Or we must say that God is not omnipotent, and although he is wholly good and would prevent evil if he could, he is powerless to stop it.” (Fitzgerald 340). This is a significant problem to the revealed religions because they believe in a wholly good and omnipotent God. Why then, would this God allow evil? In this paper, I will provide, explain, and evaluate St. Augustine of Hippo’s solution to this question. Augustine feels that evil stems from choice and free will.
Evil only comes into play when a member of God's world renounces his/her role in the proper scheme of things. Evil has no positive nature; but instead the loss of good is what constitutes evil. It is because of his definition of evil that Augustine buys into the free will defense. Augustine attributes all evil, both moral and natural, to the free actions of human beings created by God with the capacity to do either good or evil. While God is the embodiment of goodness and cannot make the decision to be anything but good, other members in the Great Chain of Being do have the ability to willfully alter their predisposition... ... middle of paper ... ...l, and knowing, suffering should not exist in the world.
God is the source of evil. He created natural evil, and gave humans the ability to do moral evil by giving them a free will. However, had he not given people free will, then their actions would not be good or evil; nor could God reward or punish man for his actions since they had no choice in what to do. Therefore, by giving humans choice and free will, God allowed humanity to decide whether to reward themselves with temporary physical goods, and suffer in the long run from unhappiness, or forsake bodily pleasures for eternal happiness. Works Cited St.Augustine, Thomas Williams.
In “God and the Problem of Evil,” B.C. Johnson argues that evil rules out the existence of an all-knowing, all-powerful and all-good God because there are many evil things that are happening in this world. In this paper, I am going to argue that God is only all-good but not all-powerful and all-knowing. God is all-knowing, God is all-powerful, God is all-good, suffering and evil will not exists in this world. When we read or hear of disasters, deaths and sufferings, we always question why God would allow all these to happen.
In monotheistic faith God is defined with a triad of attributes as being all good, all powerful and all knowing. This triad is what is empirically derived from God being the prime mover. The fact of evil, or theodicy, possess that there exists evil in this world and that this triad cannot exist through that evil conflicts with all three existing at once. The presence of evil means that God lacks one of these attributes because if he had them all, he would not allow evil to exist. If God and evil are to coexist then God must be: all knowing, all powerful, but good enough to want to stop it, lacking the knowledge to know how to stop it, or lacking the power to be able to stop it.
The Argument of Evil for the Existence of God One of the major arguments proposed against the existence of God in contemporary western philosophy is the problem of evil. It is based upon the inability to reconcile the magnitude of evil in the world with the all-loving nature of God. John Hick describes the problem from the perspective of its proponent, "If God is perfectly loving, God must wish to abolish all evil; and if God is all-powerful, God must be able to abolish all evil. But evil exists; therefore God cannot be both omnipotent and perfectly loving." This thus causes difficulty for the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God who possess both qualities of being all-loving and omnipotent.
I told him that God could not accomplish two ends simultaneously – give humans free will and remove evil from the world – without contradicting His intentions to do one or the other. I outlined the distinction between moral evil and natural evil, in that moral agents (such as murder or rape) produce moral evil and natural evil occurs in the process of the functioning of the natural order (such as an earthquake, flood or plague). While we can attempt to question the intensity of ... ... middle of paper ... ...His creation even though He knew they could use it for evil. God is still good for giving His creation free will, even though it was abused by man, because a world full of free moral agents is far superior to one populated with automatons. God would not make humanity with free will and force them only to do good, because it would go against His will for creation to perform good acts freely.
In the excerpt from Philosophy of Religion, John Hicks outlines the problem of evil as such: (a) If God were truly omnibenevolent, he would then wish to eliminate all evil; (b) If God is were truly omnipotent, he would then be capable of eliminating evil; (c) Evil exists in the world. Therefore: (d) God is not omnibenevolent or He is not omnipotent. Either element of the conclusion is damaging to the traditional understanding of a Judeo-Christian God. It seems simple enough. A benevolent Creator appears incompatible with what we understand to be the existence of evil.
Some believe that evil is caused by Satan and not humanity, such as the Manichaeanists and Bogomilists, and some believe that humans are the cause of evil, rather than God, such as Augustine, Peter Kreefe, and myself. While God is aware that a lack of goodness could occur, he is not the cause of it. He is omniscient, omnipotent, and all-loving and creates human beings with absolute goodness; however, with that that absolute goodness comes free will. With free will, humans have the ability to choose wrongly and therefore experience evil or a lack of goodness. God has given us that right because it is the only way to become happy.
Philo first begins his argument by stating that if God is truly dominant than he can control everything. Afterwards he continues on to state that if God was willing to avert evil but not able to than he was inept. If he is able to avert it but not willing to, he is malicious. With that being said, Philo concluded that if God truly believed in the well being of man-kind, than there would be no evil in this world. Demea responds by stating that we are only a speck in the whole universe limited to only what we can see.