Faith and Philosophy 11 (2):260-268 (1994)

Daniel Howard-Snyder
Western Washington University
Frances Howard-Snyder
Western Washington University
Imagine that there exists a good, essentially omniscient and omnipotent being named Jove, and that there exists nothing else. No possible being is more powerful or knowledgable. Out of his goodness, Jove decides to create. Since he is all-powerful, there is nothing but the bounds of possibility to prevent him from getting what he wants. Unfortunately, as he holds before his mind the host of worlds, Jove sees that for each there is a better one. Although he can create any of them, he can't create the best of them because there is no best. Faced with this predicament, Jove first sorts the worlds according to certain criteria. For example, he puts on his left worlds in which some inhabitants live lives that aren't worth living and on his right worlds in which every inhabitant's life is worth living; he puts on his left worlds in which some horrors fail to serve an outweighing good and on his right worlds in which no horror fails to serve an outweighing good. (We encourage the reader to use her own criteria.) Then he orders the right hand worlds according to their goodness and assigns to each a positive natural number, the worst of the lot receiving '1', the second worst '2', and so on. Next, he creates a very intricate device that, at the push of a button, will randomly select a number and produce the corresponding world. Jove pushes the button; the device hums and whirs and, finally, its digital display reads '777': world no. 777 comes into being.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0739-7046
DOI 10.5840/faithphil199411222
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,192
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

God Meets Satan’s Apple: The Paradox of Creation.Rubio Daniel - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):2987-3004.
Freedom With a Human Face.Timothy O'Connor - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):207-227.
Against Multiverse Theodicies.Bradley Monton - 2010 - Philo 13 (2):113-135.

View all 24 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Remarks on Jove and Thor.Jeremy Gwiazda - 2008 - Faith and Philosophy 25 (1):79-86.
The Best of All Possible Worlds.Campbell Brown & Y. Nagasawa - 2005 - Synthese 143 (3):309-320.
God, the Best, and Evil.Bruce Langtry - 2008 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Added to PP index

Total views
81 ( #143,326 of 2,507,484 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #277,263 of 2,507,484 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes