniquely best world or a world tied for best with some other worlds). Or, instead, for every possible world, there might be a better possible world. Suppose that the latter is true, i.e., that there is no best world. Many have thought that there is then an argument against the existence of God, i.e., the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient and morally perfect being; we will call such arguments no-best-world arguments. In this paper, we discuss ability-based objections to such arguments; an ability-based objection to a no-best world argument claims that the argument fails because one or more of its premises conflict with a plausible principle connecting the applicability of some type of moral evaluation to the agent’s possession of a relevant ability. In particular, we formulate and evaluate an important new ability-based objection to the most promising no-best world argument.
- Adams, R. M. (1972). Must God create the best? Philosophical Review, 81, 317–332. CrossRef
- Almeida, M. J. (2008). The metaphysics of perfect beings. New York: Routledge.
- Blumenfeld, D. (1975). Is the best possible world possible? Philosophical Review, 84, 163–177. CrossRef
- Grover, S. (2004). Rival creator arguments and the best of all possible worlds. Sophia, 43, 101–114. CrossRef
- Hasker, W. (2004). Providence, evil, and the openness of God. London: Routledge.
- Kraay, K. J. (2010a). The problem of no best world. In C. Taliaferro, P. Draper & P. L. Quinn (Eds.), A companion to philosophy of religion: Second edition. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. http://www.blackwellreference.com/subscriber/tocnode?id=g9781405163576_chunk_g978140516357659. Accessed 20 December 2011.
- Kraay, K. J. (2010b). Theism, possible worlds, and the multiverse. Philosophical Studies, 147, 355–368. CrossRef
- Kretzmann, N. (1991). A particular problem of creation. In S. MacDonald (Ed.), Being and goodness (pp. 229–249). Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
- Morris, T. V. (1993). Perfection and creation. In E. Stump (Ed.), Reasoned faith (pp. 234–247). Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
- Nozick, R. (1989). The examined life. New York: Simon & Schuster.
- O’Connor, T. (2008). Theism and ultimate explanation: The necessary shape of contingency. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
- Plantinga, A. (1973). Which worlds could God have created? Journal of Philosophy, 70, 539–552. CrossRef
- Plantinga, A. (1974). The nature of necessity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Quinn, P. L. (1982). God, moral perfection, and possible worlds. In F. Sontag & M. Darrol Bryant (Eds.), God: The contemporary discussion (pp. 197–215). New York: The Rose of Sharon Press.
- Rowe, W. L. (2004). Can God be free? Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Schlesinger, G. (1977). Religion and scientific method. Boston: D. Reidel. CrossRef
- Sobel, J. H. (2004). Logic and theism: Arguments for and against beliefs in God. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
- Turner, D. A. (2003). The many-universes solution to the problem of evil. In R. Gale & A. Pruss (Eds.), The existence of God (pp. 143–159). Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.
- Wielenberg, E. J. (2004). A morally unsurpassable God must create the best. Religious Studies, 40, 43–62. CrossRef
- Zimmerman, M. (1996). The concept of moral obligation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef
- Ability-based objections to no-best-world arguments
Volume 164, Issue 3 , pp 669-683
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Existence of God
- No-best-world arguments
- Philosophy of religion
- Author Affiliations
- 2. Department of Philosophy, Boise State University, 1910 University Drive, Boise, ID, 83725, USA
- 1. Department of Philosophy, University of California, Riverside, HMNSS Building, Room 1604, 900 University Avenue, Riverside, CA, 92521, USA