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God and Evil by H. J. McCloskey (auth.)

By H. J. McCloskey (auth.)

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Equally, no absence or ETHICAL PRESUPPOSITIONS 41 lack can feature as an integral, essential part of a complete causal explanation. Positive presences are what enter into carefully stated scientific causal explanations. This fact means that an important, positive element is absent from the privative analysis of evil. It cannot adequately explain the roles of evils as causes. EVIL AS UNREAL Three other avenues are open to those who seek to deny the reality of the problem of evil. It may be argued that the concept of evil is a pseudoand not a real concept, and hence that evil is an illusion.

1), vice is contrary to virtue. Now the virtue of a thing consists in its being well disposed in a manner befitting its nature, as stated above (A. 1). Hence the vice of any thing consists in its being disposed in a manner not befitting its nature, and for this reason is that thing vituperated, which word is derived from vice according to Augustine. (D Lib. Arb. iii, 14). But it must be observed that the nature of a thing is chiefly the form from which that thing derives its species. Now man derives his species from his rational soul: and consequently whatever is contrary to the order of reason is, properly speaking, contrary to the nature of man, as man; while whatever is in accord with reason, is in accord with the nature of man, as man.

H. g. " 1 And: "Infinite power can realize all things. The objects excluded from omnipotence are so because they are not things at all, but no-things, and hence incapable of realization by reason of their nonentity, not by reason of lack of power in God. It may be well to illustrate each of these two sources of impossibility. Notions which contain contradictory elements are not being . . 2 'Op. , p. 415. , pp. 416-7. 2 THE NATURE AND ATTRIBUTES OF GOD 45 As these statements bring out, in ascribing power - unlimited power or omnipotence to God - the theist is not involved in understanding "power" in some sense other than that in which we speak of the power a man possesses.

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