The Free Will Defense
In Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions, God is seen as a powerful being that only wants to do good things for the human race and the universe and has foreknowledge about everything that will happen and everybody’s futures. Still, many argue that God cannot exist because there is another force that seems to be more prominent: Evil. Day after day we either experience evil or hear of it and become more confident that God couldn’t exist with all of this happening around us. But God does exist, and he is linked with the existence of evil by the free will given to us by him.
The problem of evil is simple: God’s existence is entirely incompatible with the existence of evil. If God were to exist, then he would be motivated to do all he could to distinguish evil ( benevolence), he would know about the evil beforehand, which would give him a reason to prevent it before it happens ( omniscience), and there would be nothing in this world or beyond it to stop him from overpowering evil (omnipotence). Yet, evil is alive and well, and there hasn’t been anything to help stop evil in its course completely. Therefore, God does not exist. Some theistic responses to this argument are that the total amount of evil outweighs the total amount of good in the universe, or that God does not cause any of the evil that goes that happens. The problem with these responses is that they both fail to explain why there is even any evil in the first place. If God is supposed to be some type of Supreme Being that we all think of him to be, then why would he allow evil to run rampant like it does? Surely, a God with a benevolent nature wouldn’t want the people that he created to suffer very greatly, let alone at all, from evil.
In the world that we all live in today, no one is exempt from the pain, suffering and evils that are caused by others and/or ourselves. Many tend to ask, “Is there a God? And if so, why does allow such misfortunate events to take place?” given...