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 The Logical Problem of Evil: Illogical

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Posts : 10
Join date : 2010-09-16
Age : 29
Location : Wherever I happen to be...

PostSubject: The Logical Problem of Evil: Illogical   Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:48 am

READ THIS ALL THE WAY THROUGH BEFORE SAYING ANYTHING.!!! I was unsure of where this should be posted. I thought here would be best because I find it encouraging, but if I'm wrong, the admin. will move it I'm sure.

I know not many use this forum...but I thought that I should post this on here anyway for those who occassionally log on or stumble here. If there is something you wish to say about it, send me a PRIVATE MESSAGE...don't want to clutter everthing up with comments.

In my philosophy class the past few class meetings, we’ve been talking about arguments for God’s existence. Eventually, we reached the primary argument against God’s existence (particularly the God of the Bible). Known as the Problem of Evil/Suffering, my professor laid it out as follows:

1.) If God is all powerful, God must be able to prevent evil.
2.) If God is perfectly good, God must want to prevent evil.
3.) What God wants to do and is able to do God does.
4.) But evil is a reality.
5.) An all powerful perfectly good God does not exist.

The reason I’m writing this is because when the professor allowed for feedback, he didn’t allow me to finish my defense against the above argument, presumably, because I was about to hit on something he was going to touch on later (and if not I’m fine with that too I suppose). So now, I’ll finish the argument for those of you that are in that class with me can hear it and for those of you that aren’t can hear it as well and use it as God leads.

When the argument says “evil” this is in reference to the many ills we see in our world today: death, disease, rape, murder, pain, etc. The Problem of Evil/Suffering is a strong argument for the atheist, or whoever else might use it, in favor of God’s nonexistence. Some of my classmates proceeded to question premise 2. Is there possibly a good reason for God allowing evil? The professor then proposed making a slight change to the argument (emphasis):

1.) If God is all powerful, God must be able to prevent evil.
2.) If God is perfectly good, God must want to prevent evil, unless there is a good reason for it.
3.) What God wants to do and is able to do God does
a.) But there is no morally good reason for God to allow evil.
4.) But evil is a reality.
5.) An all powerful perfectly good God does not exist.

So now shift turned to questioning premise 3a. When you think about it there seems to be no real way to refute the argument by questioning premise 3a because there’s an old saying that gives strength to the argument: “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” It’s a concept taught from childhood, and goes along our natural intuitions about morality. It was around this time I presented my argument.
I would like to say that the following argument was purely my own, but alas I cannot. It’s a style of argument that I’ve learned over the past two years now from the various literature and videos that God has placed in my path on the topic of Christian apologetics. For those of you who don’t know what apologetics is, it’s presenting a defense for the faith, best explained by 1Peter 3:15. Now back to the argument. I noticed a small problem underlying the whole Evil Problem while doing the reading assignment. I’d heard this argument before and knew there was a problem with it, but it never clicked until recently. The problem wasn’t in the premises as everyone in the class (who were believers in God) thought, but was in the “fine print” so to say. It was the underlying belief that death, disease, rape, murder, pain, etc. is evil. What good reason does an atheist have for saying such things are evil?! And even if the person using the Evil Problem argument isn’t an atheist but just arguing against an all powerful perfectly good God‘s existence, the same concept still applies, but hypothetically let’s say we’re dealing with an atheist. If life and the universe as we know it are just the result of natural processes, then why is death and suffering considered evil? After all, isn’t death and suffering the name of the evolutionary game? Death and suffering are part of what drives evolution forward isn’t it: organisms either adapt or they die, and if they die, new organisms evolve to take their place. On the concept of evil, what is the basis for good and evil (it was here, the professor stopped me)?! What’s the standard for determining what is good or evil if the natural world is all there is (naturalism; the idea the physical world is the only reality and deeply tied to atheism)? If nature is the only reality, then concepts of good and evil (let alone things like logic, ideas, or minds) would not exist because they’re not part of the physical world. Think about that for a moment. What’s the basis for all of this?

In the class, I made that claim that the atheist trying to use the suffering we observe in the world as a basis for saying, “There is no God,” was being inconsistent with the demands of their own worldview. If an atheist were consistent with their beliefs, death is just a natural part of life as is suffering, and any suffering they cause others increases their chance of survival, it should be considered a benefit to them and not an evil. And with no standard for good or evil, death and suffering can’t be considered evil or good since such a standard doesn’t exist. With this being said, I’M NOT SAYING an atheist doesn’t or can’t believe in the concept of good or evil and that death and suffering are bad things because they can and do. WHAT I’M SAYING is that they’re being very inconsistent with their worldview’s demands. But where did they (atheists and other unbelievers) get the concept of good and evil or the idea that death and suffering are evil?

Believe it or not the only logical explanation for the concept of good and evil and why death and suffering could be considered evil is in a Biblical worldview. Both of these things are established in the first few chapters of Genesis and only make sense if they’re taken to be literal history (I assume everyone reading this knows what I’m talking about, but if not PLEASE message me and I’ll answer your questions as best I can). The atheist is borrowing from the Christian worldview to make their worldview make sense! That’s a major inconsistency, and because of that inconsistency that I say the Problem of Evil/Suffering is not an adequate argument against God’s existence. By borrowing from the Christian worldview, the atheist (whether they know it or not) has shown the Christian worldview (based on the Bible) to be true. This makes sense in light of Romans 1:20 which says:

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

In their heart of hearts, everyone knows the all powerful perfectly good God of the Bible. God initially made everything perfect (Gen 1-2), but when Adam sinned (and we sinned through him) everything got screwed up (Gen 3). Death and suffering now scare God’s once perfect creation (Rom 5:12; 8:22). God being good can’t stand evil and must punish it. The cursed world we see today is God’s righteous judgment for Adam’s sin, and now man owes a debt they can never repay. But God is also merciful. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay that debt by sacrificing Himself on a cross and rising from the dead defeating death and suffering so that whoever believes in Him will have God’s forgiveness and a relationship with the Creator of the world leading to eternal life (Jn 3:16; Jn 14:6; Rom 10:9). Currently God is waiting patiently for everyone to have an opportunity to come to know Him in repentance, or to turn away from the sin, (2 Pe 3:9) but eventually time will run out and justice must be served. Jesus Christ will return again, this time to bring justice to the ones who chose evil and then restore the creation to its once perfect state (Rev).
If there is anything you wish to say or ask regarding this, please SEND ME A PRIVATE MESSAGE. Thanks and God bless!
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