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The Relationship Between God and Evil

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Evil exists. This bizarre conundrum has perplexed philosophers since the dawn of civilization, and remains in hot debate today because of the theological implications inherent in the statement. To many on this planet, the source of life is an all-loving, all-powerful, omniscient god who created the universe – and all the laws therein – in seven days, as described in the Bible. And yet still, evil exists. How can these two premises be simultaneously true? Surely, an all-loving god would want to do something about this problem, and an all-powerful god could absolutely remedy a situation if it so desired. It seems as though the common perception of the Bible’s god is inaccurate. However, it could be argued that the Bible’s god is accurate, and that said perception is somewhat skewed, considering that on numerous occasions, God claims responsibility for evil. “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?

Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing?

Then why call him God?

Of course, this doesn’t truly disprove the biblical God, but it certainly puts it into perspective. According to Christian doctrine, God raised His Son, Jesus, from the dead. This seemingly impossible feat proves, in the minds of believers, that their god is capable of anything. But as indicated by Epicurus, the monumental roadblock of suffering hinders this leap of faith. For example, if God raised Jesus from the dead – and thus intervened in the ...

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...lized by – God, Dr. Roth’s Divine Dichotomy of the Christian God is now comparable to the duality of the Eastern yin-yang. “Good” and “Evil” are clearly inherent in the universe, and are inevitably built into the fabric of all models of the Divine.

Works Cited

James, William. The Varieties of Religious Experience. New York: Simon & Schuster Inc, 1902.

Laertius, Diogenes, and C, D Yonge. The Lives And Opinions Of Eminent Philosophers. City: Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2006

Mackie, John L. "Evil and Omnipotence." Mind ns 64.254 (1955): 200-12. Http://www.ditext.com. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.

Peterson, Michael. “Toward a Theodicy for Our Day.” Evil and the Christian God. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1982.

Roth, John K. “A Theodicy of Protest.” Encountering Evil: Live options in Theodicy. Ed. Stephen T. Davis. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1981.
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