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.
Evil is just a perversion of this good. Since all things are made from God, they start out solely good. Evil comes into play when this innate good gets corrupted. Augustine said, “For what is that which we call evil but the absence of good?” (Bourke 65). He defines evil as, “…what is evil, which is nothing else than corruption, either of the measure, or the form, or the order, that belong to nature.
Based on my belief, we cannot label God as all-powerful and loving considering that he has allowed the existence of evil not only to be welcomed into society but also to let it continue. The third tenet of suffering contradicts the first two tenets of Gods love and omnipotence. If God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, then why does he continue to allow suffering to exist within the world of humanity? The best way to answer this question according to Thomas Aquinas would be ““Nothing which implies contradiction falls under the omnipotence of God.” (Summa Theologiae, Questions on God)
They have raised questions like ‘How can there be a God if there is evil?' These questions were raised due to God's nature: he is said to be all-powerful, all- knowing and all-good. If this is the case, why doesn't he stop evil? And, since people are supposed to be created in God's image, why are they capable of moral evil? If one believes that God exists, there can only be one answer: evil exists because God allows it, and moral evil exists because God has given us freedom of choice.
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. The writings and interpretations of St. Augustine, J.L. Mackie, and David Hume have discredited the free will defense. This is much due to the notions that God could choose not to punish man for the sins of Adam and Eve and create them so that they always freely choose the good. The only true defense to theodicy is that a Christian God does not exist.
The arguments stated above prove that God is not all-powerful, all-knowing and all-good. If he is, then the world will be a perfect place without the existence of evil. But we all know accidents, disasters, murders, sufferings and many other evil things do happen, we can conclude that there is no perfect world and God is not all-knowing, all-powerful and all-good. From all of the examples that I mentioned above, it is evident that evil do exists side-by-side God, this means that God is not able to rule evil. Thus, God is only all-good.
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.
Evodius holds the position: “The existence of a good, all knowing (omniscient), and all-powerful (omnipotent) God is contradicted by our experience of evil in the world. It makes sense to conclude that God does not exist.” (Bwanali). As a response, Augustine asserts that the evil that we experience is just a lack of goodn... ... middle of paper ... ... good and is not the reason for evil are the ones that will live happy, faithful lives. All in all, the problem of evil has been debated for thousands of years. 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.
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.
Since God is the being to which the Problem of Evil poses the greatest problem, perhaps the definition of God can be altered to allow evil. This does not work for several reasons. First, the Cosmological Argument only proves one definition of God. By changing the definition of God there is no longer any point to the matter because the Cosmological Argument and thus the Problem of Evil become irrelev... ... middle of paper ... ...ems to follow that he was bound to act as he did.” (Ayer 481) Compatibilism proves that free will and Determinism are compatible and specifically that Determinism cannot be used to disprove free will because free will is inherently determined. Though there is some debate as to the existence of God, the matter has not been sufficiently proven one way or the other.