Would God Allow Kids To Get Cancer? Maybe…


Date: August 04, 2019

01) Would God Allow Kids To Get Cancer? Maybe…

“The problem of evil is one of the most famous and powerful arguments against God’s existence, but it less famously comes in multiple forms.

In this video, Jon McCray, from the YouTube channel, ‘Whaddo You Meme??’ argues that it may be justifiable for a loving God to permit children getting cancer, in order to serve some greater good. I’m less than convinced.

Some philosophical notes:

1. There is a difference between an argument being deductive and being valid. All examples of deductive arguments I have given are valid (for simplicity of explanation). First characterisation of the logical problem of evil (‘I can’t think of a reason, therefore there is no reason’) is invalid, yet it is clear from the conclusion that he is attempting a deductive rather than an inductive argument. It is therefore an invalid deductive argument. The very point Jon is making is that the conclusion doesn’t follow from the premise, implying that it should do in order to be a good argument. If the conclusion must follow to make it a good argument, it is an attempt at deduction.

2. My use of the word ‘syllogism’ throughout this video is regrettable upon review. A syllogism is technically a formation of a valid deductive argument, not just any formation of any argument (which is how I was using it). If confused, replace my use of ‘syllogism’ with ‘specific version of an argument’.

J.L. Mackie, Evil and Omnipotence:

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