On Modal Arguments against Perfect Goodness

In Mirosław Szatkowski (ed.), Ontology of Divinity. De Gruyter. pp. 183-194 (2024)
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It is commonly believed that intrinsically bad possible worlds are inconsistent with the perfect goodness of God. A perfectly good being could not exist in possible worlds that are intrinsically bad. Indeed it is widely believed that possible worlds that are insufficiently good are inconsistent with a perfectly good God. Modal atheological arguments aim to show that, since the pluriverse includes intrinsically bad worlds and insufficiently good worlds, there necessarily does not exist a perfectly good God. I show that modal atheological arguments are in general invalid. Modal atheological arguments fail to show that there exists no perfectly good God even on the assumption that there are extremely bad worlds in the pluriverse. Modal atheological arguments depend entirely on the logic of modality in S5. But the logic of S5 ensures that a perfectly good God is consistent with extremely bad possible worlds and so guarantees that a perfectly good God is consistent with a plenitudinous pluriverse.

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Mike Almeida
University of Texas at San Antonio


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