Alvin Plantinga on the problem of evil: an examination

  • Tamunosiki V. Ogan


The existence of God is an enduring and popular philosophical problem that entwines with many aspects of human experience. One of these aspects is the reality or experience of evil. This experience creates a serious embarrassment to all official theological doctrines and monistic philosophy which claim that the source of all that happen and exists in our world is a makeup of an omnipotent and perfect Being (God) who is traditionally thought to be good. This embarrassment is captured by the existential and intellectual difficulty to believe that a world with such a vast amount of evil as our world contains is the creation of, and under the sovereign control of, a supremely good, omnipotent and omniscient Being. Now, if this Good Being is the source of all that there is, where then does evil come from? If he is all good and we still see evil in the world, then there must be something wrong with his power, perhaps he is not really omnipotent and/or there is an independent source of evil that he cannot control but struggles against. Scholars like St. Augustine, St. Aquinas, and Leibniz provided argument to defend the righteousness, perfection and omnipotence of God in the face of the indubitable experience of evil. Alvin Plantinga in his view offers an understanding of the terms ‘freewill’ and ‘omnipotence’ in other to make a case with his views of Mackie and Flew (both of whom are atheist), asserting that God cannot actualize a world in which truly free creatures do only what is morally good, for conditioning them to do so is a logical impossibility that contradicts the created order. Thus, God’s gift or freewill to man is a greater good which should not be eliminated because it is only with such gift that man can express love and appreciation to their creator. The researcher adopts the method of exposition and analysis. This is done by employing basically library based literatures on the concerned subject of discussion.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2070-0083
print ISSN: 1994-9057