The problem of evil is the question whether evil exists, and if so does it disprove the existence of God. ; There is evil in the world. The argument from evil (or problem of evil) is the argument that an all-powerful, all-knowing, and perfectly good God would not allow any—or certain kinds of—evil or suffering to … Evil may be defined as something that is immoral, causes pain or harm, is offensive, or threatening. Professor Emeritus of Religion, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK. (Therefore) There does not exist an omnipotent, omniscient, wholly good being. ; A God that is all knowing would know that evil and suffering happen. An argument from evil attempts to show that the co-existence of evil and such a God is unlikely or impossible. He is omnibenevolent, omniscient, and omnipotent. Many philosophers and theologians have rejected accounts of the first kind as inherently implausible or as foolhardy attempts to go beyond the bounds of human knowledge to discern God’s inscrutable purposes. Problem of Evil: The Philosophical Challenge The "Problem of Evil" is a philosophical stumbling block for many people. For many, this evidence appears decisive, because if God existed, he would be powerful enough to prevent such evil, and good enough to want to prevent such evil. If God is all-good, he would want to eliminate all evil. A perfectly good being would want to prevent all evils. The problem of evil refers to the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil with an omnibenevolent, omniscient and omnipotent God (see theism). The best known presentation is attributed to the Greek philosopher Epicurus by David Hume, who was responsible for popularizing it. Hick rejects the traditional view of the Fall, which pictures humans as being created in a finitely perfect and finished state from which they disastrously fell away. The intellectual problem of evil concerns how to give a rational explanation of the co-existence of God and evil. The Problem of Evil - Philosophy of Religion (The Logical Problem of Evil One version of this problem includes animal suffering from natural evil, such as the violence and fear faced by animals from predators, natural disasters, over the history of evolution. From this, such a God should want to prevent evil, yet much evil exists. Problem of evil, problem in theology and the philosophy of religion that arises for any view that affirms the following three propositions: God is almighty, God is perfectly good, and evil exists. Saint Thomas Aquinas and the Problem of Evil Reality of evil It is a sad fact of the world that it contains many instances – even a superabundance – of evil: injury, disfigurement, disease, disability, natural disasters: hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, fires, drought. We all (at least those of us in the Western World) recognize evil as a problem and want an answer for it. We see evil all around us; we need to do little more than pick up a newspaper or watch the nightly news to have our sensibilities assaulted with countless acts of senseless violence and suffering. Answer: Broadly stated, the “problem of evil” is the seeming contradiction between an all-powerful, all-loving God and the human experience of suffering and evil in the world. Another argument, developed by the English philosopher Richard Swinburne, is that natural evils can be the means of learning and maturing. In addition, there are man-made evils: injustice, violence, rape, torture, all manner… In the philosophy of religion and theology, the problem of evil is the question of whether evil exists and, if so, why. Date of Review: September 9, 2016. An important statement of the problem of evil, attributed to Epicurus, was cited by the Scottish philosopher David Hume in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779): “Is [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able? God is Love incarnate (1), and despite the high amount of choice that He allows, He also is bursting to lavish His Love not merely on the perfect, which existed solely in Christ, but on the imperfect who could never deserve it by virtue of their imperfection (2). A defense need not argue that this is a probable or plausible explanation, only that the defense is logically possible. Most skeptics, therefore, have taken the reality of evil as evidence that God’s existence is unlikely rather than impossible. The dilemma of the problem of evil is, if God is perfectly loving he must wish to abolish evil. Evil and suffering happen. Hick’s theodicy, the soul-making view, states that God intentionally placed this evils on earth so that we can over come temptations. There are smart people who have offered lengthy defenses of God against the problem of evil. then is he impotent. In the philosophy of religion and theology, the problem of evil is the question of whether evil exists and, if so, why. An omniscient, wholly good being would prevent the occurrence of any intense suffering it could, unless it could not do so without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse. Since many theodicies seem limited (because one can easily imagine a better world), and since many thinkers have not been convinced by the argument that the reality of evil establishes atheism, it is likely that future discussions will attempt to balance the reality of evil against evidence in favour of the existence of God. If God exists and is omnipotent and perfectly good, why does God allow horrendous evils such as the Holocaust? Updates? PART X. The Problem of Evil takes the following form: 1. But the theologian can, if he wishes, accept this criticism. Understanding evil as a problem is not an easy task, however. This “problem” of evil has always demanded an explanation for the apparent tension. https://www.britannica.com/topic/problem-of-evil, The Basics of Philosophy - Philosophy of Religion, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - The Problem of Evil, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy - Logical Problem of Evil. then is he malevolent. Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. Just as cold is the absence of hot and dark is the absence of light, evil is the absence of good. But there is evil. This problem has exercised the finest minds across the centuries, from ancient to modern times. The problem of evil is certainly the greatest obstacle to belief in the existence of God. Problem of evil, problem in theology and the philosophy of religion that arises for any view that affirms the following three propositions: God is almighty, God is perfectly good, and evil exists. Problem of Evil: God, Man, Love and Evil To properly address the Problem of Evil, one must consider the nature of God, the nature of man, the nature of love, and the nature of evil. Further, it was a greater good for God to create beings with free will than to not create them. 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