The Problem of Evil - Essay by Aamirk47 - Anti Essays

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The second response to the problem of evil has many flaws, but the primary one in my opinion is that it apparently takes away God’s free will and/or renders him powerless. It’s basically saying that God didn’t want all of creation to suffer but had no choice due to Adam’s transgression. Really? He had no choice? Let’s think about that for a minute, shall we? If God is all powerful, surely He could have come up with a way to punish Adam (and all of his descendants) without punishing every other living thing on the planet (and perhaps even the universe). Either God had no choice in the matter, in which case He is not all powerful after all, or else He chose to inflict as much suffering as possible on all of His creation, in which case He is not all loving.

...It is a plain and simple fact, evil exists and it can be seen every where in today’s society. No matter how old or young, no matter where we look, whether it is in our textbooks or comic books, on TV or in our video games, evil is always there. There is evil of different types, with different causes and effects, with one event being more evil and has the power to stir up different emotions than the last. By examining opinions offered by people like John Hick, we can understand why God allows evil and the reasons extreme cases of destruction, as in “The Star” by Arthur C. Clarke to exist in our world or anywhere. There is no denying that evil has a tight grasp around the world we live in. It is this simple fact which defines the problem of evil. However, to understand this problem one must first understand evil itself. Webster’s English Dictionary defines evil as morally objectionable behaviour which causes harm, destruction, or misfortune. That being said, there are two different types of evil, moral and natural evil, each of which having their own unique characteristics. Moral evil, or wickedness, is the pain and suffering which is a direct result brought about from human action. Since humans are free to choose and act as they wish, they are free to choose to do good or they can choose to do evil. Most crimes and sinful act which cause pain and suffering, such as rape, murdered, and war are all considered morally evil acts. The second category of evil is natural evil...

On the other hand, the evidential challenge contends that while itmay be rationally possible to believe such a God exists, it ishighly improbable or unlikely that He does. We have evidence of somuch evil that is seemingly pointless and of such horrendousintensity. For what valid reason would a good and powerful Godallow the amount and kinds of evil which we see around us?

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Far less scholarly attention has been devoted to Leibniz's treatment ofthe holiness problem, if only because this conception of the problemhas only recently been recognized by Leibniz scholars. As notedabove, the main problem here is that God's character seems to bestained by evil because God causally contributes to theexistence of everything in the world, and evil is one of those things.[For two recent treatments see Sleigh (1996) and Murray (2005)]

The problem of evil philosophy essay introduction - …

(Those familiar with Plantinga's work will notice that this is not the same reason Plantinga offers for God’s allowing natural evil. They will also be able to guess why a different reason was chosen in this article.) The sin of Adam and Eve was a moral evil. (MSR2) claims that all natural evil followed as the result of the world's first moral evil. So, if it is plausible to think that Plantinga's Free Will Defense solves the logical problem of evil as it pertains to moral evil, the current suggestion is that it is plausible also to think that it solves the logical problem of evil as it pertains to natural evil because all of the worlds evils have their source in moral evil.

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The upshot of our pastry analogy is this: given that evil, like thehole, is merely a privation, it requires no cause (or as themedievals, and Leibniz, liked to say, it needs no “cause perse”). God does not “causally contribute to theexistence of evil” because evil per se is not a thingand therefore requires no cause in order to exist. And since God doesnot cause the existence of evil, God cannot be causally implicated inevil. Thus, the holiness problem evaporates.

In any event, Leibniz holds that we are simply unable to know howchanging certain events would change the world's capacity to meet thestandards of goodness described in (2) and (3). Thus, according toLeibniz, we are not justified in claiming that this world is not asgood, all things considered, as some other possible world. Accordingto Leibniz, then, the underachiever problem cannot get off the groundunless the critic is able to defend the claim that this world is notthe best possible world. It should be noted that Leibniz's approach tothe underachiever problem thus seems be immune to the line ofcriticism pressed by Voltaire in Candide, namely, that it isobvious that this world is not the best possible world because thereare so many manifest evils in it. Leibniz does not believe that eachindividual event is the best possible event, and he does not thinkthat it is possible for finite minds to demonstrate that everyindividual event must be a part of the best possible world: rather, hebelieves that the world as a whole is the best possible world. (Thatsaid, it should be noted that there is considerable scholarlycontroversy as to whether Voltaire's target in Candide isindeed Leibniz: it has been claimed, for example, that the“optimism” lampooned in Candide is closer to thatof Pope (see Rutherford (1995); on the general reception of Leibniz inFrance, see Barber (1955)].) In any event, on Leibniz's view, ourinability to know how changing certain events in the world wouldaffect other events and our inability to know how such changes wouldaffect the overall goodness of the world make it impossible to defendthe claim that the manifest evils in the world constitute evidencethat this is not the best possible world.

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Free Essays on God, Philosophy and the Problem of Evil

Given that on this traditional account, God is intimately intertwinedwith the workings of the cosmos, the holiness problem seemed all themore intractable. In light of the intimate connections between God andthe created world, the problem is not just that God created a worldthat happens to include evil, but that God seems to be causally (andthus morally) implicated in, for example, every particular act ofmurder, every earthquake, and every death caused byplague. Consequently, responses to the holiness problem sought toexplain not only how God could remain holy despitehaving created a world such as ours, but also how he couldremain holy despite conserving the world in existence andcausally cooperating with all the events that occur in it.