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Problem Of Evil: Omniscience, Omnipotence, And Omnibenevolence?


Neverlandrut
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Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?

Then he is not omnipotent.

 

Is he able, but not willing?

Then he is malevolent.

 

Is he both able and willing?

Then whence cometh evil?

 

Is he neither able nor willing?

Then why call him God?

 

-Epicurus

 

I haven't seen the problem of evil in the den as of yet, so thought I would bring it up. The problem of evil is considered by many philosophers to be the greatest problem facing theism. Many, like myself, find omniscience, omnipotence, and omnibenevolence (the primary attributes of god accepted by most theists) to be incoherent concepts individually, but especially incoherent when you combine them. So how do you, and Christians, explain the great extent of suffering and evil in the world if god is as describe above?

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When I was still a christian, and actually posed this question to a bible study group, the main answer was this.  

 

"We don't know what god's mind is like, but we'll have the opportunity to ask him these questions in heaven."

 

Basically keep believing contradictions until you die, and you can ask god in heaven.  Ignorance is bliss aint it?

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"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things."  Isaiah 45:7

 

god is neither able nor willing to prevent evil; he created it.

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The only theistic answer I can see is the one I used to give as a Christian. That being that god's ways are higher than ours. God has good and perfect reasons for everything he does even if we can't understand them. This is simply a really big I DON'T KNOW answer. That's an understandable position if you are a theist and not necessarily a bad one. But if the best you can say is "I don't know why god allows evil," but I believe he is good anyway even though the things he allows go against my own moral conscience, then you really have no basis to even guess whether or not god is good. In order to conclude that anything/anyone is good, you must evaluate them and their actions by your own understanding of morality. That is the way the human mind works. It is impossible to conclude something is good without using your own moral judgment. Therefore, if your moral judgment is flawed and untrustworthy in the case of evaluating god's actions, then you can't possibly have the first clue to even help you guess whether god is good or not! If you take the possitilon that whatever god does is good by definition because he is god, let me ask you a question. If god commanded you to go into a hospital in a near by city and kill all the new born babies because theirs parents were atheists, would you do it? Would not something inside you cringe because everything in your moral sense says that is wrong? By the way, god did command almost this very thing in the bible. If you would do so because god commanded you to do it, then you would have to suspend your moral senses and become a robotical follower who simply does what he is told, obeying without question. Then why did god even give us abilities to reason if he was just going to command us to ignore them and turn us into blind robotical followers? In that case you have no idea what your are following! You could be following the devil's deceptions for all you know. When asked the killing babies question, many Christian's knee jerk reaction is "God would not command such a thing because he is good," or something like that. Okay then... Ignoring the fact that he did command such things in the bible, then you believe god's nature is morally good and there are certain things he would not do because they are intrinsically bad. If that's the case, then things are not good simply because god commands them. This also means that god does not dictate the nature of morality, and thus he is not all-powerful.

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Oddly enough, if you stay an ignorant christian, then the christian god will welcome you to heaven.  Even if you commit atrocities and then repent before you die.  

 

However, if you're inquisitive enough to question god, that's the fastest way to be damned to christian hell.

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