Creating the best possible world: Some problems from Parfit

Sophia 48 (2):143-150 (2009)

Authors
Daniel B Cohen
Charles Sturt University
Abstract
It is sometimes argued that if God were to exist, then the actual world would be the best possible world. However, given that the actual world is clearly not the best possible world, then God doesn’t exist. In response, some have argued that the world could always be improved with the creation of new people and that there is thus no best possible world. I argue that this reasoning gives rise to an instance of Parfit’s mere addition paradox and should thus be rejected. Others (Robert Adams, in particular) have argued that the actual world may, in fact, be the best possible world, at least for all actual people. I argue that this reasoning gives rise to Parfit’s non-identity problem and should thus be rejected.
Keywords Best possible world  Derek Parfit  Richard Swinburne  R. M. Adams
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11841-009-0098-3
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 44,504
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
The Existence of God.Richard Swinburne - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
Preferences.Christoph Fehige & Ulla Wessels (eds.) - 1998 - De Gruyter.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Incommensurability, Slight Pains and God.Morgan Luck - 2014 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 75 (2):79-85.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Divine Unsurpassability.Klaas Kraay - 2007 - Philosophia 35 (3-4):293-300.
Cosmological Contingency and Theistic Explanation.Philip Quinn - 2005 - Faith and Philosophy 22 (5):581-600.
Absolute Actuality and the Plurality of Worlds.Phillip Bricker - 2006 - Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):41–76.
God, the Best, and Evil.Bruce Langtry - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
Mere Addition and the Best of All Possible Worlds.Stephen Grover - 1999 - Religious Studies 35 (2):173-190.
Leibniz, Creation and the Best of All Possible Worlds.Jesse R. Steinberg - 2007 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 62 (3):123 - 133.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-05-09

Total views
65 ( #129,329 of 2,273,323 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #201,447 of 2,273,323 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature