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 …show more content…
Free-will is arguably the greater good; we would not be humans without it and we would not be a good creation without choice over our own actions. In protection of that greater good, God does not, and should not, get involved in dealing with moral evil and the suffering caused by it. Doing so would subvert our free-will, and ultimately take away our free-will. Since we have the choice whether to do good or evil, God should not be blamed for the actions that humans make. Following from this, God can still be omniscient (God knows that there is evil in the world), omnipotent (God has the ability to stop evil) and omnibenevolent (God does not want evil to exist, but ultimately allows it for our ability to have free-will). The free-will defense is successful as it accounts for moral evil such as slavery, war, torture, genocides, etc., and since we have free-will and we are ultimately responsible for our actions, whether they are good or evil, there is no logical reason to blame God for the actions of …show more content…
Natural evil is not man-made, comes through no fault of our own, and is caused by outward, worldly forces; so an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God would have no need to create natural evil. Tornadoes, earthquakes, diseases, etc. would be natural evils since they are not created by moral or immoral actions. According to the deist conception of God, God set the universe in motion and has not interfered since creation. It is then possible, that since God has not intervened in the world since the creation, that all of these things could have come through natural evolution and changes in climate and weather patterns. If God is not seen as a proximal cause for these events, and is instead viewed as a creator who set the universe in motion to be governed by natural laws and things like evolution, then it seems illogical to blame God for these types of events that follow natural law. Also, a most natural disasters have benefits to them: hurricanes replenish barrier reefs and help ocean productivity, floods bring nutrients to soil, causing it to be more fertile, and lightning helps maintain the Earth’s electrical balance. So, despite that some of these events may bring about pain and suffering, they could also have an, arguably, greater good to them as
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If God creates creatures that are significantly free, he cannot determine them to do only what is right meaning he must create creatures that are capable of moral evil. Therefore, God cannot guarantee that there will not be evil in the world because a world containing creatures that are significantly free to perform more moral good than evil actions are more valuable. An omnipotent being (God) can't make contradictions be true. Therefore, if God creates a world where there are beings with free will. God can't guarantee that some creatures won't sometimes choose to act badly.
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.
According to the logical problem of evil, God is an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent being. Yet, evil exist all around us. Since Mackie is an atheist, this is a contradiction he debates. How can a perfect God allow evil in the world? And how does free will influence evil?
There are two main ways in which natural evil operates to give humans those choices. First of all, natural evil provides chance for humans to learn how to bring the evil. For example, I can choose to ignore my sick friends instead of showing compassion towards the sufferer. If I get sick, I can either choose to spread it to others or subdue to disease and prevent it from spreading. Humans have the free will to choose to be good or evil.
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.
This logical incompatibility between evil and God’s actuality can be made evident in two additional principles provided by Mackie. These are if something is omnipotent, it can do anything and if something is omnibenevolent it will eliminate as much evil as possible. Mackie claims God’s omnipotent characteristic is dependent on him being all powerful. If God is omnipotent than the subjection to limitations, such as the inevitability of evil, should not arise. This first premise is in relation to the second and third because if God is all powerful, wholly good and in existence, the product of his work, our world, should be a reflection of his being.
JL Mackie was persuasive in his argument by showing that belief in an almighty God is not rational. He proves this by posing the problem of evil. According to JL Mackie, if God exists and is omniscient, omnipotent, and good then evil would not exist. However, evil exists in this world, sometimes in the form of undeserved suffering (diseases that affect humans, earthquakes, famines ...) and others perpetrated by man (murders, wars ...). If God exists and has the capability to be powerful, good, omniscient and omnipotent, why would he let evil be perpetrated?
God’s interference against this free-will will ultimately be an act of evil, as him interfering on horribly evil acts means he must interfere with acts that are less evil, as they cause the greater evil in the first place (“The Problem of Evil” 7). For example, if God steps in to prevent all murder, he would have to put a stop to all actions that may have caused people to murder in the first place. These lesser evils could include many things, ranging from firing a firearm to watching violent television programs. The prevention of these lesser evils infringes on what we as humans can do and such interference is evil (“The Problem of Evil”
The question of evil and God 's role in it, or at least the role we believe he should play, has spanned long over time. An ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus pondered the subject during his lifetime: "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
If a baby touches a hot stove the infant is the one to blame because it was his initiative to touch the stove. However, the blame or responsibility falls on the parents for not taking care of the child. The adults are further aware of the result then the infant. So God is the intervening agents who stand between Adam’s story and dreadful evil.
“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.
Philo concludes that for those who already believe in an omnipotent and all-good god, these four causes are not enough to invalidate their beliefs. INSERT CITATION He says this because all four of his causes can be dispelled under the assumption that there is some divine explanation that reconciles god’s goodness with the evil in the world. However, coming from an unbiased perspective, Philo says that we certainly cannot infer the existence of a benevolent god when these causes of natural evil are taken into account. In fact, if we do attempt to divulge god’s moral attributes from the state of the universe, then Philo concludes that the only proper deduction we can draw is that god is neither good nor is he evil, but rather he is entirely indifferent to the principles of morality altogether – in essence, god is morally neutral.
Fate, by definition, is the universal principle by which the order of things is seemingly prescribed. (Webster) Essentially, fate is events that are inevitable that we have no power to change. It is debatable that fate exists among everyone; however, humans are subject to making their own choices- free will. No matter what choices people make, they do not change our fate.
Humans have free will because in the everyday lives on an individual they are presented with multiple choices, none of which render the need for a divine power. Saint Augustine states this in the text that individuals are aware of the presence of God, but know they can voluntarily act on the own choices. However, God has the power of foreknowledge. This is because the Lord created everything, meaning he must be aware of what is yet to happen. Augustine again asserts in Book V that God cannot exist without the ability for him to know the future.
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.