B. C. Johnson's Argument For The Existence Of God

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Evil and the existence of God has been at the heart of philosophical arguments for years. It seems that evil should cancel out God’s existence. Evil is defined in two ways. One definition is evil as gratuitous suffering. B.C. Johnson uses this in his argument against the existence of a monotheistic God. The second definition is evil is a distortion of a natural good, such as blindness being a disorder of sight. Sight is a good thing, but blindness is a perversion or distortion of it. John Hick uses that definition. The monotheistic definition of God is that God is all-good and all-powerful. If God is those things, then He would not want evil and He could actually prevent it. Which, leads to believe that there should be no evil if God is those…show more content…
Natural evil is suffering due to natural causes, such as a tornado or tsunami. According to theists, evil is just a necessary byproduct. If a tornado was about to hit a town, then suddenly disappeared, it would be noticed and be labeled as a miracle. However, Johnson says that God does not need to intervene all the time, but only in extreme cases (123). An extreme case would have to be obvious suffering, such as back to Johnson’s example of a baby burning to death. Hick counters that Johnson suggests good is comfortable, or a “permanent hedonistic paradise” for man to live in (129). If God were to change the world whenever something bad happens, then the laws of nature would become flexible and constantly changing. There would be no science in that world, and no one would be able to predict anything. If someone were to rob a bank, then the money would magically regenerate as if it had never been stolen. Again, I side with what Johnson says. God would not have to make large changes in the world to do some good Himself, just interfere when things really looked bad. That can coincide even with Hick’s definition of evil; if God saw that something good was going to become distorted, then He could go in and change it. Saying that God cannot change even the smallest things suggests that God is not all-good and all-powerful, or that the monotheistic idea of Him is…show more content…
With higher morality, theists claim that human understanding is too limited for us to understand. Johnson plays off that point by saying that God’s morality is meaningless to us if higher morality is the case. “But it is a strange ‘higher morality’ which claims that what we call ‘bad’ is good and what we call ‘good’ is bad” (Johnson 123). It would be like someone claiming that because Hitler liked children of the right race, then he is a good person despite all the evil he did. Hick, however, might relate higher morality back to the hedonistic world mentioned in the argument above. There is a reason for our world to have suffering since it is built into the structure of the world. That reason, Hick argues, is for “soul-making”, or character building (129). Without having some suffering, then there would be no characters, such as courage. The higher morality of God relates back to that because He has a legitimacy for that suffering. Here, I agree with Hick. Suffering and evil usually does resort back to something good, such as with the Holocaust. Now, we know that people can do this and we constantly keep it in mind to hold up as a comparison. Today, we have checks in place to prosecute those who commit atrocities like that, and we have a greater knowledge of human nature. More based on Johnson’s argument, he takes a stance that higher morality equates to the complete opposite of what we
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