The Problem of Evil Essay

2253 words - 9 pages ✓ Expert Reviewed
VIEW DOCUMENT
Preview

Introduction
One of the oldest dilemmas in philosophy is also one of the greatest threats to Christian theology. The problem of evil simultaneously perplexes the world’s greatest minds and yet remains palpably close to the hearts of the most common people. If God is good, then why is there evil? The following essay describes the problem of evil in relation to God, examines Christian responses to the problem, and concludes the existence of God and the existence of evil are fully compatible.
Body
“The problem of evil is often divided between the logical and evidential problems.” At the heart of each problem is the belief that the existence of God and the existence evil are incompatible. They present an “either/or” dilemma: either God exists or evil exists, for they cannot exist together. Clearly evil does exist, therefore, God must not. The logical problem of evil (LPE) proposes that if God exists, He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent; in short, He would have the ability, knowledge, and desire to prevent evil. With the obvious existence of evil, God must not then exist.
Christians have argued against LPE through in a variety of arguments (a number of these arguments could be labeled more broadly under the term “theistic,” but due to the nature of this paper, they will be cast from a Christian perspective). Some Christian arguments are considered sounder then others, but it is generally granted the Christian has succeeded in his task. Of note, the Christian doesn't need to explain why God would allow evil; he only needs to provide a reason that shows the existence of evil is not incompatible with the existence of God.
Bluntly, the Christian could first appeal to the limits of human epistemology: claiming that there is no sound argument, taking into account only what we know, where it would be morally wrong for an omnipotent and omniscient person to allow evil to exist. Humans simply cannot know all there is to know in order to conclude God and evil are incompatible. This popular argument attempts a total refutation of LPE; however, it does not directly address LPE, choosing rather to sidestep the immediate issue and attack human cognitive limitations. The argument, while successful in sense, lacks satisfactory closure to LPE and opens an epistemological Pandora’s Box, where everything we know becomes suspect. Consequently, this approach is not a strong one.
Another attempt at total refutation of LPE would be through the invocation of the Ontological Argument. In simplest terms, the argument makes the case that the very idea of God proves His existence. Put another way, because the idea of God (the Greatest Conceivable Being) can be imagined, He must exist, lest the thought of the Greatest Conceivable Being contradict itself (for existence is greater than non-existence). In regards to LPE, the Ontological Argument shows “not merely that there is an omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect being, but that it is...

Find Another Essay On The Problem of Evil

The Problem Of Evil Essay

1982 words - 8 pages The problem of evil has been a question that philosophers have been trying to answer for centuries. It simply states that if God exists and is perfect and all-powerful then why evil does exist in our world. Two great philosophers named Gottfried Leibniz and Nicolas Malebranche attempt to answer this question with their own unique solutions. Although they both answer the same question they have drastically different views. Specifically, they...

The Problem Of Evil Essay

2444 words - 10 pages The Problem of Evil The Judaeo/Christian tradition is founded upon the belief that there exists a supernatural personal being who is the ultimate creator and to which all other beings owe their existence. Three major characteristics are ascribed to this being (God?), that of being wholly good (omnibenevolent), wholly powerful (omnipotent) and all knowing (omniscient). This is the foundation of western religious thought and it is these...

The Problem of Evil

2197 words - 9 pages The problem of evil is the notion that, how can an all-good, all-powerful, all-loving God exists when evil seems to exist also. The problem of evil also gives way to the notion that if hell exists then God must be evil for sending anyone there. I believe both of these ideas that God can exist while there is evil and God is not evil for sending anyone to hell. I believe hell exists in light of the idea that God is holy and just. The larger is how...

The Logical Problem Of Evil

622 words - 2 pages The Logical Problem of EvilWe have noted that there are two aspects of the problem of evil: the philosophical or apologetic, and the religious or emotional aspect. We also noted that within the philosophical aspect there are two types of challenges to faith in God: the logical and the evidential....

The Problem Of Evil And Suffering.

1916 words - 8 pages The presence of evil and suffering in the world is a problem for those Christians who want to retain God's attributes of omnipotence, omniscience and benevolence and that God created the world 'out-of-nothing' (ex nihilo).* David Hume's challenge: 'If God is able to something about evil and suffering yet chooses not to then God is malevolent. If God cannot do...

Hamartiology: The Problem of Evil (Theodicy)

956 words - 4 pages understand the problem of evil. Providing my presupposition, I told him that Scripture speaks truthfully of God and affirms that He is holy while also teaching that He is sovereign over all creation . If this is true, then we must conclude that God ordains all things is such a way that does not go against the character of His being nor can He be held blameworthy for evil. I told him that God could not accomplish two ends simultaneously – give...

The Problem of Evil and the Question of Why

1187 words - 5 pages The problem of evil is an issue that has been around since Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the garden and is still something millions of people have struggled to find an answer to this very day. From the time I was old enough to understand the mystery, I constantly questioned why God would allow people to suffer. I thought if God is truly omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient, then how can suffering exist, or at least to good people. Peter Kreeft...

Does The Problem Of Evil Disprove God's Existence?

1955 words - 8 pages Philosophers have looked for ways to explain God's existence for centuries. One suchargment that the believer must justify in order to maintain the possibility of God's existence is theproblem of evil. In his essay, 'The Problem of Evil,' by Richard Swinburne...

Addressing the Problem of Evil in On Free Choice of the Will by Augustine

2348 words - 9 pages In “On Free Choice of the Will”, Augustine indicates the importance of his beliefs and opinions of human nature and of God. He thinks as greatly of God as possible and centralizes his thoughts of goodness with the concept of being/form (God); he also gives a description of how God’s rightness can be interpreted clearly through the evil doings of the world. One of the biggest and most difficult problems facing people is the problem...

The Problem Of Evil In The Judeo-Christian Tradition Depicted In Hicks' Philosophy Of Religion

973 words - 4 pages The problem of evil is a difficult objection to contend with for theists. Indeed, major crises of faith can occur after observing or experiencing the wide variety and depths of suffering in the world. It also stands that these “evils” of suffering call into question the existence of an omnibenevolent and omnipotent God of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The “greater good defense” tries to account for some of the issues presented, but still has...

Argument Against William Rowe's Article Regarding The Problem Of Evil To Prove That An Omni-X God Does Exist

1560 words - 6 pages The question of whether or not an omnipotent, omniscient god exists despite the existence of "pointless" suffering is a very controversial one. In this essay I will argue that such a god does in fact exist by arguing against William Rowe's article on the problem of evil. God exists and is an all-powerful, all knowing, and omni benevolent being. God created our world...

Other The Problem of Evil Essays

The Problem Of Evil Essay

766 words - 3 pages The Problem Of Evil      It is impossible to deny the existence of evil in the world as we as human beings experience pain and suffering every day. It is generally accepted that there are two different types of evil – natural (based on God) and moral (based on humans). Moral evil is caused by human beings and occurs when humans inflict suffering on other people like September 11th, world wars, the Holocaust and other...

The Problem Of Evil Essay - 1550 words

1550 words - 6 pages My claim that we have evil in this world because of our libertarian freedom does not fully answer the notion of “the problem of evil”. Saying we have evil in this world is just like saying we have bad decisions in this world. Bad decisions just like evil do not have a form. Every decision that God makes is a good decision therefore God cannot do evil. Human beings initiated evil. In fact, the first human beings (Adam and Eve) gave ongoing birth...

The Problem Of Evil Essay - 1815 words

1815 words - 7 pages 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...

The Problem Of Evil Essay - 1607 words

1607 words - 6 pages God based on the existence of evils. As he indicates, moral and natural evil bear upon human responsibility, which are both obligatory for human wholesomeness. In the event that these propositions don’t fully justify the necessity of evil in the world, Swinburne maintains that humans should rest assured because God will compensate the victims by providing them with an afterlife in which they will have an invaluable and worthwhile existence. Hence, the problem of evil is not a good objection to the existence of God. ...