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 flaws of its own. 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.
Critical Analysis: Evil as evidence for Christianity Evil as Evidence for Christianity is Gregory E. Ganssle’s attempt to logically explain and disprove the claim that evil points toward there being no God. Ganssle claims exactly the opposite, that evil by definition points toward the existence of God with much more substantial evidence than the latter. Ganssle states that there are “three ways in which our thoughts about evil represent facts that point to God ”. Humans have moral objections of good and evil, evil distorts good reality away from its objective purpose or end, and the objective nature of evil rather than the concept of evil points to God. An enjoyable yet short and to the point argument of Gods existence the author captures the attention of the reader and does a great job of defending his claim that evil points to the existence of God.
God and the Problem with Sin and Evil Before one understands why there is evil in the world one must ask two important questions. First, who is God and what is His personality/characteristics, and second, what is sin and how does it affect humans and their relationship with God? By understanding these two different types of questions, one will understand the implications of evil and therefore be able to establish if God truly is evil or if sin truly is the root of all the evil in the world. Sin is defined by Erickson when he refers to the work of Satan, saying, “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is likeness of God.” 1 Consequently,
Topic: 1, Does the Problem of Evil show that God does not exist? Justify your answer and respond to possible objections. This essay is a conclusive look at the problems and contradictions underlying a belief in God and the observable traits of the world. This problem is traditionally labelled The Problem of Evil. This essay will be an analysis into the Problem of Evil and a counter rebuttal to objections levied against the Problem of Evil.
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.
These would manifest as illness, death, or pain. Secondly, evil would be revealed in people’s actions and deeds, especially when their souls were corrupted by vices such as greed, envy, pride, and lust (Mann 40). Augustine describes in Confessions how these perceptions of God and Evil posed a major inconsistency in his thinking. If God, as he assumed before his conversion to Christianity, was supreme and omnipotent, how was it possible that there was evil in the world? In his search for answers to this question, he turned towards Manichaeism, which provided him with some answers to his questions.
Hick offers many interesting views on evil and why exactly it exists. However, to some people, like Augustine, it sounds almost too good to be true. There are many theologians, and even non-theologians that will say evil is a necessary part of life. Augustine began to examine the idea of evil and came to the conclusion that an explanation for the existence of evil must be given, or else one must accept either that God created evil and therefore is partly evil as well. Evil is usually associated with nothingness and destruction.
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.
“I make peace and create evil. I the Lord do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7). The Greek philosopher Epicurus put the Good God’s Evil puzzle in a very clear logical progression: “Is God willing to prevent evil, but is not able? Then he is not omnipotent Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent Is he both able & willing?
Through interpretations of St. Augustine, J.L. Mackie, and David Hume's arguments in reference to the God and evil problem, the problems inherent in the argument will support the assertion that the Christian God cannot exist; the definition must be altered. St. Augustine argues that the world is fundamentally good and believes in the concept of the Great Chain of Being. God is the ultimate and supreme good and each being, in a chain-like fashion, is a lesser degree of the perfect idea of good. Evil only comes into play when a member of God's world renounces his/her role in the proper scheme of things.