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“Free Will and the Problem of Evil.” Religious Studies: An International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion (2004): 437-456. VAT Registration No: 842417633. In your paper, following closely, step-by-step, the texts and arguments of Aquinas, you will first demonstrate the existence of God from any of the Five Ways or from the De Ente ch. Thus, the problem of evil leads to a contradiction in at least one, if not all, of the attributes of God (that being omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent). The evidential challenge (also known as the inductive argument) seeks to show that the existence of evil counts against the probability of the truth of theism (defined as the belief in at least one deity). There have been many proposed solutions to problem of evil, one being the free will defense/argument. The larger is how anyone can go to heaven. Moral evil is evil that results from an act, or failure to act, by man. Nevertheless, there are several problems that result from a defense of this sort, which primarily revolve around the notion that God foreknows all choices that we will make and all events that will occur. Of course for Plantinga he would rely on Augustine’s perspective to say that these particular evils are a result on moral evil, relating the incidents of Adam and Eve and the concept of original sin. Whence then is evil (150)?” Being that there is more evil than good in the world, it is difficult to see how one can reconcile the existence of evil with the existence of an all-powerful, omnibenevolent God. 4. One of the most controversial ideas of medieval Christians was â¦ Explaining all the natural and personal disasters without a belief in God and why evil exists is paramount to impossible. 3. It is deemed necessary that man go through struggles in order to gain strength, a means of soul promoting, or to be conscious of certain emotions. More so, there is a possibility that such knowledge is beyond our means of reasoning at present. Type of paper: Essay Topic: Ethics, Evil, People, Navaho, Treatment, Religion, Suffering He argues that God, even being omnipotent, could not create a world with free beings that never chose evil. Company Registration No: 4964706. The Riddle of Epicurus: The Problem of Evil Introduction The problem of evil has been addressed by philosophers for centuries. This problem is traditionally labelled The Problem of Evil. Free resources to assist you with your university studies! The problem of evil is the notion that, how can an all good, powerful, loving God exists when evil seems to exist also. Does this inability take away from His omnipotence? A popular response to the problem of evil contends that there is a necessary connection between free will and the existence of moral (or human-caused) evil. This is an exmplar essay I have written for GCSE Religious Studies students in response to the title âThe existence of evil and suffering proves there is â¦ The Problem of the Evil ...The most weighty of the arguments against Godâs existence is the problem of evil. I challenge the soundness of the argument, especially two particular premises which deal with omnipotence and omnibenevolence. For instance, in order for a person to know “hot”, they must inevitably know “cold”. So it seems that either God does not exist, or His characteristics are very different from what we think. This makes evil a twofold problem. Philosophy This paper will discuss the problem of evil, state the main claims that have been argued by John Mackie and Alvin Plantinga, and show some of the arguments that other scholars have raised with regard to the problem of evil. He has no control over natural evil and is completely powerless to prevent its occurrences. Topic: Aquinas demonstrates the existence of a God that is altogether good, omnipotent, and omniscient. Cain, James. And if so, then it is possible that God has a good reason for creating a world containing evil (Plantinga, 190-191).” It is not to be taken in any way that Plantinga declares his proposition is true, but rather logically sound. On the other hand, there is the logical challenge to belief in God, which says that it is both impossible and irrational to believe in the existence of a good, powerful God with the existence of evil in the world. On another note, I believe that it is reasonable to say that it is better that the world contain beings with significant freedom than that it contains only automata. The aspects that will be focused on in the essay will be the logical problem of evil where the concept of God and the key attributes that are in conflict with the existence of evil will be discussed. Study for free with our range of university lectures! Do you feel socializing with your colleagues is beneficial in creating a better learning environment. Mackie, J. L. “Evil and Omnipotence.” Pojman, Louis P. and Michael Rea. In this case, in order for a person to possess happiness or feel sorrow, they must have been faced with a situation that evokes such feelings or emotions. The traditional monotheistic response to the problem of evil is that human free will leads to evil in the world, as in the case of Original Sin. The argument gives the impression that God knows that evil occurs, God does not want evil to occur, and God has the ability to prevent evil, but evil still exists because God wants us to have free will. You can view samples of our professional work here. He is all powerful because “through Christ all things are possible”, or at least all things logically possible. Be sure you represent the problem in all of its due force; consider looking up the formulation attributed to Epicurus in David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. These tend to fall, however, into two main groups. We've received widespread press coverage since 2003, Your UKEssays purchase is secure and we're rated 4.4/5 on reviews.co.uk. Not all natures of evil, however, can be explained in this way. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs. However, the conclusion that we’re wrong about God follows only if God has no good reason for allowing evil. But some object that the fact of evil in the world stands in clear contradiction to such a God. We are the most reliable web custom writing service providers, guaranteeing original top notch mark papers. Therefore, there cannot possibly be such a good and powerful God. Evil can be seen as an instrument of God to correct, purify, and instruct (as a parent punishes his/her child). He asks, “Is He willing to prevent evil, but not able? There is much evil that is not inflicted by man. But some object that the fact of evil in the world stands in clear contradiction to such a God. GCSE Religious Studies Exemplar Essay - The Problem of Evil (no rating) 0 customer reviews. You will then solve the problem of evil using research and argumentation from Aquinas and Aristotle, drawing upon contemporary peer-reviewed secondary literature and perhaps other philosophers such as Augustine. Many philosophers, such as Mackie, argue that if one abolishes God himself, or at least some of His attributes, then evil needs no explanation. 2. Problem of Evil Evil has always been with humanity. Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology. Firstly, it is written in the Book of Genesis that God created man in His image. Required fields are marked *. So does this fact alone contradict God’s omnibenevolence? In this essay, I will examine the argument for the Problem of Evil, a possible theodicy against the argument, and reply to the theodicy. The traditional monotheistic response to the problem of evil is that human free will leads to evil in the world, as in the case of Original Sin. This is called “the problem of evil.” Aquinas argues that the God he has proven to exist is entirely consistent with the presence of evil in the world. In this paper I will further explain the problem of evil and examine the concept of the free will argument. If God is all-good and all-powerful, how come there is â¦ Therefore, there does not exist an omnipotent, omniscient, wholly good being (Rowe, 201). This essay is a conclusive look at the problems and contradictions underlying a belief in God and the observable traits of the world. Therefore, free will does not exist. If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help! The larger is how anyone can go to heaven. The concept implies that an omnipotent God does not assert its power to intervene in choice. Hume, David. From the first man that walked upon the earth up to the present day, evil has been part of life. Show More. Journalist and best-selling author Lee Strobel commissioned George Barna, the public-opinion pollster, to conduct a nationwide survey. The free will defense successfully solves the problem. This response would probably be the safe way out, but again it does not necessarily pose a solution to the problem of natural evils. Order Now. The problem simply stems from basic beliefs or assumptions pertaining to the attributes of God: God is perfectly good, omniscient, and omnipotent. Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a university student. Perhaps no one will really understand God’s reason for allowing some things to happen. Then He is malevolent. Preview. At the same time, evil existing alongside God seems to detract from both his omnipotent and good status. According to âIncompatibilityâ or âLogicalâ versions of the Problem of Evil, E is logically incompatible with Godâs existence (Mackie 1955). Read this Philosophy Essay and over 89,000 other research documents. There is a belief that moral and natural evil exists because there is a vacuum left where God does not exist. He maintains the idea that God granted free will, but then asks, “If God has made men such that in their free choices they sometimes prefer what is good and sometimes what is evil, why could He not have made men such that they always freely choose the good (Mackie, 178)?” Being all powerful, God could have created a world with both free will and no signs of evil. So even if God wants to prevent evil, he cannot because free will is important. Registered office: Venture House, Cross Street, Arnold, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG5 7PJ. Theist Problem Of Evil Essay. The problem of evil also gives way to the notion that if hell exists then God must be evil for sending anyone there.I believe hell exists in light of the idea that God is holy. In addition to this thought, a world without evil may not be a feasible world for those who possess free will. In these statements, Rowe suggests the inductive, probabilistic view of the evil argument justifies atheism (defined as either a rejection of theism or a position that deities do not exist). 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. When it comes to the problem of evil and God’s existence, there are many questions and concerns that come to mind. Taking this into deliberation, man (being created in His image) has the ability to do wrong and create evil. In Evil and Omnipotence, Mackie argues that the traditional conceived God cannot possibly exist with so much evil and suffering in the world. The purpose of this paper is to show that evil is everywhere, and that, while good is also in abundant supply, evil will never totally be removed from society. But if that were the case, people would not really have free will; they would know they could not freely do anything they wanted. Is He able, but not willing? According to Mackie, God’s inability to offer this possibility is a rational contradiction and limits not only his power, but his goodness as well. It is obvious that such a world was not created, so what does this say in terms of God’s power? [Summarize the Argument of the Problem of Evil. There have been many proposed solutions to problem of evil, â¦ “The Argument from Evil.” Pojman, Louis P. and Michael Rea. That means that believing in E and believing in God is like believing in a five-sided square.Most philosophers today reject this argument (Rowe 1979: 335). God’s creation of beings with considerable free will is something like the greatest gift that can be given, or in another sense, the greater good. Why does it contain any evil at all? âThe problem of evilâ is one of the most discussed objections to the existence of God and is a top reason many unbelievers give for their unbelief. Polkinghorne (14) defines it as the process of reconciliation between evil and good. Belmont: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2008. Some critics believe that this argument fails due to the fact that God could give us free will and still stop people from doing evil. 173-180. From this, such a God should want to prevent evil, yet much evil exists. Free Essay On The Problem Of Evil. Author: Created by pippaatkin. The logical challenge attempts to demonstrate that the assumed propositions lead to a logical contradiction and cannot therefore all be correct. Speaking in terms of free will, what does it mean to necessarily be free or possess free will? Evidential arguments claim that there is no good reason for God’s permission of evil. The Problem of Evil can be written out in four propositions, all of which theists would agree with, in order to complete the argument an atheist would add the final two premises: 1. No plagiarism, guaranteed! The problem stems from the concept of an omnipotent, omniscient and perfectly good and just God; that if such a God exists, then evil should not exist. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com. Of all the atheistic arguments, this is the one that has been around for longest, that has had the most words written about it, and that draws the most diverse responses from Christians. Philosophy William L. Rowe illustrates this challenge as such: 1. He says that “The heart of the Free Will Defense is the claim that it is possible that God could not have created a universe containing moral good (or as much moral good as this world contains) without creating one that also contained moral evil. The problem of evil also gives way to the notion that if hell exists then God must be evil for sending anyone there.I believe hell exists in light of the idea that God is holy. For Mackie, the existence of evil is logically incompatible with the existence of a Christian God. 22nd Jun 2015 But if no one can choose otherwise, then no ability to choose really exists. Heaven is supposed to be a “perfect” world. Designed and Developed by. Ultimately, perhaps God allows evil and suffering so that in the end, man will be born again and accept God’s grace and live by His word. Yes, the evil that exists around us is a consequence of the abuse of our freedom. Skills: Reading, researching, and writing. Your paper will present the problem of evil in its strongest possible terms and then resolve it. Good is interpreted as anything in harmony with God’s character, will, and goal, whereas evil is any state or condition that is contrary to His character, will, and goal. In his argument from evil, David Hume inquires about the existence of God, stating that the assumed God would not possibly allow evil to exist. As menâ¦ From this, such a God should want to prevent evil, yet much evil exists. There exist instances of intense suffering which an omnipotent, omniscient being could have prevented without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse. Explain The Problem of Evil - Essay. Moreover, evil occurs because God does not want to compromise this free will be preventing evil. The survey included the question âIf you could ask God only one question and you knew he would give you an answer, what would you ask?â The most common response, offered by 17% of those who could think of a question was âWhy is there pain and suffering in the world?â (Strobel 2000, p. 29). Schellenberg, J. L. “The Atheist’s Free Will Offence.” Internal Journal for Philosophy of Religion (2004): 1-15. The dilemma of the problem of evil is, if God is perfectly loving he must wish to abolish evil. For instance, murder is an evil brought about by man and therefore it is a moral evil. Perhaps if one can explain God’s reason for allowing evil, then the belief in God may still be rational. For objective purposes of consistency, I will only touch basis on Mackie’s response to evil being the direct result of freedom. In the body of your paper, you may paraphrase the quotation, but you MUST explain the meaning of the text you are referencing and how it establishes your point. Created: Oct 1, 2018. All work is written to order. Type of paper: Essay Topic: God, Ethics, Evil, Suffering, Criminal Justice, World, Punishment According to this argument, God must allow His creatures to do evil sometimes in order to promote free will. Philosophy Essay - The Problem of Evil Part A - Compare and contrast the theodicies of Augustine and Irenaeus Both Augustine and Irenaeus attempt to explain the existence of evil in their theodicies, though have different explanations for its existence. Your paper will present the problem of evil in its strongest possible terms and then resolve it. This is called âthe problem of evil.â Aquinas argues that the God he has proven to exist is entirely consistent with the presence of evil in the world. The free will defense, in my opinion, is a partial success. Despite Plantinga’s success and acceptance, his free will defense still presents a conflict between reasoning and the characteristics of God. The problem of evil, therefore, tries to show that there is no logical way in which good and evil can exist in the way they are presented in religion. The problem is not found in the lack of balance between good and evil in the world. Speaking in terms of evil, I will further examine two types of evil, as one will be introduced later on in the paper. Get Your Custom Essay on, © Copyright Eikra 2020. These objectors argue that since there are so many cases of significant pain and suffering in the world that God could easily prevent, the fact that all this evil was not prevented means it is very unlikely (if not impossible) that God exists. The problem of evil has been defined by different scholars. Then He is impotent. But what exactly is God’s nature? In conclusion, the problem of evil exists because man believes in an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent creator. The free will defense illustrates that God allows evil for the sake of human free will. The argument simply says that God is not responsible for the evil that takes place, but rather, beings are at fault; at some point in life, a being will be faced with a situation that requires moral choice and the ability to act freely, and they may possibly choose evil (Cain). On the contrary, natural evil arises through no fault by man. Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology. Not everyone hold the same beliefs or interpretations of Adam, Eve, and the forbidding fruit scenario. The problem of evil arises because the concept of God seems to entail that there should be no evil in the world. Teach the text to your reader, don’t just read it to them. These questions and many others, particularly the presence of evil, reflects the most persistent argument raised against theism. 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