Posted: October 17th, 2013
The Problem of Evil
The Problem of Evil
The predicament of evil is the issue of trying to resolve evil’s existence in the world with the subsistence of an all-knowing, all powerful and transcendent God. The argument is that it is impossible to repent evil with such a perfect God. According to this argument, the prevalence of evil in the world automatically proves that God is nonexistent. The problem of evil argument attempts to disprove the existence of God. The problem of evil argument is greatly unfounded and based on superficial knowledge of doctrine and the reality of God. The arguments supporting the problem of evil are not adequate to disprove the existence of God. In fact, proponents of this argument ignore many other aspects of the debate on God’s existence. The predicament of evil is therefore a superficial and unfounded criticism of the belief in a perfect God. To analyze the argument against God’s existence, it is imperative to divide the argument into four distinct parts: the natural evil, unbelief, and moral evil and imperfection arguments.
Atheists and other proponents of the dilemma of evil argument claim that the existence of a perfect God is irreconcilable with the actuality of evil. An all knowing, all seeing, and Omni-benevolent cannot exist in a world fraught with so much evil. According to the quandary of evil argument, evil can be characterized into two: natural and moral evil. Moral evil consists of evil acts perpetrated by humans against fellow human kind such as robbery, murder and burglary. Moral evils result from the free choice of humans. Natural evil, on the other hand, refers to evils occurring through natural processes such as floods, droughts and earthquakes. According to the argument against natural evil, a perfect God cannot allow such things to happen.
The natural evil argument fails to acknowledge the fact that God has granted human beings the free will to choose their actions. Human beings have the right to make their own decisions. The evil occurring in the world is the result of our own actions that abuse Gods free given will. This defense is however inadequate since it omits the causes of natural evils. Atheists’ counter arguments point to the fact that natural evils constitute events beyond the human beings free will ability. To counter this, it is crucial to note that some evils result from the works of demonic forces. This argument maintains that natural evils are also a function of God’s free will and that evil exists because both humans and demonic forces express this free will.
The evil of unbelief is an argument that states that a truly perfect God as professed by Christianity and all other religions cannot allow unbelief to prosper. According to the argument, a loving and caring God would want all people to believe in the Gospel and his existence. Since God is omnipotent and all knowing, there was a way through which he could make all people believe in his existence. Therefore, God wants us to believe, is aware of the ways through which he can make us believe and is able to make all believe in his existence. Atheists argue that the existence of people who do not believe despite God’s ability and desire to make them believe is evidence of the nothingness of God.
This argument fails in its understanding of the virtue of faith and its ability to necessitate belief. Faith and belief are based on the existence of imperfect evidence. If evidence of God’s existence were perfect, then everyone would believe. Nevertheless, since God granted us the freedom to choose it also inherently means that he gave us the freedom to believe. Atheists argue that people cannot choose what to believe and that it would have been better if God made all evidence of his existence clear to everyone hence making it easier for people to believe in him. The argument is flawed because God, through His free given will, chooses not to interfere with the decisions made by human beings and this includes decisions on whether to believe in his existence or not.
Moral Evil Argument
The moral evil problem according to the predicament of evil philosophy is the difficulty in resolving the actuality of an all-perfect God with the presence of evil. The argument that if God exists as omnipotent, omniscient and Omni benevolent then he certainly would not allow evil to thrive as it does. According to this argument, the existence of evil disqualifies the existence of God. Atheists choose to ignore the notion of free will in their argument. God has granted individuals the freedom to choose their own actions hence the existence of moral evil. Moral evil thus results from the actions of free moral agents. God is therefore not involved in moral evil.
The counter-argument for this case is the argument that in allowing moral evil to thrive, God is involved in perpetrating it. The existence of moral evil itself qualifies the existence of God. God is the one who set the moral values without which there would be no standards to govern whether an act was moral or not. If there was no God as the atheists and the proponents of the predicament of evil assert, then there would be no standards to gauge morality. The world would be free, and there would be no moral law to be followed. The existence of moral law therefore qualifies the existence of the omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent God who set them.
Argument from Imperfection
The imperfection argument claims that the condition of the world is conclusive evidence of the absence of God. The state of affairs in the world, chaos, war and poverty clearly show that God is not real. Proponents of this argument claim that if God created the world it would not have so many imperfections. An omniscient, omnipotent and benevolent God would have created a perfect world this is because he would have wanted a creation equal in proportionality to his goodness. This argument creates the false impression that there can ever be absolute perfection. Absolute perfection is impossible since every perfect bit of nature always has provisions for improvement. There are many ways individuals think the world can be made better. The notion of perfection therefore relatively differs across sections of the populace.
Against this argument, atheists claim that absolute perfection is possible since an all knowing, all seeing and benevolent God knows what is best for his creation. He thus knows how perfection can be achieved since he himself is perfect. The argument for imperfection constitutes a fallacy of composition where proponents claim that perfection has the same definition across all creation. This is not the truth since what some might consider a perfect world is different from others. God therefore understanding the inherent differences in each being did not seek to choose for them what he considered perfect but rather granted each the free will to choose. Free-will and demonic forces as advanced in the argument against natural evil contribute to this imperfection.
The problem of evil provides conclusive evidence against God’s existence. The arguments based on natural evil, moral evil, imperfection and unbelief seek to refute the Christian belief on the actuality of an invincible, omniscient and benevolent God. Their arguments are however shallow and show their increasing ignorance of the workings of God’s free will. The free will given to individuals by God allows evil to thrive not because God wills so but because human beings and evil forces choose evil over good.
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