The Problem of Evil
Evil exists, a plain and simple fact. The argument for the problem of evil (and suffering) proves that fact. The argument for the problem of evil states that there is a all-good, all-powerful God. It states that God being all-good means that he only wants good to exist. But, look at all the bad and evil in the world. A total contradiction of a all-good God. God being all-powerful means that he can make whatever he wants. So, if God can make whatever he wants then why did he not make all people and things good? This all boils down too the fact that evil does exist and with evil existing there could not be an all-good, all powerful God.
I feel that the argument for the problem of evil is a good argument. The first solution to the problem of evil states that good cannot exist without evil. Not a bad argument, but faulty. With evil existing you have something to compare it to, which is good. But, If God was really all-good the word evil would not exist because everything would just be good. If God is so good and so powerful than why does he let so much evil exist? I could understand a little bit of bad people and things to make the good stand out, but there is so much. All the time in the news you hear about someone being murdered, children being molested, a natural disaster striking a area and many people suffering and dying, etc... This also shows that God cannot be all-powerful if lets all this evil exist in the universe that he supposedly created.
The second solution to the problem of evil states that God allows evil to exist in order to bring out a greater good. Or that the universe is better with some evil in it. Better? Why would God being so good and concerned about humans want us to suffer? This solution is much like the first, saying that evil creates or brings good. Yet, if there was only good we would not have to worry about bringing out a greater good if everything was already good. Some would argue that evil brings out human virtues, and thus in a all-good world they would be lost. Yet human virtues would not be needed(or exist) in a all-good world. Also with human virtues you get the human vices, more bad or evil beliefs. God allowing so much evil to exist, again shows that there cannot be a all-good all-powerful God.
The third solution states that God gave humans free will. Yes, that it good that God gave us the freedom to chose. God being all-good and all-powerful should have gave us free will in the sense that we can choose among only things that are good. This would seem to restrict the definition of free will since your options of what to chose would be limited. Yet, if everything was good the definition of free will would not be restricted either because there would only be good to choose from. With God allowing evil and free will to exist this creates a personal evil because you can choose evil. Also there are evils such as natural disasters and diseases that exist but man did not freely choose. A all-good and all-powerful God would not let such things exist. People die and suffer from these things that exist with a so-called all good and powerful God.
The forth solution by John Hicks states that God allows evil to exist in order to test us. Hicks states that evil is a test to see who will choose that path. I don't understand why he would need to test us. With him being all-powerful that would make him all-knowing. Therefore, why would he need to test us if he knows what we are going to do, and what we are doing? There would be no reason to test us if God was really all powerful. If evil did not exist there would be not be a need for a test either, because God would not need to test the good people do. Also, if good is using evil as a test, and someone does not pass his test then I would assume that person would not make it to heaven. The person would be stuck in hell after they died. A all-good and all-powerful God would not want people to suffer, thus no need to test the person because that could lead to hell(suffering) which God would not want. Innocent people also would suffer from the wrong doings of others. Why would God want the innocent good people to suffer because others chose evil? This also shows that the test of evil is a bad solution because even the people that chose to be good can suffer along the way.
The problem of evil holds to be a good argument. The solutions did not prove that God was all-good or all-powerful, with evil existing as it does such a God could not exist. I feel that there is a God, but he does not have total control. He is more off a overseer of what happens here on earth. Someone that does not have the power to make everything good, yet he keeps us in line when things get out of hand. I think it's all a matter of faith and what you truly believe in.
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