Forum Philosophicum

Volume 12, Issue 1, Spring 2007

Dariusz Łukasiewicz
Pages 33-56

Logical and Metaphysical Assumptions of Bernard Bolzano's Theodicy

Bolzano's theodicy is a very good example of Platonism in the philosophy of religion. Above all, Bolzano believes that there obtains an ideal realm of truths in themselves and mathematical objects, which are independent of God. Therefore, we are allowed to conclude that God is only a contractor; true, more powerful than Plato's demiurge because He created substances (and matter) and sustains them in existence, but God must follow a project which is independent of Him. Since the world is determined, by the program and God follows the program, then in fact the program is a god, or better, there is no God (at least in the sense of the classical Christian tradition). Bolzano's project is not related to God's essence, since it is extemal to God, and is not made by God. Thus, Bolzano's theodicy is also the absolute opposite of the Cartesian theodicy. God in the Cartesian theodicy can change all rules, all scientific laws and, in consequence. He can create any world He wants. Bolzano's God cannot change anything and cannot create a different world than the world determined by the project, a world different than the one He has created. The responsibility of Bolzano's God for the evil in the world is limited by the project of the world.