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The Problem of Evil

For a long time, philosophers and other people have struggled with reconciling the idea of the evil and distress and the idea of an omnipotent, omniscient, and an all-loving God. It is important to remember that in this case, this conception of God is the Western-oriented one, therefore, in some of the other cultures and religions, the understanding of God can vary and lack one of these qualities. Philosophically it is impossible to have a deity who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and who also possess the quality of being all-caring.

The world contains a lot of evil and sufferings. The Western conception of God states that he is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving. The question then arises that for what reason God being so powerful and ideal would create the world full of evil and sufferings, or why he would cause or allow such evil in the world. The problem of evil constitutes what is probably the biggest problem for the Christianity and other religions with a conception of an all-powerful, all-knowing and an all-loving God.

Granted that human beings experience evil, sufferings and pain in the world, then it raises a question again about the existence of God: the one who is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent. If God exists, then the God would lack one or more of these qualities. J.L Mackie, an Australian philosopher, is one of the foremost thinkers regarding this aspect. Mackie devised an argument that proceeds on two premises: the first one is that there is an omnipotent, omniscient, and all-loving God; the second one is that the world contains evil and sufferings. These two positions are mutually exclusive and, therefore, only one of them can exist but not both. An omnipotent God has enough power to stop evil and suffering. An omniscient God makes ensure that he does not create creatures causing suffering, otherwise, God could anticipate the distress before it starts and stop it as far as he is all-wise and all-knowing. Lastly, an all-loving God would not let his creatures suffer, especially when they are innocent. Since it is apparent from an empirical point of view that evil exists, then it is evident that such a God does not exist.

To counter this argument, some Christian philosophers have argued that for true love to exist, there has to be free will, and hardships with sufferings are also necessary to form the human moral character. As such, God has given free will to human beings using it to commit the evil deeds. Moreover, sufferings, obstacles, and hardship are prerequisites for human development and refining of moral qualities. However, the problem is that sufferings and hardships are being in excess to justify this position. For instance, the Holocaust is not justifiable as a way to shape moral qualities, and neither is an appalling road accident where a two-month-old baby dies. So is the fact that many innocent people suffer from incurable diseases inflicting a lot of anguish on them, for no reason. In these three examples of agony, there is clearly no specific purpose of the suffering, like learning to refine a moral lesson, improving the moral qualities of the human being or assisting the person in living a better life. Even if one is to concede that suffering is a consequence of the actions of individuals (which is not always true), there are still instances of other creatures suffering who do not have free will, and whereby, cannot act maliciously which can make them suffer. Thus, there appear to be instances of horrible suffering that does not serve any higher good aim. The arising question is whether God knows about the suffering and wants to stop it but does not have enough power to do it. This assumption implies that he is not omnipotent. Alternatively, he may be able to halt the suffering but does not know about it, which eradicates the quality of omniscience. Maybe God knows about the adversity, but he does not want to stop it that evidently ruins the idea about the quality of omnibenevolence when all-good God does not let his creatures suffer. Therefore, due to these instances, it becomes highly improbable that such God exists.

Evidential Aspects of the Problem of Evil

The problem of evil seeks to understand whether, and to what extent, the existence of evil is evidence against the existence of God who is a perfect being in power, knowledge, and benevolence. Throughout the centuries, human beings have followed a belief in God who is powerful, good, and all-wise. This belief is a rational possibility, as the belief in such a being does not require the existence of such God.

The existence of such God has been a point of contention as far as empirically, there is evidence of evil in the world. Sufferings and evil include wars in which innocent people die or lose their loved ones, a hunger, which kills children in some less prosperous parts of the world, and incurable diseases affecting people who have done nothing wrong, counting young children and babies. This evil and sufferings are perplexing and deeply disturbing if there is a being that knows the existence of the evil, is powerful enough to stop it, and is perfectly good.

An all-powerful, all-wise, and all-good God, is not likely to allow the vast amount of evil, which does not appear to have a purpose to exist. God who is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good would, firstly, know of the existence of such evil before it is even created, and since he is all-powerful and all-good, he would stop it because he has the power to. Finally, being all-loving God, he would curb evil so that his creatures do not suffer needlessly. As evidentially there is evil in the world, and moreover, there is a very high likelihood that abovementioned deity does not exist.

Logical Problem of Evil

The logical problem of evil proceeds with the inconsistency of the existence of omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent God. The logical problem has also been termed as akin to a protest against God as people often ask themselves if God exists, how he could allow the suffering that beset the world to exist. Australian theologist Mackie formed an opinion towards the issue of evil by saying that the problem of theism is the persistence with the idea of morally perfect God who is both omnipotent and omniscient, and allowing evil in the world. It proceeds that it is logically impossible for morally good God and evil to co-exist. In simple terms, if God is extant, then evil is not existent, and vice versa if evil is extant, then it follows that God is not.

The idea bases on a set of four premises. The first one is that God is omnipotent. The second one states that God is omniscient. The third one claims that God is omnibenevolent. Finally, the fourth one is that evil exists in the world. Only three of those statements can be logically valid at one. If one takes the divine attributes listed from one to three, and when one considers the fourth aspect in the set, then the assertion is logically inconsistent. Any of two attributes in the set being added to the fourth item (i.e. the existence of evil) would be logically consistent. Therefore, it logically follows that God does not exist, or if he does, then he lacks one of the attributes.

To conclude, it is apparent that philosophically, it is hardly possible to reconcile the idea of a deity who is all-powerful and all-knowing, who also possess the quality of being all-caring with the existential problem of evil. It is logically consistent to follow a belief in God who has the attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnibenevolence since the belief in the existence of such God does not require his physical existence. However, from an evident point of view, there is a high probability that God might not exist unless he is not willing to stop such evil. Additionally, it is logically inconsistent to believe in the existence of a deity who has three attributes if one considers the existence of evil as an undeniable fact.

The article was prepared by Kelly Rise, a writer leading onhttps://essayslab.com/.

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