Sunday, January 09, 2011

Part of A Response to An Atheist Regarding the Logical Problem of Evil

One atheist writes:

"I know there COULD be a reason that he allows these evils that we as
humans do not know about, but why should that be passed off as fact?
There could also be no reason at all, just an act of evil. There COULD be a
lot of scenarios, but why is this one the only one Christianity
recognizes, as if it has been proven?"

Part of my reply:

We can't say that God allows evil for no reason at all. Who would want to give devotion to a God like that? If God's great-making properties are compossible or jointly possible, then we have to understand God in the light of his great-making properties. If God is omnibenevolent, then he does not act wickedly. If God is supremely rational, then he does not act or permit things without having an overall purpose. Christian logicians have chosen to say that one cannot legitimately conclude that God is not good because he permits evil. This move is not a matter of theology; it is a matter of logic. Even on the human level, it is not necessarily true that a being is evil just because he/she permits evil, even though he/she has the power to eliminate the evil in question. There could be other plausible alternatives why a finite rational agent permits some evil. But Christians say that God is supremely good because of what Scripture tells us, because of our experience in walking with God and based on what servants of God in the past have written about God. We also employ natural theology or logic to arrive at the notion that God has certain great-making properties that are compossible.


Anonymous said...

Great Blog, thank you.

Christianity also maintains that we are made to be with God. After death, those who choose God go to paradise. I know different denominations disagree a little here, eg Catholics maintain that both grace and works are necessary, but the main idea is that no matter how cruel this world may seem, it is finite, while the paradise is infinite and so in hindsight the cruelty experienced here will be, relatively short lived and insignificant. This is of course not the only reason why we should give God the benefit of the doubt. We usually also give politicians the benefit of the doubt very easily even worshiping them, yet many seem to not want to give God a chance.

Edgar Foster said...

I appreciate your remarks. Thanks for the contribution to this blog.