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07/24/2012

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Steven Frank Frank 1
Mr. Hasanoglu
Philosophy of Human Nature
11-8-12
The Problem of Evil
The “Problem of Evil” is a simple theory to grasp in that it is straight forward. It is the idea that if God is all good, all powerful, and all knowing, then how could there possibly be so much evil in the world? The only four possible answers to this question goes against what the Christian faith holds to be true. Either God is all good but not all powerful, God is all powerful but not all good, God is neither all powerful or all good, or there just simply is no God. The Problem of Evil places the Christian faith into question of whether or not they are telling the truth about their so called “Christian God” which also puts into question their whole religion itself because if the main characteristics of their God are false then how can they trust anything within the religion? The Problem of Evil clearly proves that God cannot be all good, all powerful, and all knowing which therefore completely distinguishes the Christian faiths ideas on their “perfect” God.
A lot of people argue with what exactly qualifies as “evil” but everyone can agree that evil has shown itself many times throughout numerous historic events. The crusades, the Inquisition, and the holocaust are all examples of war that consisted of mass destruction and high death counts which were intertwined with all kinds of evil. When I say mass destruction I mean the destruction that is caused on a civilization, for instance the bombing of the World Trade Centers and the terror that was caused from it is an act of mass destruction and terrorism. Also
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death itself is not evil but when someone else causes another person’s death then it is the action which is evil. The major concept behind all wars in history are intertwined with murder in that soldiers would kill each other in order to receive winning results and the higher death count would prove who was most victorious. Disease and pandemics are examples of evil that do not even come from mankind, instead it comes for the creator himself. If God is all powerful but chooses not to eradicate evil itself, then God cannot be all good, if God is all good and wants to get rid of all evil but he cannot then God is not all powerful, if God is all good and wants to rid the world of evil and he has the power to do so but he does not know where the evil is happening so he cannot stop it then he must not be all knowing, or lastly there just simply is no such thing as this God.
A lot of people like to defend the characteristics of God as being true in that God is in fact all good, all powerful, and all knowing. They choose to defend this image of God in many ways but all of them seem to have major flaws. The ways they choose to defend God are through the arguments that God could not have created a world without evil because in order for good to exist it requires evil, a world with evil is somewhat better than a world without it, the evil exists in the world because of the absence of God, or that our free will is what causes evil so God is not held responsible. All these ideas look pretty believable at first but when you look deeper into what they are saying you come to find many flaws that defeats the entire purpose of their statement.
The first argument defending the Christian God is that God could have not created a world without evil because good requires evil. It is how someone acts and thinks that separates
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the two which allows one to be good and if there was no evil in the world then there would also be no good. There are many problems with this theory. One is that if evil did not exist in the world then that would not mean that good could not exist because that makes no sense, rather it would just simply mean that everyone was good and what is wrong with that? Another argument for this theory is the idea of “Heaven” itself. Heaven is a place that is defined to be perfect in that it lacks all evil but if Heaven lacked all evil then it could not be perfect according to this theory because without evil there would also be no good. In other words Heaven would not be a “good” place because there is no evil within it. When all of these arguments come into play it proves that the theory that God created a world with evil because without it good would not exist, is infact false.
Another argument defending the Christian God is that a world with evil is somewhat better than a world without it. The reasoning behind this idea is that a world that consists of no danger is a world that lacks any heroism, or a world that has no hardship is a world that has no charity, or a world without any suffering is a world with no salvation. Once again this argument fails for a bunch of reasons. If someone claims that a world with evil is better than a world without it then this would mean that this life on earth is better on then life in heaven because in heaven there is no evil and they argue that evil in a world is better than an world without it. If this is true then in a way God would be punishing us from sending us to heaven rather than reincarnating us which completely goes against the Christians belief of Gods reasoning behind sending those deserving to Heaven. Also if God created us then God created us with the need for suffering in order to achieve salvation, so either he was evil to do as much or his powers do not extend to the natures of good and evil. There are also many evils in the world that are without
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effects whatsoever and therefore serve no greater good such as incurable disease, rape, or suicide. Once again this proves that God cannot be both all powerful and all good because it is obvious that a world without evil is better than a world with it and if God wanted or could create a world with no evil he would have.
The other argument that is made for defending God is the argument that evil exists in the world because of the absence of God. If this is the case then it distinguishes the idea that God is omnipresent. Thus assuming that God is omnipotent but not omnipresent meaning that evil can exist wherever God is not. So why does God not just go there? I mean according to the Christian faith he is all powerful? Either he is not all knowing in that he does not know where to go, or God is not omnipresent meaning God does know that evil is there but he cannot go to it, or God does know about the evil going on there and does have the power to stop it because he is omnipresent but chooses not to because God is not good, or lastly there just simply is no God out there.
The last argument that is made in defending the God we all know is Free Will. God gave us free will in that we can choose on what we want to do and it is the idea that if we choose the wrong thing to do that it is not Gods fault rather it is our own. Unfortunately for these defenders there is yet again many things wrong with this idea. If God is all knowing then wouldn’t God know what we would be most likely to choose with our free will and if he knew we would choose evil then is not God responsible for the evil? An example I heard is if a man made a robot that was capable of destroying his laboratory and when the laboratory did in fact get destroyed by the robot who was to blame? Obviously the robot is not only one held responsible, so is the
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creator of the robot because he allowed for the possibility. In other words if God gives us the choice to do evil then God must be partly responsible for the evil that has and does exist in the world today. Also if God was all powerful would he not try an at least intervene with the evil we may choose to do? If he was all good would he not want to intervene and lastly if he was all knowing would he not know when we would be vulnerable to choosing the evil that the world offers?
So once again it is a fact that there is so much evil in the world and that takes away from the fact that God cannot be all good, all powerful, and all knowing. Thus meaning that one of the aspects of God has to be false or it is even possible that more than one of these characteristics could in fact be false. If God was all powerful then God could intervene and prevent evil and if God was all good then God would want to intervene and end evil so the idea that God could not have created a world without evil fails. The idea that the world is better with evil fails because of its controversy with heaven, the idea that evil is a lack of Gods present fails because he is supposedly known to be omnipresent, and the idea that free will lets God off the hook for the evil fails because God is suppose to be all knowing. So in the end we are left with a logical fact that if an omnipotent God does exist then God must be responsible for the evil in the world and therefore God is either not all good, not all powerful, not all knowing, or unfortunately there is no God. In the end this defeats the idea of the Christian God in that they are wrong on his characteristics in some matter and because of this it puts the entire Christian Faith at being a true religion.

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