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.
Theologians have long struggled over the philosophical problem of evil. The existence of evil logically challenges the theistic conceptions of God and his assumed powers. The classical notion of God implies that he is all-powerful, all-knowing and perfectly good. Furthermore, theism maintains that God is a personal force who presently intervenes in the world. To be clear I take evil to mean anything harmful, malicious, or immoral.
An omnipotent God would be able to prevent evil if he wanted to. A God both omnipotent and omnibenevolent would both want to and be able to prevent evil. P2 states that evil and suffering do exist, making it apparent that an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good Gods existence would be almost impossible. If a tri-omni god existed, then evil would not be able to exist The biggest weakness of the argument will be P1 that if an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good God exists, then evil and suffering would not exist. If God is all knowing and all powerful and all good, therefore god would not want us to suffer and not put evil on earth.
Agnosticism is the purely epistemological stance that sufficient evidence does not exist for or against theism therefore the best stance on the argument is no stance at all. Combinations of these positions are possible due to their varying natures, but here only the argument between theism and atheism is examined more closely. The problem of evil is described and used to argue against the existence of God. Richard Swinburne’s solution to the problem of evil is explained and used to revise the original atheist’s argument from evil to its best, but still insufficient, form. Commonly, atheists hold the view that organized religions are corrupt and actually cause more harm than good.
He is malevolent. Is God both able and willing? Then whence commeth the evil. If he is neither able nor willing then why call him god?” This is called the inconsistent triad; if God has all these Omni qualities then why does evil still remain on earth? Augustine’s soul deciding theodicy was the demonstration that God is not responsible for the existence of evil.
If God breaks this, then he is not being omnibenevolent (all good), which is another of his attributes. However lust is far from morally right, so God cannot experience it. Leading on from that, since God is confined to being morally perfect, he has no choice whether he is or not, he can’t be omnipotent. Another aspect of this argument is can God fear? We are either scared of the unknown (e.g death) or something more powerful than ourselves (e.g lions).
Why God Allows Evil I. Introduction: An approach to explain why an all-good God tolerates the existence of evils. A. Theodicy: A vindication of God’s goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil. This is the basis Swinburne uses in justifying his reasoning on the possible co-existence of both God and Evil. B. Swinburne claims that if there is a God, the occurrence of evils is to be expected.
The first premise states that “If there is evil, God either isn’t willing or isn’t able to prevent it.” The idea of a God who is neither willing nor able to do something is almost immediately equating to no God. Without even delving further into the argument, we can already see where these premises are leading. The second premise states that “If God is all powerful, he can prevent it” and the third states that “If God is perfectly good, God will prevent it if God can.” There is no denying that the Judeo-Christian possibly Islamic God is supposed to be both all powerful and perfectly good (as stated in the fourth premise of the argument). However, Laurence also mentions that perhaps it just does not make sense for there to be a world without evil, bringing to light the validity of the second and third premises. He speaks of how a world with humans is better than a world without, and because of this it is just does not make sense to have a world without evil.
Explain the nature of the problem of evil The problem of evil was first formulated by the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus who identified that the qualities of the God of classical theism (omnipotence, omniscience and omnibenevolence) cannot be reconciled with the undeniable fact that there are evil calamities striking all the time in the form of natural and moral evil, and metaphysical (as Leibniz also suggests, originating from the concept that the world although created by God is imperfect). Is God willing to prevent evil but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
He further explains that the evil deeds that we perform are of our own accord, and that we are punished by God’s justice because they are done out of our own free will. This argument leads perfectly into the question of free will because, like Aug, I agree that we are not taught evil. Aug explains to Ev that it is impossible to learn evil deeds. It is impossible to learn something evil because our intelligence is inherently good. Since our intelligence is inherently good it is not possible to take away from something that is good, something that is evil.