Who’s Problem Is The Problem of Evil?
Defending Truth Apologetics
Evil and the Existence of God
If you are a Christian and have ever had a conversation with a non-believer about your faith, chances are you have been hit with the most common objection to belief in God – the problem of evil. You may have even struggled with this same problem in your own life, as most of us will at some point. The objection, in point form, usually sounds something like this:
1. If a good and loving and powerful God exists, then evil could not exist.
2. Evil does exist.
3. Therefore, God does not exist.
It’s a powerful argument, for sure, and one that we as Christians must be prepared to address. It certainly doesn’t take a lot of searching to find examples of the most unspeakable evils in the world. The news and internet are plagued with gruesome murders, rapes, assaults, corruption, theft, human trafficking, and many other examples. Without a doubt – evil exists; which is precisely why atheists will always point to it in their rejection of the existence of God (point 2 and 3).
However, using the existence of such evil to disprove God is a big mistake. People seem to assume that the problem of evil is only a problem if you believe in God. In actuality, it’s a problem for everyone. As Christian apologist Greg Koukl often puts it, “If you get rid of God because of the problem of evil, you haven’t solved the problem. You’ve just gotten rid of one possible solution!” Both Christianity and atheism need to supply answers to the problem of evil. So how do atheists solve this problem?
When someone brings up evil as an objection to the existence of God, it is often helpful to ask them how they explain the problem of evil. What do they mean when they say evil? They are likely taking for granted that in an atheistic worldview, there is no way to ground concepts like good and evil. Something can only be evil if there is such a thing as good. But what is the standard by which this person is differentiating between the two concepts? Since they don’t believe in God, the only standard they are left with is human opinions. So who gets to decide what is good or what is evil? By human standards, the concept of evil makes no sense…
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