Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Terminology Tuesday: Problem of Evil

Problem of Evil: Difficulty posed by the existence of evil (both moral evil and natural evil) in a world created by a God who is both completely good and all-powerful. Some atheists argue that if such a God existed, there would be no evil, since God would both want to eliminate evil and would be able to do so. An argument that evil is logically incompatible with God's reality forms the logical or deductive form of the problem. An argument that evil makes God's existence unlikely or less likely is called the evidential or probabilistic form of the problem. Responses to the problem include theodicies which attempt to explain why God allows evil, usually by specifying some greater good that evil makes possible, and defenses, which argue that it is reasonable to believe that God is justified in allowing evil, even if we do not know what his reasons are.1

1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 42.

8 comments :

cubeus19 said...

That's a great definition but quite honestly, I don't think that's the biggest challenge we face from atheists. In my opinion currently, I think the evidence in neuroscience for the mind being either a product of the brain or the brain itself is a bigger challenge if not the biggest challenge facing apologists. Currently I find the evidence in favor of substance dualism very shaky at best. I'm shocked that atheists are not using this area to their advantage more than they are.

Neil Shenvi said...

cubeus19,
Have you ever looked into the evidence provided by quantum mechanics against materialism? If not, check out:

http://www.shenvi.org/Essays/QuantumMechanics.htm

I had a conversation about this on richarddawkins.net and it seems like this is a major weak point of the materialist position. I would argue that QM significantly weakens materialism and comes very close to demanding that some mind-brain distinction must be made (even within a many-worlds interpretation of QM).
-Neil

patrick2011 said...

Many doctors and rsearchers are discovering that there is a profound distintion between the mind and the brain. It is a vast area of study with many facets. Here are some sites to explore. (The sites are not necessarily Christian, but the info is legit).

http://melvinmorse.com/light.htm

http://subversivethinking.blogspot.com/

http://near-death.com/

This is just a tip of the ice berg. The research is out there. The spirit is strong/

Theophilus said...

First, in a material universe there is no such thing as evil. Everything that occurs is according to amoral laws of physics. There is neither good nor bad in the equations of motion. It is just matter doing what matter does. Thus the atheist complaint is based on a stolen concept and ineffectual. There is no logical problem of evil. Thus the issue of evil must be examined on the ground of Christian theism.
Second on the materialist view there is no room for abstract laws of logic, no basis for absolute ethics, no human autonomy from material causation and hence no free reasoning, and no goal oriented (teleological) actions. (The coup de grace is that the absence of human autonomy precludes the possibility of even utilitarian morals)
Atheists presuppose such things in their attacks, but such would not exist in their world.

http://theophilus-defendingthefaith.blogspot.com/2010/09/atheists-miracle.html

http://theophilus-defendingthefaith.blogspot.com/2010/06/honest-atheist-not-quite.html

http://theophilus-defendingthefaith.blogspot.com/2010/06/honest-atheist-not-quite.html

cubeus19 said...

Thanks for mentioning that Neil, I'll check that out. In the past, I thought atheists loved to use Quantum mechanics or at least quantum foam as a explanation to get God out of the equation as far as the origin of the universe is concerned. So the fact that the quantum world can be used AGAINST them is a very good thing indeed.

Luther said...

Remember this when defending your Faith 1Peter 3:15.

There is one thing that (most) all Atheist's will agree on - they know clearly what they "do not" want to believe and that is usually where they attack 1st or 2ND. They Hide behind the arguments presented. They are not entirely true or just or even very scientific - they are simple attempts at tearing down real truth (sound answers) to replace it with a false idea of goodness (humanistic morality) that other Atheists are in favor of. It's purely a self serving position directed by emotionally driven ideas of how to obtain personal happiness. When we get to the under pinnings of it. I used to be one and I remember my pride.

Kumikata said...

Gotquestions.org has posted an article on the problem of evil:

http://www.gotquestions.org/definition-of-evil.html

Nick Potts said...

I'm a Calvinist (compatiblist)...I don't see much of a problem with it. lol

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