Vol. 2 No. 1 (2020): Simon Fraser University Undergraduate Journal of Philosophy

A Defence of Plantinga’s Response to the Omnipotence Paradox and Free Will


Published 2020-10-21


  • Plantinga,
  • Free Will,
  • Paradox of Omnipotence,
  • J.L Mackie


A common debate in the philosophy of religion domain concerns the problem of evil, where some philosophers argue that there is a logical inconsistency in the core propositions held by theists, i.e. God is wholly good, God is wholly omnipotent, and that evil exists. J.L Mackie highlights this argument as an opposition to theistic doctrine, while also raising what he calls the Paradox of Omnipotence, which concerns the nature of God and his own omnipotence, particularly around the question of whether an omnipotent being could make things that they can then no longer control. Alvin Plantinga offers a response to Mackie, suggesting that Mackie’s attempt at demonstrating logical inconsistencies in the set of theistic propositions is unsuccessful. This paper supports Plantinga on the account that not only does he successfully defend against Mackie’s argument concerning the problem of evil, his Free Will Defense offers itself a candidate in resolving the Paradox of Omnipotence.