The Problem Of Evil Essay

1815 words - 7 pages

For years, and for years to come, people have and will continue to struggle with the inconsistency and almost direct contradiction between religious principles and reality. It's clear to us that suffering and evil exist, and the classical concept of God would lead us to believe that this suffering and evil coexist with an omnipotent and omni benevolent being…but that just doesn't make sense. Natural disasters, murder, terrorism, and disease are just a few factors that can shake the religious core of a person. But there is a difference between suffering and evil; all evil is suffering, but not all suffering is evil. Those who experience natural disasters and disease are no doubt suffering, but those things are not caused by evil. Those who experience murder and terrorism are not only suffering, but experiencing the evil of a person or group. However, the discrepancy is not necessarily between this distinction. The problem arises when the point of suffering is questioned. Some argue that there is no point, and the existence of those things is a sign that an omniscient, omnipotent, omni benevolent being is not real. But on the contrary, it's not the case that because there is evil and suffering, there is no God. It is the case, however, that evil and suffering exist, but that God has a reason for everything that happens in our world, even if we can't grasp what those reasons are.There are many promising solutions to the problem of suffering and evil. There is the Greater Goods Defense made famous by philosopher Gottfried Leibniz, which basically suggests that permitting some evil and suffering allows for people to develop sympathy, benevolence, and heroism among other moral virtues. There is also the notion that evil is necessary as a means to good, or that it takes going through evil to reach anything good. Thirdly, there is the idea that the universe is better with some evil in it that it would be without any evil at all. There is all the suggestion of scaling back omnipotence. Perhaps God doesn't have to be or isn't as powerful as classical theists have proposed. But, I think we can offer promising solutions to the problem of evil without taking anything away from our classical view of God. The three most promising solutions to the problem of evil all lead to each other and are as follows:1.Evil is necessary as a counterpart to good - it is important for the opposite of "something" to exist so that we can appreciate and understand that "something". Evil is in the world so that people can be grateful for good in a more complete way; perhaps we need to witness evil and how bad it is and how wonderful good is. However, to suggest that God can't create good without also creating evil seems to limit His power, so perhaps the existence of evil is something He is not solely responsible for. Evil also exists because of the choices of people.2.Evil is due to human freewill - God gave us freewill, and we exercise that freewill in ways that seem fit...

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