Infinite Value and the Best of All Possible Worlds

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
A common argument for atheism runs as follows: God would not create a world worse than other worlds he could have created instead. However, if God exists, he could have created a better world than this one. Therefore, God does not exist. In this paper I challenge the second premise of this argument. I argue that if God exists, our world will continue without end, with God continuing to create value-bearers, and sustaining and perfecting the value-bearers he has already created. Given this, if God exists, our world—considered on the whole—is infinitely valuable. I further contend that this theistic picture makes our world's value unsurpassable. In support of this contention, I consider proposals for how infinitely valuable worlds might be improved upon, focusing on two main ways—adding value-bearers and increasing the value in present value-bearers. I argue that neither of these can improve our world. Depending on how each method is understood, either it would not improve our world, or our world is unsurpassable with respect to it. I conclude by considering the implications of my argument for the problem of evil more generally conceived.
Reprint years
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
First archival date: 2016-11-17
Latest version: 3 (2018-10-04)
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Normativity.Thomson, Judith Jarvis
The Existence of God.Swinburne, Richard
Normativity.Thomson, J. J.
.Stump, Eleonore (ed.)
A Treatise on Probability.Keynes, John Maynard

View all 60 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
How Valuable Could a Person Be?Rasmussen, Joshua & Bailey, Andrew M.
Moral Indulgences: When Offsetting is Wrong.Chan, Rebecca & Crummett, Dustin

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
642 ( #5,776 of 50,101 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
97 ( #5,179 of 50,101 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.