This article is part of a series on perhaps the greatest question mankind has ever faced and will ever face; is there a God? These articles will be of a philosophical nature and not of a religious nature.
In a previous article belonging to the Philosophy Series: the existence of a god, the problem of evil was discussed. The article concluded by saying that philosophers came up with multiple responses to the problem of evil. One of the responses is called the there is no best possible world response.
The problem of evil argues that when an omnipotent, omniscient and morally perfect God exists, there can be no evil. The concept behind the there is no best possible world response is that for any world God could create, there is always a better world possible. When you imagine this world with one more happy human or one less crime committed by a criminal; it is already a better world than it is now. This response allows for a God to be omnipotent, omniscient and morally and still have evil in the world.
Imagine acceding the hereafter and God says to you: ”You will spend eternity in purgatory; not great, not awful, just the way things are. However, you can name any number of days and that amount you will spend in heaven.” Now, you can name two days; four days; a million days; you will always be vulnerable to the argument of ”why didn’t you say the next number?” The same sort of vulnerability is what God encountered when he created the world; there is always a better world possible.
Objections to this response were thought of by numerous philosophers and the following is just one example. Imagine the situation where you are in purgatory and someone else gets to name the number of days you get to spend in heaven. Now, the person is always vulnerable to the argument ”why didn’t you say the next number?” However, it makes a difference if the person tries, and says a ”million billion days”, or if the person does not try, and says ”two days”. Some philosophers argue that when God created this world, which still has a lot of evil in it, God did not really try. They say God created a two-kind of world instead of a million billion-kind of world. This would mean that God is not morally perfect and therefore does not exist.