As Alvin Plantinga, Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame and the inaugural holder of the Jellema Chair in Philosophy at Calvin College, writes, “Neither a defense or a theodicy, of course, gives any hint to what God’s reason is for some specific evil- the death or suffering of someone close to you, for example- might be…neither is to be thought of first of all as pastoral counseling.As mathematician and science writer Martin Gardner once summed up, evil “…is probably why most atheists are atheist,” (Gardner 214).In due course, my goal is to show that the theist does have rational grounds for believing in an all-loving and all-powerful God that exists within a world of evil.That is, that the problem of evil is of no problem at all for the theist.
What needs to be proven, however, is that the two are inconsistent.The logical argument is as follows: 1) God exists and is omnipotent, omniscient, and good.2) Evil exists The logical argument finds these two statements in contradiction with each other.But this argument is only successful if premise 3 can be shown to be true.This is where theists object for there are arguably situations where evil occurrences lead to greater goods.Posted: September 17, 2013 in Arguments, Bible Related, Essays and Papers, Logic Related Tags: bad, defense, evil, freewill, God, Good, logic, Love, pain, philosophy, right, suffering, theodicy, wrong Planes fly into towers, gunman empty magazines into classrooms, tsunamis wipe out cities, cancers steal our loved ones away, and people hurt us every day. It strikes without warning, at any time, at anyone, without prejudice. And yet, some believe that this world is governed by a God that is pure love, all knowing and all powerful. The extent of our personal suffering is enough to lead one to believe God is not who He claims to be. And as far as they’re concerned, the theist is irrational to believe in both a good God and evil. Why does He allow evil to destroy our lives and ravage our hopes? The presence of evil in this world has long since been used to show the undeniable lack of God’s existence for centuries.So if you find yourself unsatisfied with the answers found here it does not mean that there is no satisfactory justification for evil.Instead, it just means that this essay was not sufficient in doing so.The last point to settle is the use of the term “evil.” I’ve encountered many people that do not approve of the use of “evil” in this topic of debate because, to them, it assumes that evil exists as a supernatural entity. According to Mackie, if you give up one of the three, the problem of evil is solved. And yet, evil is everywhere, so something is off, which is a fair charge to make.To clarify, my use of the word evil here is merely to remain consistent with historic usage of the word from both theologians and atheologians alike. Since evil is an obvious truth one must choose between compromising on God’s goodness or ability to prevent evil (Mackie, 300). Since we experience so much evil in this world one might be inclined to wonder if God isn’t capable of defeating the evil, doesn’t care, or simply put, doesn’t exist.