November 30, 2020

Added Better Never to Have Created: A New Logical Problem of Evil (2020) by Horia Plugaru to the Logical Arguments from Evil page under Arguments for Atheism in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.

In this paper Horia Plugaru argues that theism is necessarily false because attributes usually ascribed to God, such as the property of being morally perfect, are incompatible with God’s alleged creation of sentient beings. Using the resources of contemporary debates on the ethics of procreation, Plugaru develops this new logical argument against theism on the foundation of David Benatar’s axiological asymmetry, which, on top of elegantly explaining four commonly held judgments, entails that sentient beings are always harmed by coming into existence. Since God is said to be responsible for bringing sentient beings into existence, even though he had no need to do so, he cannot be morally perfect; and if moral perfection is taken to be a defining attribute of God, then God cannot exist. After formally presenting the argument, Plugaru defends its crucial premises against possible objections in order to show just how much force the argument has against them.

Recommended reading: Atheism Considered: A Survey of the Rational Rejection of Religious Belief (2020) by C. M. Lorkowski

Atheism Considered is a systematic presentation of challenges to the existence of a higher power. Rather than engage in polemic against a religious worldview, C. M. Lorkowski charitably refutes the classical arguments for the existence of God, pointing out flaws in their underlying reasoning and highlighting difficulties inherent to revealed sources. In place of a theistic worldview, he argues for adopting a naturalistic one, highlighting naturalism’s capacity to explain world phenomena and contribute to the sciences. Lorkowski demonstrates that replacing theism with naturalism, contra popular assumptions, sacrifices nothing in terms of ethics or meaning. Instead, morality ultimately proves more important than religion and does not rely on it.