Exit Night. Enter Light.
Metalogic beats Metallica. It's time to show Sandman the exit, awaken to the nature of reality and the good-evil distinction, and say hello to God.
Here’s my answer to a question recently posted in the Facebook CTMU Group.
This question is basic to theodicy, and I’ve had to answer it repeatedly. Unfortunately, while the answer is simple, it seems hard for some to accept. Perhaps their seeming resistance merely reflects the steady influx of new members to the Group - although applicants are supposed to have at least a passing familiarity with the CTMU, newcomers often want to start from scratch. So here we go again, hopefully with a bit of explanatory novelty to make it worth our while. (For example, look at the definition of “God” in the brief glossary below. It introduces a useful bit of explanatory novelty by explaining, in several compact paragraphs, how the CTMU demonstrates that God exists.)
J.L. Mackie (1917-1981), an Australian philosopher, was the author of the 1955 article "Evil and Omnipotence" published in the journal Mind, Vol. 64, No. 254 (Apr., 1955), pp. 200-212, by Oxford University Press. Although this article was written nearly 70 years ago, it is still considered a "must-read" for militant atheists, who to this day repeat Mackie’s half-baked opinions on the problem of evil.
By current standards, Mackie was a “rational atheist”. However, if atheists were not so short on rational justification, it would be hard to see how they could still be resting their case on this kind of material. In philosophy, an understanding of terminology is de rigeur. Yet in “Evil and Omnipotence”, Mackie neglects to properly define key terms crucial to his arguments, including good, evil, God, and omnipotence. In effect, he “defines” God on the properties omnipotence and omnibenevolence, and leaves good and evil hanging.
Obviously, Mackie’s definition problem impaired his ability to reason about the problem of evil and the existence of God, rule out divine attributes such as omnipotence and omnibenevolence, and understand and apply the good|evil distinction.
Let’s have a closer look.