Saturday, September 03, 2005

Best Possible World Scenarios

Posted in:Humor

Over the course of the history of philosophy and theology, there have been skeptics who have challenged Classical Theism with various *Best Possible World Scenarios*

Some of these challenges have been rather mild (e.g. Couldn't have God created a world without evil?) and some a bit more rigorous (e.g. Couldn't have God created a world where everyone freely chose to do good? ala Flew). Regardless of the intensity of these challenges, someone of the Christian faith has always risen to the occasion and provided a good answer to the proposed possible world.

But, I think that Classical Theism may be in trouble this time. I believe that I have unfortunately come across a better possible world that God could have freely chosen to create that will go unanswered . . .

I mean, God could have created a world where everyone had a Mullet . . .

. . .Where the only sport that ever took place was NASCAR . . .

. . . and the only beverage that was available to sustain life was Budweiser

Alright SES Students and Tuquoque friends! Will someone boldly step up in the spirit of Aquinas and please refute this purported superior possible world, defend our actual world in contrast to this mullet/nascar/budweiser hypotheses, and subsequently save the day for Classical Theism!!

This post dedicated to the state of North Carolina. Represent!!


Blogger davis said...

As a novice to thomism, i am in awe of this argument. I honestly do not have an answer to it. I think after reading this i'm converting to neo-dadaism...

10:58 PM  
Anonymous leibniz said...

Surely a world in which everyone has a mullet, the only sport is NASCAR racing, and the only available beverage is Budweiser is a possible one, but in order for this possibility to pose a challenge to classical theism, you need to show that God could have created a world that has these three features AND is on the whole more perfect than the present world. Even if you judge that, all other things being equal, it is better for everyone to have a mullet than for it not to be the case that everyone has a mullet, and better for NASCAR racing to be the only sport than for it to be the case that there are other sports, and better for Budweiser to be the only available beverage than for Budweiser not to be the only available beverage--even if you think all that, you would still need to show that there is a possible world having all these features that would be better on the whole than the actual world. But no such thing has been shown, and in fact I believe it to be false. Given the interconnection of all things, any mullet-filled/NASCAR/Budweiser world would have required laws of nature quite different from ours, specifically, laws less perfect than those that govern the present world. Thus, on the whole any such world would have been inferior.

But then it occurs to me that your post may have been written tongue-in-cheek.

1:59 AM  
Blogger jamie said...

Your argument is false on its face, because the alternate reality you pose would not be superior.

Substitute Milwaukee's Best Light for Budweiser, and the argument will go up a level. Whereas the quality of Bud has an inversely propotional relationship to its temperature, going from bad to worse as the mercury rises, MBL can't get any worse, so temperature becomes inconsequential, thus rendering physics irrelevant, and as we know, physics is hard and stuff.

Second, if there is only one sport, Nascar, then there is no allowance for free will. This would be a lateral move at best, since we're largely confined to a laughable sense of agency already. You're proposed world would leave us in a determinism even colder than that of Marx. Add hockey as an alternative, and you'll still have the mullet factor, but with choices to be made. And bowling, cause it's not really a sport if you have to put down your beer to play it.

Finally, all streets should be made of cheese. Ummm. cheese . . . .

1:50 PM  
Blogger jamie said...

"Your" not "you're"

1:51 PM  
Blogger Sal Monella said...

Thanks for the imput. I think the arguments that you all presented are quite persuasive. Yet, there is one thing that I forgot to mention in my post. This mullet/nascar/bud scenerio that I proposed to you is the best possible world-- Q.E.D.

That should be enough to silence my critics.

Sine qua non,

9:07 AM  
Blogger Douglas Beaumont said...


Your scenario does not even begin to apporach the best possible world because there could always be a better NASCAR race, a colder Budweiser, and longer mullets. This leads to an infinite progress of better and better NASCAR/BUDWEISER/MULLET worlds. Since one cannot reach the last in an infinite series one also cannot reach the "best" either.

1:14 PM  
Blogger davis said...


Your counter-argument to mullet's argument for a best possible world is a bit flawed in its reasoning. While there can always be a colder budweiser, the degree of coldness does not necessarily entail its goodness. Instead, there is an optimal temp for a Bud, mainly 40 degrees F. Any colder or warmer would be suboptimal. As for mullets, there is an optimal mullet, mainly one with a 10/90 ratio of front/back length. So as it stands, until another world is offered, Mullets is the best possible world.

I have to give a nodd to Jaimie's scenario of beast ice instead of bud though, it may pose a challenge if it's developed more.

10:09 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home