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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Problem of Evil

This is a post written by one of my classmates on his blog. Check out thepenofthemuses.blogspot.com

We talked about this issue in our Omnibus IV class at VPSA a while back. It was a great discussion and I really liked Mr Davis's answer to the "problem of evil", but I never got around to writing anything about it. So, I'll just echo Cooper's thoughts instead  :-)



The "Problem" Of Evil. (Not as much of a problem as you think.)

"How many times have Christian apologists heard the argument about the "problem of evil"? The argument goes like this:
"God (Assuming He exists) is omnibenevolent and omnipotent. If God is omnibenevolent He wouldn't want evil in the world. If He was omnipotent He would have the ability to get rid of evil in the world. There is evil in the world. God must not exist. QED."
Some Christians would say that this argument is illogical. But they would be wrong. This is actually a perfectly logical syllogism.
"But God does exist! How can this be logical??"many Christians would say. Well, obviously it's false. So how can it be proven wrong? Well the formatting of this argument fits the laws of logic perfectly. But just because an argument is logically formatted right doesn't mean that it's actually true. Here's an argument that is perfectly logic and perfectly untrue:
"If Mr. Davis is an Omnibus teacher, he's the King of France. Mr. Davis is an Omnibus teacher. Therefore Mr. Davis is the King of France. QED."
Perfect logical format. But the conclusion doesn't follow from the premises. The one step that fails is the one that implies that if Mr. Davis is an Omnibus teacher he's the King of France. Does the problem of evil have a failing premise? It has to have one because it's perfect logically, but it's obviously false.
Which step is the one that fails? Well God is omnibenevolent and omnipotent. There is evil in the world. God does have the ability to get rid of evil in the world. So the only one left is "If God is omnibenevolent he wouldn't want evil in the world." It is my belief that this is the weak link in this logical chain.
A friend once asked me "If God is omnipresent, and there's no evil in God, how is there evil in the world?" He was joking, and omnipresent isn't really the correct word, but the question still remains. I couldn't think of a way to answer this problem until Mr. Davis compared the world and history to a story where God is the author. "See, in Lord Of The Rings," Mr. Davis said, "is Tolkien evil for having evil characters? No, because he disapproves what those characters are doing. But he wouldn't have a story if there weren't evil people in it." Imagine LOTR without evil people. The name would have to be changed to, "Frodo and Sam Have The Jolliest Time In The Land Where Nothing Bad Ever Happens." It's a mockery of a story. God is supreme over all of His creations, and I try to just trust whatever He chooses to do with me. This analogy is immensely helpful to me because I love stories. But if this analogy doesn't help you, then it's just an analogy. Find one that works for you, while still saying the truth."

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