The "Argument From Evil"

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Aisha Qadeer Due: January 15, 2011 Philosophy of Religion paper Stephen Laurence, in his written work titled “Does God Exist?”, explores the arguments both for and against believing in God. One argument stood out to me in particular, and it has been an age-old question which people have contemplated over for years. It is the “Argument from Evil”, asking how it is possible that an all-loving and omnipotent God could allow there to be evil in the world. Laurence presents the reader with five premises and a conclusion regarding this. 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. But this could also just lead us back to the original problem, bringing to mind the thought that if God is able to do anything and everything, then he should be able to create a perfect world with no evil. The fifth premise states simply “But, there’s evil.” Laurence distinguishes between the two different kinds of evil when explaining this argument. He says that natural evil can
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