Presentation on theme: "The Problem of Evil: How Can an All-Good, All-Powerful God Exist and There Still Be Evil in the World? Dostoevsky: God and evil are not reconcilable: evil."— Presentation transcript:
The Problem of Evil: How Can an All-Good, All-Powerful God Exist and There Still Be Evil in the World? Dostoevsky: God and evil are not reconcilable: evil is real, so is God, and that situation is senseless Suffering (e.g., of children and animals) is never made up and is unforgiveable. It has no purpose or rationale: that is why faith is not rational and does not make sense
Problem of Evil (continued) J. L. Mackie: attempted reconciliations of an all-powerful, all-good God and the existence of evil (“theodicies) fail –Reply 1: evil is defined from our perspective Response: this makes evil (& good) unreal –Reply 2: evil is needed to highlight the good Response: so evil is ultimately good? And why so much evil? Why can’t God give us such knowledge?
Problem of Evil (continued) –Reply 3: evil is necessary to appreciate the good; in addition, it makes us become better moral beings Response: why can’t God produce good without causing evil? Is evil ultimately good, then, as a means? And why so much evil (including natural evils)? What does a dying infant learn through suffering?
Problem of Evil (continued) Reply 4: evil results from free choices –Response: why wouldn’t God create a world in which we always freely choose to do good? To say that freedom requires that we sometimes choose evil means that such choices would have to be random –Furthermore, if God truly cannot control human choices, then he is not omnipotent
Problem of Evil (continued) Reply 5 (John Hick): experience of evil is part of the process by which we evolve into moral beings –Response: the horrific suffering necessary for such moral development is inconsistent with the existence of a loving God
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