Essay/Term paper: The problem of evil
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The Problem of Evil
Evil exists, a plain and simple fact. The argument for the problem of
evil (and suffering) proves that fact. The argument for the problem of evil
states that there is a all-good, all-powerful God. It states that God being
all-good means that he only wants good to exist. But, look at all the bad and
evil in the world. A total contradiction of a all-good God. God being all-
powerful means that he can make whatever he wants. So, if God can make whatever
he wants then why did he not make all people and things good? This all boils
down too the fact that evil does exist and with evil existing there could not be
an all-good, all powerful God.
I feel that the argument for the problem of evil is a good argument.
The first solution to the problem of evil states that good cannot exist without
evil. Not a bad argument, but faulty. With evil existing you have something
to compare it to, which is good. But, If God was really all-good the word evil
would not exist because everything would just be good. If God is so good and so
powerful than why does he let so much evil exist? I could understand a little
bit of bad people and things to make the good stand out, but there is so much.
All the time in the news you hear about someone being murdered, children being
molested, a natural disaster striking a area and many people suffering and
dying, etc... This also shows that God cannot be all-powerful if lets all this
evil exist in the universe that he supposedly created.
The second solution to the problem of evil states that God allows evil
to exist in order to bring out a greater good. Or that the universe is better
with some evil in it. Better? Why would God being so good and concerned about
humans want us to suffer? This solution is much like the first, saying that
evil creates or brings good. Yet, if there was only good we would not have to
worry about bringing out a greater good if everything was already good. Some
would argue that evil brings out human virtues, and thus in a all-good world
they would be lost. Yet human virtues would not be needed(or exist) in a all-
good world. Also with human virtues you get the human vices, more bad or evil
beliefs. God allowing so much evil to exist, again shows that there cannot be a
all-good all-powerful God.
The third solution states that God gave humans free will. Yes, that it
good that God gave us the freedom to chose. God being all-good and all-
powerful should have gave us free will in the sense that we can choose among
only things that are good. This would seem to restrict the definition of free
will since your options of what to chose would be limited. Yet, if everything
was good the definition of free will would not be restricted either because
there would only be good to choose from. With God allowing evil and free will
to exist this creates a personal evil because you can choose evil. Also there
are evils such as natural disasters and diseases that exist but man did not
freely choose. A all-good and all-powerful God would not let such things exist.
People die and suffer from these things that exist with a so-called all good and
The forth solution by John Hicks states that God allows evil to exist in
order to test us. Hicks states that evil is a test to see who will choose that
path. I don't understand why he would need to test us. With him being all-
powerful that would make him all-knowing. Therefore, why would he need to test
us if he knows what we are going to do, and what we are doing? There would be
no reason to test us if God was really all powerful. If evil did not exist
there would be not be a need for a test either, because God would not need to
test the good people do. Also, if good is using evil as a test, and someone
does not pass his test then I would assume that person would not make it to
heaven. The person would be stuck in hell after they died. A all-good and all-
powerful God would not want people to suffer, thus no need to test the person
because that could lead to hell(suffering) which God would not want. Innocent
people also would suffer from the wrong doings of others. Why would God want
the innocent good people to suffer because others chose evil? This also shows
that the test of evil is a bad solution because even the people that chose to be
good can suffer along the way.
The problem of evil holds to be a good argument. The solutions did not
prove that God was all-good or all-powerful, with evil existing as it does such
a God could not exist. I feel that there is a God, but he does not have total
control. He is more off a overseer of what happens here on earth. Someone that
does not have the power to make everything good, yet he keeps us in line when
things get out of hand. I think it's all a matter of faith and what you truly
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Essay on The Problem of Evil
2448 Words10 Pages
The Problem of Evil
The Judaeo/Christian tradition is founded upon the belief that there exists a supernatural personal being who is the ultimate creator and to which all other beings owe their existence. Three major characteristics are ascribed to this being (God?), that of being wholly good (omnibenevolent), wholly powerful (omnipotent) and all knowing (omniscient). This is the foundation of western religious thought and it is these characteristics and their relationship with evil which comprise the theme of this essay. I intend to show that the existence of evil is not a sufficient justification for the non-existence of God. I will argue that a wholly good, wholly powerful, God can co-exist with Evil. This does not mean that, as a…show more content…
An omnipotent, all-powerful, God could be seen as the answer to many problems of Faith, for example explaining the resurrection in Christianity as well as the virgin birth and the miracles. But omnipotence has its logical problems, as does the idea of a 'wholly good' (omnibenevolent) God.
The dilemma, put simply, is why should a God, who has a wholly good, moral character and is the creator of all things, allow the existence of evil? Reconciling an omnipotent and omnibenevolent God with the existence of evil (for we know from empirical evidence that evil undoubtedly exists) can leave us on the horns of a dilemma. Consider the two conclusions below:
Premise 1: God is omnibenevolent (all good).
Premise 2: Goodness and evil are logical opposites.
1st conclusion: An omnipotent and omnibenevolent God exists and evil does not.
2nd conclusion: An omnipotent and omnibenevolent God does not exist but evil does.
Recalling the definitions of omnipotence and omnibenevolence, we may be inclined to feel God exists and not evil or equally, that evil exists and God does not. Either way it appears that both conclusions are mutually exclusive. J. L. Mackie in his essay, Evil and Omnipotence says,
"These additional principles [premises] are that good is opposed to evil, in such a way that a good thing always eliminates evil as far as it can, and that there are no limits to what an