Malcolm's ontological argument. Paley, Natural Theology. IN crossing a heath, suppose I pitched my foot against a stone, and were asked how the stone came to be there; I might possibly answer, that, for any thing I knew to the contrary, it had lain there for ever: nor would it perhaps be very easy to show the absurdity of this answer. But suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place; I should hardly think of the answer which I had before given, that, for any thing I knew, the watch might have always been there.
Yet why should not this answer serve for the watch as well as for the stone? Why is it not as admissible in the second case, as in the first? I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. I. II. III. IV. The question is not simply, How came the first watch into existence? V. I know no better method of introducing so large a subject, than that of comparing a single thing with a single thing; an eye, for example, with a telescope. I. II. I. II. III. I. II. III. IV. V. But, again. EMT - David Hume. A Treatise of Human Nature, 1739-40Book I: Of the Understanding (PDF, 726kb)Part I (PDF, 130kb)Part II (PDF, 168kb)Part III (PDF, 304kb)Part IV (PDF, 306kb)Book II: Of the Passions (PDF, 446kb)Part I (PDF, 183kb)Part II (PDF, 202kb)Part III (PDF, 176kb)Book III: Of Morals (PDF, 470kb)Part I (PDF, 110kb)Part II (PDF, 296kb)Part III (PDF, 172kb)Abstract of the Treatise of Human Nature, 1740 (PDF, 85kb)An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, 1748 (PDF, 439kb)Sections 1-5 (PDF, 174kb)Sections 6-8 (PDF, 169kb)Sections 9-12 (PDF, 204kb)An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, 1751 (PDF, 414kb)Sections 1-3 (PDF, 137kb)Sections 4-6 (PDF, 153kb)Sections 7-9 (PDF, 137kb)Appendices (PDF, 135kb)Four Essays, 1757 (PDF, 189kb)Tragedy (PDF, 73kb)The Standard of Taste (PDF, 108kb)Suicide (PDF, 74kb)The Immortality of the Soul (PDF, 68kb)Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, 1779 (PDF, 347kb)Sections 1-3 (PDF, 150kb)Sections 4-8 (PDF, 130kb)Sections 9-12 (PDF, 164kb)
Anthology from AQA 2175 inc. article by Kenny. C. Wade Savage, The Paradox of the Stone. George Mavrodes, Some Puzzles Concerning Omnipotence. Ayer, AJ (1946), Language, Truth and Logic, 2nd Edition, New York, Dover (esp. Chapters 1 and 6) Euthyphro by Plato. Mackie, JL (1955), ‘Evil and Omnipotence’, Mind, 64 (254), 200–212. J. L. Mackie, "Evil and Omnipotence," Mind, New Series, Vol. 64, No. 254. (Apr., 1955), pp. 200-212. By J. L. Mackie University of Sydney The traditional arguments for the existence of God have been fairly thoroughly criticised by philosophers.
The problem of evil, in the sense in which I shall be using the phrase, is a problem only for someone who believes that there is a God who is both omnipotent and wholly good. In its simplest form the problem is this: God is omnipotent; God is wholly good; and yet evil exists. However, the contradiction does not arise immediately; to show it we need some additional premises, or perhaps some  quasi-logical rules connecting the terms 'good', 'evil', and 'omnipotent'.
A. Now once the problem is fully stated it is clear that it can be solved, in the sense that the problem will not arise if one gives up at least one of the propositions that constitute it. But often enough these adequate solutions are only almost adopted. B. 1. 2. 3. 4. Conclusion. Kretzmann, N (1966), ‘Omniscience and immutability’, The Journal of Philosophy, 63, 409–421. The Journal of Philosophy 63 (1966). It is generally recognized that omniscience and immutability are necessary characteristics of an absolutely perfect being. The fact that they are also incompatible characteristics seems to have gone unnoticed.
In the main body of this paper I will present first an argument that turns on the incompatibility of omniscience and immutability and, secondly, several objections to that argument with my replies to the objections. (1) A perfect being is not subject to change.1 (2) A perfect being knows everything.2 (3) A being that knows everything always knows what time it is.3 (4) A being that always knows what time it is is subject to change.4 Therefore, (5) A perfect being is subject to change. Therefore, (6) A perfect being is not a perfect being. Finally, therefore, (7) There is no perfect being.5 In discussing this argument with others6 I have come across various objections against one or another of its premises. Consider these two statements. S1. Notes. Hume, D (1748), An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Section 11.
Hume, D (1779), Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Parts II, V, VIII and IX. Gaunilo, from the appendix to St Anselm’s Proslogium (‘In Behalf of the Fool’) Flew, A, RM Hare and Basil Mitchell (1955), ‘Theology and Falsification’ in New Essays in Philosophical Theology, edited by Antony Flew and Alasdair MacIntyre, London, SMC Press Ltd, 96–105. Descartes, R (1641), Meditations on First Philosophy, 3 and 5.
Aquinas, T Summa Theologica, Part 1, Question 2, Article 3 (cosmological argument) Aquinas, T Summa Theologica, Part 1, Question 25, Article 3 (Whether God is omnipotent) Whether God is omnipotent? Objection 1: It seems that God is not omnipotent. For movement and passiveness belong to everything. But this is impossible with God, for He is immovable, as was said above (Q, A). Therefore He is not omnipotent. Objection 2: Further, sin is an act of some kind. But God cannot sin, nor "deny Himself" as it is said in 2 Tim. 2:13. Therefore He is not omnipotent.
Objection 3: Further, it is said of God that He manifests His omnipotence "especially by sparing and having mercy" [*Collect, 10th Sunday after Pentecost]. Objection 4: Further, upon the text, "God hath made foolish the wisdom of this world" (1 Cor. 1:20), a gloss says: "God hath made the wisdom of this world foolish [*Vulg.: 'Hath not God', etc.] by showing those things to be possible which it judges to be impossible.
" On the contrary, It is said: "No word shall be impossible with God" (Lk. 1:37). Anselm, Proslogium, Chapters II–IV.