This thus causes difficulty for the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God who possess both qualities of being all-loving and omnipotent. David Hume is a proponent of this view and argues that the sheer amount of evil, which may outweigh the good, in the world makes dubious that a deity exists. The main response to this kind of an argument is known as the free-will defense. It is based on the premise that for God to create self-directly and independent agents like humans, he had to grant a certain amount of freedom to them, and this freedom would inevitably result in human-to-human evil. It has been proposed that there need not be a contradiction between God creating morally free agents and making it the case that all their actions turn out to be good.
Is there any satisfactory way of reconciling the existence of an omnipotent and all-loving God with the existence of natural evil (i.e. evil not due to the misuse of human free will)? One of the central claims of the Judaeo-Christian tradition is the existence of an omnipotent and all-loving God. Against this is the observation that people and animals suffer evil. By common sense, we would infer from this observation that God, as conceived in this tradition, does not exist - for, if He did, He would prevent the evil.
Philo says that for God to exist he must not be anthropomorphized; God is blind to good and evil, he is an indifferent prime mover. God is all powerful, all knowing, but not all good. The dialogue provided by Demea, Cleanthes and Philo all conflict on the nature of God, but none of them conflict on the presence of a God. Thus, the fact of evil, to me, does not provide grounds for not believing in God, but instead provides grounds for reinterpreting Gods nature. I agree with Philo in that in order for God to coexist with evil, he must be lacking goodness.
A benevolent Creator appears incompatible with what we understand to be the existence of evil. Evil is opposed to God’s will, eventually cumulating in the crucifixion of God’s son, Jesus. One must then wonder how an all-loving and all-powerful God would allow such pain to occur to both his creation and Jesus. A perfect God’s world should be similarly perfect. The world is not perfect so it seems that God must not be all-loving or He must not be all-powerful.
In other words, if one looks at the world this way, i.e., a place created and totally dominated by God who decides what is morally good, who ultimately decides the fate of every human being, it seems that humans are not significantly free after all, unless one considers freedom from God’s perspective. As a matter of fact, Augustine does not realize that if it is as he argues that God foreknows every event in the world, then God created determined creatures that have no knowledge of being determined. Augustine points out that, “…although God foreknows our future wills, it does not follow from this that we do not will something by our own will.” (184.108.40.206). Augustine’s argument here supports my criticism. Namely, what follows from this argument is that humans in reality are not free because every action that they will is necessary, thus already pre-determined by God.
The creation of free willed people goes hand in hand with the possibility of sin. To say that God should not have created people with the capacity to sin would imply that God should not have created people at all. According to Hick, free will is what allows for the existence of moral evil in the world, evil that stems from human action. In “Evil and Soul Making,” Hick draws on Irenaean theodicy be re-introducing the idea that people are not fully formed but are still going through the creation process. Under this theodicy, man is stil... ... middle of paper ... ...would be no such thing as facts, because they would be constantly changing in order to suit the constant adjustments needed to maintain a perfect world.
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.
God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent, which makes us wonder what kind of morally sufficient reason justifies God to allow evil. We know that evil exists in our world, but so does God, so would God be the source of evil as well as good? We have established that God is the omnipotent and benevolent free creator of the world, but suffering and evil exist. Is God unable to prevent evil? If so, he would not be omnipotent.
If you do, there is no way to prove the existence of a higher power. The primary argument against the existence of a Judeo-Christian all- knowing, all-powerful, righteous God is the argument from evil. This argument argues against the presence of a higher power using facts of ordinary life. This argument states that most would agree that some of the pain and suffering (evil) in this world is unnecessary. To be considered a necessary evil, the occurrence must be the only way to produce something good, which outweighs the evil.
In Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Part X, Philo have questioned how it is possible to reconcile God's infinite benevolence, wisdom, and power with the presence of evil in the world. “His power we allow is infinite: whatever he wills is executed: but neither man nor any other animal is happy: therefore he does not will their happiness. His wisdom is infinite: he is never mistaken in choosing the means to any end: but the course of Nature tends not to human or animal felicity: therefore it is not established for that purpose.” (Hume, 87) Given the presence of evil, we must either conclude that God wishes to prevent needless suffering, but cannot, in which case God is not all-powerful, or we may admit that he does not wish to prevent evil in which case we may conclude that God is not infinitely benevolent. Or, alternatively, we can conclude that he both wishes and can prevent evil, but that he is not wise enough to know how to arrange the world so that there is no evil, in which case he is not infinitely wise. Evaluation Philo’s argument of the incompatibility of God’s existence with the existence of evil is valid, because of the following: Philo’s argument has the premises which are God is infinitely wise, powerful and benevolent is true.