Basic Outline of the Problem of Evil

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Philosophy 2000 The Problem of Evil Epicurus, an ancient philosopher, was the first to argue the problem of evil, attempting to understand how evil exists if a morally perfect being also exists. To understand the complex problem of evil we have to understand what God is believed to be and how that plays into the evil in this world. God is a being of which no greater can be conceived. This God or deity would be morally perfect in everyway. This being would be omnipotent or all-powerful, he would be omniscient or all knowing, he would be omnibenevolent or all good, and finally he would be omnipresent or everywhere you could imagine. By definition then if all of these factors make up God then evil will not and cannot exist. Alas there is evil in this world we live in from minor evils like cheating on a test to major evils such as murder and terrorism. A God who is omnipotent has the power to stop all evil from even being conceived. A God who is omniscient would know everyway evil could come into existence and would know how to stop every form of these evils. A God who is omnibenevolent would want to prevent all evils. A God who knows everyway evil can exist, who is able to stop evil from even coming into existence and wants to have no evil in the world, definitely could stop the existence of evil. If such a being exists then evil must not exist in this world. This turns out to be a logical contradiction, as stated previously, evil does exist in this world in many different forms, so this being of which no greater can be conceived must not exist. Epicurus’ questions or paradox, as it has come to be known, goes as follows, “If God is willing to prevent evil, but is not able to? Then he is not omnipotent. If He is able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. If He is both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? If He is neither able nor willing? Then why
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