A lot of arguments have been known to prove or disprove the existence of God, and the Problem of Evil is one of them. The Problem of Evil argues that it is impossible to have God and evil existing in the same world. Due to ideal characteristics of God, evil should not have a chance to exist and make human suffer. In this essay, I will examine the argument for the Problem of Evil, a possible theodicy against the argument, and reply to the theodicy.
The impact of the evil of the holocaust on millions of people has raised eternal concern of faith in a loving God with the most pressing issue being whether God exists. This has made some to argue that if indeed He exists then His power and or goodness to control evil is somehow diminished. For example, David Wolf Silverman argues from the Judaism perspective that, after the holocaust it became more evident that God is not omnipotent. This has resulted to reduced use of omnipotence as one of the attributes of God because this horrifying event shows the extent to which humanity had sunk and the degree to which God withdrew. From a theological point of view the holocaust raises the question of the nature of evil and the existence of God.
The problem of evil questions how to reconcile the existence of evil with a God whom is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. If this were true, God would know about evil, would be able to do something, and would want to do something. Yet there is still evil today. The logical problem of evil attempts to prove that the existence of any evil contradicts the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God. If this God exists, then evil does not. However, evil does exist. Therefore, an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent God does not exist. The evidential problem of evil states that since evil does exists, evidence alone is incompatible with a perfect God, and thus negates the possibility of God 's existence. There exist
William Rowe addresses the problem of evil through an examination of the relationship between the existence of evil with an omnibenevolent, omniscient creator. His argument stems from the notion that because human and animal suffering is so intense, an atheist is rational in their belief and that the co-existence of evil and God is unlikely.
In chapter three of Aquinas for Armchair Theologians by Timothy Renick, Aquinas’s philosophy on evil in the world and the free will of humans is heavily discussed. Renick describes a very complex topic and transforms it into something the average person can read and understand. Aquinas answers the questions of whether evil exists, did God create evil, why does evil exist, and if evil exists, who or what removes it. He also answers the questions of whether humans have the free will to make decisions or has God predetermined every decision and its outcome according to his plan. While I found this article somewhat easy to follow, I can understand how some of Aquinas’s arguments can lead to debate or confusion on the nature of God, evil, and free will.
The logical argument concerning the problem of evil stems from two propositions that seem difficult to hold true at the same time: there exists an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent God and there are great amounts of suffering and evil in the world. This argument concludes that since there is moral and natural evil in the world, that an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent God cannot exist since an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent God would not create evil, or would at least seek to destroy it. To argue against this, the free-will defense is used. The free-will defense is successful as it provides a reason for moral evil, but it fails to address natural evil. However, it is still logically consistent to believe in
“The Problem of Evil” is simply the question, why does God allow evil to happen? God is omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving, and rational, therefore why does evil exist? There is either no God or he is not what we think he is, since evil could be prevented by him with no risk. Atheists and anti-theodicist see a problem with the idea that God could prevent evil. They believe that because God is so powerful and perfect, that he would not allow such immoral actions to be done.
In this reading reflection I will be discussing Richard Swinburne’s argument on “Why God Allows Evil” which starts on page 254 in “Exploring Philosophy: An Anthology” by Steven M. Cahn. This was also discussed in class on 9/15/16.
Another Milestone that effects the way we define the notion of “Good and Evil” is largely based on our religion. Therefore, the way we see right from wrong, heaven and hell, light and darkness, Good vs. Evil and God and the Devil comes from the moral criterion that we attempt to apply to our worldviews. However, given the conspicuous contrasts amongst religions, ranging from Christianity to Islam to Judaism. Many people believe that due to the simple fact of religious diversity, this provides the basis to discredit any assumption of moral truths. Some religions define evil as “the result of human sin” or that “Evil is the result of a spiritual being who opposes the Lord God”
The Ontological Argument argues that because God is perfect and unlimited, he must exist, even in nonbelievers; existing is a quality of perfection. The problem of evil is significant because most people base their morality and values on whether or not they
Questioning if God is not omnipotent, the entire idea of God creating the world can be called into question. Another issue is that if it is said that God is no longer entirely good there is the possibility to say that God has evil or bad intentions, and we should denounce him. Lastly, if one says that evil does not exist, then there is no possible way to separate those people who are considered to be deviants of society. This would mean that those who commit crimes that are evil in nature like murder and rape would be considered to be normal and acceptable.
In life, people tend to classify ideas into good and evil based on their views and beliefs. The novel, Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya, portrays the life a six-year old boy named Antonio living around the time of World War II. Antonio faces many challenges in life as he grows into adulthood. In order to see what is good and evil, Antonio sees things as good if it agrees with his beliefs and sees things as evil if something threatens his beliefs. Many people in life think like Antonio, if people’s beliefs are agreed upon, they see it as good and if people beliefs are contradicted, it is seen as evil. The reality is that good and evil cannot be divided due to a difference of beliefs. This means that a person may see something as evil that another person see as good.
Evil is a simple word that we learn at a young age and that we understand is bad. However, our youth and innocence prevents us from knowing the weight the word holds. As our understanding of evil develops, we begin to see evil all around us. Although we hold common societal definitions of evil, each person is bound to view evil slightly different from others. Someone might consider alcoholism evil, while others consider it normal: someone might believe racism is evil, while others believe it is natural. Evil is unique to each individual, how people were raised and what they were exposed to will alter their definition of evil. However, people generally agree that homicide, rape, torture, genocide, and terrorism are all evil. Causing agony or suffering is considered evil. Manipulating the weak or manipulating children, in any way, is considered evil. Despite our societal understanding that these acts are evil and that evil is bad, we witness evil nearly every day. This unconformity, these people knowing what is evil yet still doing the evil, cannot be explained simply.
The existence of God has been presented by a multitude of philosophers. However, this has led to profound criticism and arguments of God’s inexistence. The strongest argument in contradiction to God’s existence is the Problem of Evil, presented by J.L Mackie. In this paper, I aim to describe the problem of evil, analyse the objection of the Paradox of Omnipotence and provide rebuttals to this objection. Thus, highlighting my support for Mackie’s Problem of evil.
“Do good and avoid evil” is a result of the differing educational, religious and cultural influences on man in the various times and places of his historical development. Thomas Aquinas contended that general principles of the natural law cannot be applied to all men in the same way on the great variety of human affairs, thus arises the diversity of positive laws among various people. Human laws deal with changing and contingent matters and often with singulars, do not have the certitude that belongs to the speculative sciences. Each has its own realm of operation and is sufficient that each have the certitude proper to its own realm. [ Ibid. ]