The Problem of Evil
Posted by Michael Dickens on August 12, 2009
The Problem of Evil states that God cannot exist, since evil exists in the world.
God: omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), omnipresent (present everywhere), omnibenevolent (all-loving) being
Assume that evil exists, and also assume that it is better to have no evil than to have evil.
Premise__ 1. It is better to have no evil than to have evil. Hence evil is bad, hence an omnibenevolent being would not want it.
Premise__ 2. Evil exists.
Conclusion 3. God has not eradicated evil. (follows from (2))
Premise__ 4. God is omnipotent.
Conclusion 5. God is capable of eradicating evil. (follows from (4))
Premise__ 6. God is omniscient.
Conclusion 7. God knows that evil exists. (follows from (6))
Conclusion 8. If God were omnibenevolent, he would have eradicated evil. (follows from (1), (5), (7))
Conclusion 9. God is not omnibenevolent. (follows from (8))
Objection 1: Evil is the absence of God.
Sorry, but God is omnipresent. Fail.
Objection 2: God granted humans free will so that humans could choose to commit evil or not.
Rebuttal a. Free will is impossible.
Rebuttal b. This objection essentially goes against premise 1. However, it is necessary to prove that granting free will is more important than eradicating evil.
Rebuttal c. God knows what you are going to do before you do it. Therefore, free will does not exist.
Objection 3: Evil makes life better.
This one is a bit unorthodox, and not necessarily intuitive. But think about it. So many stories have a “bad guy”, an evil character. We find evil to be interesting. So God allows the existence of evil in order to make life more interesting.
Rebuttal. Since God created humans, he could have designed them to be able to have just as much fun without evil as with it.