Unless you’re lucky, you have probably experienced or witnessed an event in your life that seems unjust or wrong. For example, most people view children dying, murder, and things of that character to be evil because it seems impossible to find good reasons for them. So while one can spin events like old people passing away, or getting rejected from a college into positives, evil at its root does not have good in it. Thus evil causes a lot of issues when it comes to believing in a perfect god (or designer as the A.F.D. implies). How could an omniscient, omnipotent, and morally perfect God allow evil, that, if you had the ability, you would prevent? Doesn’t it question god’s existence?
The argument can be shown as follows
“If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.
- If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.
- If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to eliminate all evil.
- If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
- If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
- Evil exists.
- If evil exists and God exists, then either God doesn’t have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn’t know when evil exists, or doesn’t have the desire to eliminate all evil.
- Therefore, God doesn’t exist” (Stanford).
For this argument to be proven unsound one must either state that god does not fit at least one of the characteristics given in premises 1-4, or argue that evil exists for a reason unbeknownst to humans. Although some religions escape the problem of evil be claiming that god isn’t omnipotent, it starts down a path on what/who that god is and what that god is responsible for in our world.
Therefore, the more prominent reply is that god has a morally sufficient reason for evil. Thus it carries that seemingly unjust suffering, actually does have reasons that only god knows. Moreover, these reasons for evil must be morally good reasons. A human analogy to these reasons, is perhaps a doctor who purposely made a patient sick and hurt them. With this much information, one would be outraged due to the moral implications of the doctor’s actions. However, if you were then told that the patient was made sick through chemotherapy because he was diagnosed with cancer, you would understand that the doctor actually had good reasons to make the patient sick. Consequently, those who take this morally sufficient reason stance, understand in the analogy that they simply do not know why the doctor is making the person sick, but they do trust that he has a good reason for it.
What is interesting about this refutation to the Problem of Evil, is that humans as a race fight evil.We fight to cure cancer, reduce deaths, and feed hungry children. However, it seems to me that saying evil exists for good reason would stop me from fighting it. I will have to think more on this idea, but comment or go to the contact page if you have any thoughts!
Thanks for reading!
Tooley, Michael. “The Problem of Evil.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University, 16 Sept. 2002. Web. 20 Feb. 2017
Beebe, James R. “The Logical Problem of Evil.” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.