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A Good God and An Evil World. The atheist argues that the existence of evil proves there is no God The foundation for the atheistic argument goes back.

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Presentation on theme: "A Good God and An Evil World. The atheist argues that the existence of evil proves there is no God The foundation for the atheistic argument goes back."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Good God and An Evil World

2 The atheist argues that the existence of evil proves there is no God The foundation for the atheistic argument goes back at least to the time of Epicurus ( B.C.) It is an argument based on the three fundamental attributes of God: 1) His Omniscience; 2) His Omnipresence; 3) His Omnibenevolence

3 The argument maintains that since evil exists it is possible for God to possess only two of these attributes 1) If He is omniscient and omnibenevolent, He must not be omnipotent 2) If He is omnipotent and omniscient, He must not be omnibenevolent

4 So, according to atheism, God cannot be all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving, and evil still exist in the world 3) If He is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, He must not be omniscient Atheism’s conclusion: There is no God Atheism’s conclusion: There is no God

5 Wallace Matson (professor of philosophy at Univ. of California- Berkeley) stated about this argument: “It is the only philosophical argument I know that I think I would award the title ‘conclusive’ to” Thus, according to atheism, only a perfect world is compatible with the God of the Bible

6 This is the atheist’s only “conclusive” argument; but does it prove his case? Let’s examine these matters of the existence of evil and the goodness and other attributes of God

7 The “Problem” of Evil Presents a Problem for Atheism

8 In order to say that belief in God is not compatible with the existence of evil, the atheist acknowledges that evil exists But, how does an atheist know what constitutes “evil?” Against what standard does he measure those things determined to be “evil?”

9 The word “evil” is itself moral terminology In order for moral evil to exist, there has to be an absolute moral standard But, according to atheism, there is no absolute wrong

10 Atheism’s system is based on subjectivism- self-created standards such as “love,” “the good of society,” etc. How can “love” or “the good of society” be determined if all such “standards” are left up to the individual or groups of individuals?

11 Atheism, in trying to regulate evil in any fashion, relinquishes its argument since any regulation of wrong automatically acknowledges the existence of wrong and implies an absolute moral standard for determining wrong To acknowledge an absolute standard is to acknowledge the source of such- God

12 By what (or whose) standard will atheism judge evil? Hitler’s? Bin Laden’s? McVeigh’s? Until atheism solves this problem, it has no right even to speak of evil And, each time it does, it relinquishes its own argument against God’s existence

13 In his debate with Wallace Matson on the Existence of God, Thomas B. Warren asked a series of questions, two of which are of particular interest on this subject “1) In murdering six million Jewish men, women and children, the Nazis were guilty of real (objective) moral wrong.” Mr. Matson answered, “True”

14 “2) In torturing and/or murdering six million Jews the Nazis were guilty of violating (check all appropriate boxes): ___The Law of Germany ___The Law of the U.S. ___The Law of England ___The Law of God ___Some other law (explain)” “2) In torturing and/or murdering six million Jews the Nazis were guilty of violating (check all appropriate boxes): ___The Law of Germany ___The Law of the U.S. ___The Law of England ___The Law of God ___Some other law (explain)”

15 Mr. Matson drew in another space and wrote “No law at all (But I don’t claim to be a lawyer)” In his notes and in his reply, brother Warren stated, “Ridiculous- claims one can do wrong without breaking any law”

16 The Love of God Required the Free Will of Man

17 Love itself requires free will For example, in a free society, one “forced to get married” is not bound to that marriage- love did not prompt the marriage; there was no freedom of choice (cf. Heroism, etc.) Robotic, mechanical actions brought about by necessity do not invoke love

18 Full control does not engender love, nor does it result from love Love is only meaningful when it is chosen and occurs only when one is likewise free not to choose it One with the freedom to love also has the freedom to reject and hurt Freedom is the greatest of all risks

19 This being true, the Being Who epitomizes love created man with free will and left Himself vulnerable to man’s choice either to love and accept Him or to reject and hurt Him

20 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. I John 4:8

21 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. I John 4:16

22 This being true, the Being Who epitomizes love created man with free will and left Himself vulnerable to man’s choice either to love and accept Him or to reject and hurt Him Evil exists, not because God is powerless to stop it, but because God allows and wants man to have freedom

23 Evil exists, not because God is tyrannical and hates man, but because He is gracious and loves man He created man in His image and gave him the freedom to reject Him in order that He might obtain and experience the love of His creation

24 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:26, 27

25 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. I John 5:3

26 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15

27 Atheism insists that if God exists He should and would have prohibited and prevented all evil In order to do so, He would had to have made man as a mere puppet on a string, a robotic being without the freedom to make his own choices

28 Would any atheist agree that this is the avenue that should have been chosen, eliminating any freedoms and choices by man? If so, he should so direct his own home as long as he is physically stronger than his children

29 Is atheism willing to abide by the consequences of its own teachings in regard to this matter? This should also be the policy regarding other societies, as long as their “standards” do not coincide with those of others The love of God required the free will of man

30 The Free Will of Man Necessarily Allows for the Presence of Evil

31 Due to man’s freedom to choose, there was and is the possibility that he will make the wrong choice(s) As categorized by man there is “natural evil” (disease, weather phenomenon, etc.) and “moral evil” (actions of humanity)

32 “Natural evil” is the result ultimately of sin The consequences of sins of the past resulted in such things as man’s being cast from the perfect environment God made for man, and the flood (which brought about tremendous changes in the world)

33 God placed natural laws in place for the benefit of man Natural laws must be consistent in order to be of value- consistent in time as well as location However, when natural laws are violated, consequences occur

34 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Luke 13:4, 5

35 “Moral evil” is the result of man’s choosing to violate moral standards and restraints The idea of beings with freedom of choice and yet without the freedom to choose right or wrong is an impossibility Although omnipotent, God cannot accomplish that which is impossible

36 Evil and suffering result from wrong choices Sometimes it results from our own individual choices

37 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

38 As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death. Proverbs 11:19

39 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23

40 Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:1, 2

41 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. Ezekiel 18:20

42 Evil and suffering result from wrong choices Sometimes it results from our own individual choices Sometimes it results from the wrong choices of others (whether in the past or present)

43 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Romans 5:12

44 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. I Corinthians 15:22

45 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5

46 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Luke 13:1-3

47 Suffering and Evil Can Work to Our Advantage

48 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. Psalm 119:71

49 God is not to be blamed for the evil that exists in the world However, suffering can be beneficial to us Thomas B. Warren, in connection with this thought, stated that whether in persecution or other suffering the faithful Christian:

50 “…must trust God, as his Father, to have designed his environment so that he has some morally sufficient reason (providing him ‘a vale of soul making’) for having created a situation in which such events could occur. One must say, in effect, ‘Even though I die, yet will I trust him’.”

51 The situations of life will either make us better, make us bitter, or make us say “Why bother?” When evil strikes and suffering occurs, we can blame God or deny His attributes (He has given us that freedom) Or, we can choose to be better individuals and decide to make the world a better place

52 Through suffering and through asking the questions that inevitably go with it, the Christian is driven to his knees and to a greater reliance on and trust in the God Who created him The imperfections of this world should cause us to seek that better world

53 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4

54 Evil and suffering serve to remind us that this world was never intended to be our eternal home

55 No one can understand every facet of human suffering No man can fully understand what drives men to evil actions But, to the objective person it is clear that the existence of evil and suffering are not incompatible with the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God

56 God’s answer to evil and suffering was not to prevent the possibilities for such It was not to remove man’s freedom of choice and make of him a robotic being His answer was to send His Son into the world to suffer at the hands of evil men (the greatest of all evils)

57 God’s answer was one of love- the greatest act of love ever known to the world

58 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

59 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. II Corinthians 4:16-18

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61 Sources -“The Problem of Evil (Pt. 1);” Kevin W. Rhodes; “Sound Words” -The Big Argument: Does God Exist?; John Ashton & Michael Westacott -“Addressing the Enigma of Pain & Suffering;” Earl Edwards; Equipping God’s People to Deal With Adversity; Neal Pollard (director); Greg Elliot (editor) -The Problem of Evil and Suffering, Edward P. Myers


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