Date of Graduation

5-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Philosophy (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Philosophy

Advisor

Thomas Senor

Committee Member

Richard Lee

Second Committee Member

Warren Herold

Keywords

Desires, Flourishing, Love, Perfect Being Theism, Problem of Evil, Virtue Ethics

Abstract

J.L. Schellenberg has recently formulated a new logical problem of evil that is claimed to avoid Alvin Plantinga’s Free Will Defence. I begin my argument against this new formulation by analyzing the grounding for some of God’s maximal perfections. God’s maximal moral perfection, for example, is grounded in virtuous potentialities that are disposed to the actualization of virtuous actions. From this account, I argue that Schellenberg’s logical problem of evil fails due to one of the following two reasons. First, some good actualizations of good potentialities require evil but compose the best worlds. Second, both (1) good actualizations that require evil; and (2) love that is directed at the flourishing of individuals, which requires that their potentials become actualizations, some of which require evil; are morally sufficient reasons for allowing at least small amounts of evil.

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