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Leibniz's defence in Theodicy against sub-standard world - Note

دوشنبه, ۲۸ تیر ۱۳۹۵، ۰۹:۱۰ ق.ظ

In the Theodicy, Leibniz rehearses something like a trial in which God stands accused of having created a sub-standard world. In this note I demonstrate the basis of Leibniz’s case for the defence and his advocate for the view that the world God created could not have been made better. 

Leibniz starts by expressing that there are infinite numbers of possible worlds while our actual world -full of unnecessary and contingent things- is one of them that came into reality. He concludes that there should be a reason for these contingent things to bring them into reality, and that reason should be itself necessary (i.e. should carry its reason for existence) and intelligent as it should choose between infinite worlds. This intelligent cause (God) of the reality, as Leibniz claims, should be “absolutely perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness”. By this supposition, Leibniz utters that such a God has to choose the best possible world from infinite numbers of them as if God does not it means that there will be a lack of good which is evil. Therefore, in this case, there will be some imperfections that can be corrected. In other words, God was able to do better, but she did not and this contradicts with her perfect wisdom, power, and goodness.

One objection to such a claim, i.e. the existing world is the best, and a perfect one is the existence of evils. Leibniz does not deny the existence of evil, but do not accept it as a refutation of the claim of the perfection of this world. The core of his counter-argument to refute this objection is founded on a logical basis. He argues that the world is not a combination of completely separate pieces, but all contingent things are connected to each other to shape one piece we name it the world. So, it is not possible to remove one piece from the whole without changing the whole completely. Any variations in the universe will alter the essence of it, so it will not be what it was before the modification. Sin and evil are not an exception from this justification. It means that they have specific roles to play in this current world to make it perfect, and they cannot be removed without changing the essence of the world. So there are some constraints even for an omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent God in creating a hypothetical ‘perfect’ world, not from her side, but from the nature and essence of the relations between contingent things.

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