Therefore, believing God to encompass all of these traits would leave anyone in their right mind wondering how anything bad could ever happen in the world. Some suggest that accepting two of these three qualities allows for the possibility of evil. For example evil could thrive if God were omniscient and omnibenevolent, but not omnipotent. God would then be all-knowing of the evil that takes place. Also, he would crave goodness in the world.
Surely and all loving (omnibenevolent) God wouldn’t allow this. Human Evil is where people cause harm to others and create chaos. Why would God create a world that consists of evil and cruelty? therefore Mill questions the idea of an omnibenevolent God, however if it is disagreed that God isn’t all loving then it could suggest that God doesn’t know of our suffering and could mean that omniscience cannot possibly be an attribute of God. Mill would say that if God is omniscient then surely he is aware of our suffering and would therefore intervene in the evil as he loves us all.
The Free Will Defense In this essay I will talk about why the free will defense is a logical and reasonable solution to the problem of evil. I will first define what the problem of evil is, and then I will define and explain why the free will defense works to solve the problem. I will also bring up and support all criticisms against the free will defense. I will continue by responding to those criticisms, and then conclude by summing up my main ideas. The strongest criticism to the free will defense is that God, being an all-powerful being, should be able to create free agents who make only good choices, freely.
Hume concluded that the three points are inconsistent. If God is omnipotent, He is aware of existing evil and suffering, and knows how to put a stop to it. If God is omnibenevolent He will want to put a stop to it. If God is both of these attributes, then evil cannot exist. Since we know evil and suffering is a necessary bi-product of human life, we must acknowledge that evil does exist.
He argues that humans are made in the image of God with the potential to accomplish perfection in the future, and then humans will then grow to become the likeness of God. Hick accepted that if the likeness of God is to be accomplished through experiencing evil then God is partially responsible for evil. However, Hick argues that God is justified in allowing evil because we develop virtues as a result of overcoming life’s challenges. These virtues are “intrinsically more valuable than the virtues created within him ready made without effort on his own part”. Vardy’s example further supports this with the analogy of the king who falls in love with a peasant girl.
He solved this problem by saying that god is responsible for the evil in the world by defining evil as “privation”. By this he means when we use worlds like “evil” and “bad” we are saying that something does not meet our expectations of what it should be like ( by nature). Augustine wrote that evil is not a substance but is in fact an absence of kind feelings. Augustine also said that god can’t be blamed for creating evil himself that occurs in the world. As he said that in fact evil comes from angels and human beings who chose deliberately to deny and disobey what God had taught them, by turning away from him and what he had wished for mankind.
The freewill defence argues that freewill is an essential part of humanity, without which we would be like robots. This explains why freewill is sufficiently worth the risk of evil, as many circumstances of evil are a part of the soul-making process according to John Hick. Genuine freewill requires the possibility of evil and without this possibility we would have freewill. It then argues that all the accounts of evil that have happened throughout history were necessary to our freewill. This explains why God did not simply step in and save us from the worst effects of our choices.
Evil is simply the lack of good. Which ties into the next issue Augustine addresses; that god allows us to choose evil, while he can prevent us from doing so, given that he's all-powerful. Augustine argues that god knows what is going to happen, yet he isn’t the cause of it. We as humans have free will, and god knows what would happen if they make choices using their wills. Augustines concepts and views really interest me and I have taken to checking out books from the public library to read about his views.
The relationship between a theistic God (considering there is one) and morality cannot be explained in simply a few sentences. One may immediately come to the conclusion that God decides what is moral and immoral. This is known as Divine Command Theory which says that morality is dependent on God’s commands. However, this gives rise to the other side that says an action is moral because God approves of it. This is known as the Autonomy thesis which says that morality is not dependent on God’s commands.
For that reason, Descartes introduces the evil demon/genius instead. Descartes assumed first that it was God, who deceived us, but with the conclusion that God is all-good, he instead conclude that an evil demon exist. This evil demon possess the same power to deceive us, which God also would possess. God is perfect. Since humans have the ability to think of a being more perfect then themselves, then this being must have planted the idea in our mind.