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God, Possible Worlds, And William Rowe'S Theistic Dilemma
Anderson, Conor Ryan
Barbone, SteveWheeler, MarkTimalsina, Sthaneshwar
vii, 77 pages
In a series of recent and important contributions to the debate over traditional theism, William Rowe has developed a powerful argument that seems to show that theism is false or at least very improbable. The specific concern from which Rowe develops his argument is that it seems that God must create the best possible world, but if he must do so, then he is not free in creating. Yet if there is no best possible world, as theists often argue, Rowe thinks it follows that God is not free to create at all. For how could God create a world when he could have created a better? Doing so seems to allow for the possibility that there is a being greater than God (who is, by definition, the greatest possible being). Such is the theistic dilemma: try to defend the logically incoherent no best world scenario or try to defend the apparently absurd supposition that this world is the best God could possibly create. That is Rowe's argument, and I will argue that it fails to present any insurmountable problems for the theist. In order to demonstrate my conclusion, I will offer a thorough explanation of the argument followed by an extensive summary of the responses to it. Then I will revisit some of the responses to the argument to show how Rowe's rejoinders fail to defeat the original counterarguments. Finally, I will offer a series of new arguments that give reason to think that Rowe's argument is not successful in disproving theism or showing it to be very improbable.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 76-77).
Arts and Letters
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2013
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