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.
While Philo agreed with Demea that it is apparent that there is evil in the world, he disagreed in that Gods nature is impossible to know. Like Cleanthes, he agreed that God’s attributes can be derived empirically, however he disagreed in that he said that God cannot have his triad of attributes while evil is existent. Philo said that while there may be more good than evil, the fact that there is any evil in the world indicates that God is contradicting his triad. So, Philo concluded that while it is evident God exists through his necessity of being the prime mover, and while his attributes can be derived empirically through observations of nature, it is evident that he is lacking one of the supposed attributes. 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.
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.
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.
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.
(LPE5) Therefore, Christian theism is false (Merchant, 78).” The standard logical problem of evil brings God’s omnipotence into question, yet atheists have modified the logical problem of evil so that it also brings into question God’s omnibenevolence and even His omniscience. The modified logical problem of evil is as followed: “(LPE1) According to Christian theism, God is perfectly good and, thus, wills to prevent evil. (LPE6) According to Christian theism, God is all-knowing and, thus, foreknew that evil would exist. (LPE7) Therefore, according to Christian theism, God wouldn’t freely create this world. (LPE8) But, according to Christian theism, God freely created this world.
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 disagree on whether or not this world could be the best possible world God created.
In Augustine's Confessions, the early church father puts forth a complex theodicy in which he declares evil to be nonexistent. Such a leap may seem to be illogical, but this idea stems from the understanding of what is substance and what is not. According to Augustine, the duality of good and evil is false, because anything that is good is substance and what humans think of as evil is simply the absence of the good (Confessions, 126). Vices for example, are just the display of the absence of the good. Pride is the absence of humility, unrighteous anger the absence of temperance, and so on.
They believed that humankind, being a byproduct of the devil, was inherently evil and, therefore, not culpable for evil in the world. With the belief that humans were capable of free will, Augustine ultimately broke ties with the Manichaeans. Human beings as one entity of body and soul were made good by the almighty God and with their free will were able to cause evil phenomenons to occur, which rules out the idea that God is the cause of evil. Peter Kreeft was one that agreed with the ideals of Augustine and offered an answer to why God created the possibility of evil. According to Augustine, there is no such thing as evil.
I found comparing our views very interesting. The problem of evil proves contradiction in religious philosophy, that a perfect God may or may not exist (Pecornio, 1). If a perfect God exists, why would he put evil into our world and promote suffering? Some philosophers have argued that this suffering is consequence for our own sins. If you willingly choose a path of evil, then evil will present itself onto you.