Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 13, 1987/1988

David Basinger
Pages 285-287

Evil and a Finite God
A Response to McGrath

P.J. McGrath has recently challenged the standard claim that to escape the problem of evil one need only alter one’s conception of God by limiting his power or his goodness. If we assume that God is infinitely good but not omnipotent, then God can scarcely be a proper object of worship. And if we assume that if God is omnipotent but limited in goodness, he becomes a moral monster. Either way evil remains a problem for theistic belief. I argue that McGrath fails to distinguish between the deductive and inductive problem of evil and between a limitation in God’s “strength” and a limitation in God’s “ability to act”, and that once these distinctions are made, his argument fails.