Authors
Nevin Climenhaga
Australian Catholic University
Abstract
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.
Keywords Best Possible World  Evil  God  Infinity  Multiverse  Problem of Evil  Religion  Theodicy  Utility  Value
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Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1111/phpr.12383
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References found in this work BETA

The Existence of God.Richard Swinburne - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
Normativity.J. J. Thomson - 2010 - Analysis 70 (4):713-715.
.Eleonore Stump (ed.) - 1993 - Cornell Univ Pr.

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Citations of this work BETA

How Valuable Could a Person Be?Joshua Rasmussen & Andrew M. Bailey - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
In Defence of No Best World.Daniel Rubio - unknown - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-15.
The Divine Ethic and the Argument From Evil.Jeff Jordan - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (4):193.
Moral Indulgences: When Offsetting is Wrong.Rebecca Chan & Dustin Crummett - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 9:68-95.

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