More thoughts on the concept of God choosing to create the worst of all possible worlds. Let us suppose that my argument here (at the end) is valid, then it seems like David Lewis’ extreme modal realism could act as a theodicy. On his extreme modal realism all logically possible worlds are actual worlds (they all actually exist). Supposing God created an infinite set of worlds, each of which allowed for particular instances of ‘good’ which others could not allow for, then it would seem at first blush as though even the worst possible world would be created by God.
However, if all the worlds God creates must contain at least some good, instead of simply allow for some prospective good, then this isn’t so clearly true. One could imagine that the worst of all possible worlds contains absolutely no instances of good (or at least, no ‘good’ events – let’s ignore that things existing constitute an ontological good). Therefore, God would, even on this Theodicy of Extreme Modal Realism, not create a world fitting the description ‘worst of all possible worlds’. Even if there were a set of all worlds fitting the description of the ‘worst of all possible worlds’, this subset of all possible worlds, since they do not allow for any good, would not be created. Note that even if these worlds are excluded the set of all actual worlds could still be infinite.
I’m not entirely convinced of this argument, I’ll admit, since it seems hard for God to ensure that any world contains at least one ‘good event’ if what makes good events good is precisely their moral character, which is allowed for by libertarian free will – however, it is for this reason (among others) that I actually don’t think a theist can in principle accept that there is any more than one actual world. Granted, if God himself ensured that every world contained at least one good event by freely choosing to do it himself (for example, by dying on the cross) then perhaps this could happen, and the worst of all realized worlds would be those on which the only realized good was that event (or set of events which God likewise freely chose to actualize himself).
Happy New Years, and Happy Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.