The Problem of Evil
28 September 2011
0. The argument from evil:
1. God is df. a benevolent and omnipotent creator.
2. If a benevolent and omnipotent creator exists then he/she/it would not allow
the presence of evil in the world.
3. Evil is present in the world.
4. Therefore, a benevolent and omnipotent creator does not exist.
5. Therefore, God does not exist.
1) Divine Retribution
- in addition to being all good, God is also all just. The pain of suffering that people
experience is simply retribution for the evil that they themselves have done.
Some alleged examples:
- AIDS us retribution for gay sex, which is a no-no (seemed to attack gay)
- Haiti earthquake of 2010 is said by Pat Roberson to be God's vengeance for a deal
made by Haiti with the devil in the 19th century
- the Asian tsunami in 2004, which killed 227,000 was said to be God's punishment for
the sex trade in those countries
- the Lisbon Earthquake of 1775 - death toll 100,000 - God's punishment for the
wickedness of the Portuguese people
1) Seems like a sledgehammer to kill a fly.
2) Many are being punished who are not guilty; many are guilty who are not punished.
- why would be God destroy a place of worship, but not a whiskey factory
2) Free Will
- this theodicy moderates the claim that God is omnipotent. It says that God's
omnipotence is limited by his/her/its decision to give humans being free will. - the evil in the world is introduced by the operation of free will
- but, even with the evil that free will introduces, still, a world in which humans are free is
much better than one in which they are just machines...
- we live in the best of all possible worlds
- moral evil (human beings - murder, rape, ect.) vs. natural evil (disasters)