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On the necessity of the best possible world

Strickland, Lloyd (2005) On the necessity of the best possible world. Ars disputandi, 5 (1). pp. 14-27. ISSN 1566-5399


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Many have argued that if God exists then he must necessarily create the best possible world (hereafter: bpw), which entails that the bpw necessarily exists, and is therefore the only possible world. But without any scope for comparison, the superlative term ‘best’ is clearly inappropriate and so the bpw cannot be the bpw at all! As such, it must be impossible for God to create it. Hence if God exists then he must of necessity make something that is impossible to create! Because of its conclusion, I call this the repugnant argument. I consider a number of possible responses to this argument.

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