On the Existence of God and Evil

2470 Words10 Pages
On the existence of God and Evil Debate around the existence of God is a long-standing and seemingly unsolvable discussion with many different possible viewpoints and some heated argument surrounding it. The God whose existence is in question is defined by most as an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent creator of the universe. This definition will be used throughout. The three main stances on this argument are atheism, theism, and agnosticism, but these three far from fully describe all viewpoints held on the matter. For our purposes, theism will be defined as belief in the existence of God, as defined above. Atheism, then, is the “critique and denial of the major claims of all varieties of theism” (Nagel 168). These two views provide metaphysical arguments concerning the nature of man and God. A third commonly held belief about the existence of God is known as agnosticism. 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. Contempt for organized religion is not, however, grounds for calling oneself an atheist. An atheist is someone who has considered all sides of the argument and come to the conclusion that God does not exist, not due to opinions on organized religion, but on the actual facts and arguments of the discussion. A
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