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The Problem of Evil

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❶By section III, Oppy explains why he is not a Christian, as well as some of the things that he does believe. The problem for Christians can be summarised as:

Essay title: The Problem of Evil

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Therefore, he explains, his argument from evil is an evidential argument, not intended to be conclusive. Cataract by Mark Vuletic. Does horrendous suffering constitute evidence against the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing, and infinitely benevolent God?

In this colorful hypothetical dialogue based upon a real one in the philosophical literature , Mark Vuletic considers the primary issue of contention between the defender and skeptic of God's goodness: Could any amount of suffering ever constitute evidence against the goodness of God?

Depravity, Divine Responsibility and Moral Evil: A popular response to the problem of evil contends that there is a necessary connection between free will and the existence of moral or human-caused evil. Alvin Plantinga, for instance, has advanced a concept of "transworld depravity"--essentially the idea that in any possible world where a given person has substantial free will, that person will necessarily commit at least one immoral act. In criticizing Plantinga's notion of transworld depravity, Clement Dore offers an alternative solution.

But Weisberger argues that Dore's solution also fails because the existence of free will in no way necessitates either the human capacity to act wrongly or the excessive amount of moral evil we actually find in the world. Weisberger concludes that the free will defense utterly fails to undermine the argument from evil.

Tattersall defends a version of the evidential argument from evil that is based upon the probable existence of gratuitous evil. The argument includes a premise that gratuitous evils are logically incompatible with the God of theism. The argument is evidential, however, since it is not known with certainty that gratuitous evil exists. Thus, the other premise of Tattersall's argument is that gratuitous evil probably exists. Various theistic objections to this argument are refuted.

Evil and Skeptical Theism by Ryan Stringer. In this paper Ryan Stringer critiques a response to atheistic arguments from evil that has been called "skeptical theism. Then he defends the argument against a skeptical theist's potential response.

First, he indirectly defends his argument by arguing that skeptical theism is both intrinsically implausible and has problematic consequences, which makes it an unreasonable response. Second, he directly defends his argument by presenting arguments supporting its second premise. Stringer concludes that skeptical theism does not undermine his argument. A refutation of William Lane Craig's theodicy based upon the idea that human suffering can lead to acceptance of God.

The 'Inductive' Argument From Evil: A fictional dialogue between three philosophical women about the inductive or evidential argument from evil. In this chapter, Paul Draper appeals to natural selection in order to show that the failure of many humans and animals to flourish is strong evidence against the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect God. Treating theism and naturalism as hypotheses that aim to explain certain features of our world, Draper sets out to test each hypothesis against various known facts, including facts about human and animal suffering.

After demonstrating that, prior to such testing, naturalism is more probable than theism in virtue of its smaller scope and greater simplicity, Draper goes on to argue that naturalism has far greater "predictive power" than theism, concluding that this provides strong grounds for rejecting theism. Paul Draper argues that all else held equal, "naturalism is much more probable than theism," and therefore "theism is very probably false"; moreover, naturalism is simpler and smaller in scope than theism, and has much greater predictive power than theism with respect to evolutionary facts about suffering.

In this response, Alvin Plantinga disputes that theism has larger scope than naturalism, and argues that what is really at issue for epistemic probability is not simplicity as Draper understands it as "uniformity" , but "epistemic naturalness"--and that theism is more epistemically natural than naturalism.

Moreover, if we treat theism as a hypothesis rather than as a fact , theism might be subject to prima facie defeat by facts about suffering and misery, but nevertheless explain or predict a whole range of other data better than naturalism, such as our possession of reliable cognitive faculties, the existence of objective morality, the fine-tuning of the universe, the existence of abstract objects, and so on.

But if some theists know that theism is true in virtue of religious experiences, say , then their theism is not subject to defeat by facts about suffering even disregarding these explanatory advantages. Alvin Plantinga does not challenge and thus implicitly concedes the soundness of Paul Draper's argument for the conclusion that certain facts about good and evil are strong evidence against theism. Plantinga does, however, challenge Draper's view that naturalism is more plausible than theism, which Draper needs to reach the further conclusion that, other evidence held equal, theism is very probably false.

In addition, Plantinga challenges the significance of this final conclusion. In this chapter, Draper defends his views on plausibility and then argues that Plantinga's challenge to the significance of his final conclusion fails for two reasons.

First, Plantinga fails to show that this further conclusion does not threaten the rationality or warrant of most theistic belief. Second, he mistakenly assumes that, in order to be significant, this conclusion must threaten the rationality or warrant of most theistic belief.

The Carrier-Wanchick Debate In this online debate between Richard Carrier and Tom Wanchick, Carrier opens with a discussion of method followed by 5 arguments for naturalism and 2 arguments against theism, while Wanchick opens with 9 arguments for theism.

Natural evil is a just punishment because people destroyed the natural cycle. Therefore god should not have to help us or remove evil from the world because we started it. Because god saves some people and allows them into heaven shows that he is loving and us. Is it right that someone who may murder a million people get the same punishment as person who killed one? Augustine says that the world was made perfect by god an damaged by humans this contradicts, evolutionary theories state that we have evolved from an earlier state of chaos.

So then idea of everything being perfect from the start is hard to accept because of this. Augustine states that every person was seminally present in Adam. This goes against biological laws and would be deemed untrue today and so god is not just in punishing. Now I am going to look at a different theodicy, that of Irenaeus. Irenaeus thought that evil was linked with the free will of humanity were he differs from Augustine is that he admits that god did not make a perfect world.

If we stay with the idea of a loving omnipotent god then suffering and evil need to be explained as part of his intention for the world. They need to find a place within an overall scheme, which can still be seen as the intention of an all-powerful god.

Irenaeus though the opposite to Augustine in that he though that humanity started off child like but moved towards maturity, he also thought that humanity became divine this is called theosis and is common in eastern churches.

Human perfection cannot be just made it needs to develop through free will. Because god gave us free will there had to be the potential to disobey him and do wrong. If god intervened whenever we were going to do something wrong there would be no free will so he must leave us alone.

Humanity used their free will to disobey god and cause suffering amongst the world. God cannot remove evil from the universe because it would defy our free will. Therefore god is justified in leaving us alone because the evil is only temporary. Irenaeus thought that in genesis 1: For Irenaeus humanity did choose the path of evil, which is why the world is not perfect.

Irenaeus thought that although evil was a negative thing it was also important because without it we could not recognize good. If good comes out of evil, evil also comes out of good probably just as frequently. Bombing a city is evil but it brings around jobs which is good, is this justified? This idea contradicts statements in the bible that talk about punishing the wicked and evil people going to hell and so for this reason many religious people do not agree with this idea.

Without consequences for your actions the idea of behaving morally correct becomes pointless because at the end of your life you will be rewarded no matter what. Although soul making may not be able to happen in a perfect world, is the amount of suffering contained in our world really necessary.

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However, natural evils, in contrast, are forces that humans cannot control. So how can there be a God that exists, which is said to be wholly good, omnipotent, and omniscient, allow such natural evils to occur? Gottfried Leibniz would argue that there is a greater good that would outweigh this evil, yet J. Mackie claims that this "greater good" only leads to a greater evil.

Though many arguments can be made for or against the presence of natural evils, I truly believe that the side of Leibniz is based truly on a faith. Though there is no logical explanation for why God would allow natural evils to exist in the world, theodicists would simply argue that humans, in our finite understanding, could not possibly comprehend the will of a being who is infinite, omniscient, and omnipotent. Therefore, the term faith, which could be said to mean believing without any physical evidence, would be the main hold of the theodicist argument.

Anti-theodicists would claim that this argument is invalid and unsubstantiated because a God who is wholly good would not create or allow for any evil whether moral or natural to exist. As the sides of both Leibniz and Mackie are presented, these matters will be discussed more thoroughly.

The main point of Leibniz's philosophy is that God, in creating the world, He created the best of all possible worlds.


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The Problem of Evil - In his essay “Why God Allows Evil” Swinburne argues that the existence of evil in the world is consistent with the existence of all-knowing, all-powerful and all-good God. To start, Swinburne bases his argument on two basic types of evil: moral and natural.

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Thus, the problem of evil leads to a contradiction in at least one, if not all, of the attributes of God (that being omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent). In his essay, Mackie examines what he calls “so-called” solutions to the problem: evil being a necessary counterpart to good, the universe being better off with some evil, evil acting as a means to good, and evil being the result of human free will.

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Explain The Problem of Evil - Essay In this essay I am going to examine the problem of evil. I will split it into two main parts; the problems raised for a religious believer by the existence of evil and the solution or answer to these problems. The Problem Of Evil Cannot Be Solved Philosophy Essay. Evil is a problem, not because there is evil in the world or that there is so much of it in the world. The problem is not found in the lack of balance between good and evil in the world.

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Mar 08,  · The Problem of Evil Disproved by the Free Will Defense The Problem of Evil states that because evil exists the existence of a tri-omni being, which we typically refer to as God, is impossible. This argument, if proved to be true, would refute the Cosmological Argument for God’s Existence. Essay on The Problem of Evil - The problem of evil is the notion that, how can an all-good, all-powerful, all-loving God exists when evil seems to exist also. The problem of evil also gives way to the notion that if hell exists then God must be evil for sending anyone there.