The Problem of Evil
It is not hard to find evil and suffering in this world. The most common philosophical question that arises in response to such devastation is, “Why would God allow this to happen?” Pain is unmasked, unmistakable evil that is immediately recognizable and impossible to ignore. Pain, as God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world, is a terrible instrument; it may lead to unrepented rebellion, but it gives the only opportunity the bad man can have for amendment. (3, pg. 93) God is an all-knowing, all-powerful, and perfectly good being that created humans as free agents capable of doing right and capable of doing wrong, thus allowing evil to exist in the world.
There are numerous variations of the argument from evil against the existence of God, all of which ultimately provide the same information:
1) If God exists, he is an all-powerful, all-knowing, perfectly good being.
2) Such a being would prevent the occurrence of any suffering, unless by doing so a greater good was lost or some evil equally bad or worse were to be permitted.
3) Not all of this suffering has been prevented.
4) Therefore, there is no all-powerful, all-knowing, perfectly good being.
Regarding the second premise, the argument could be made that a perfectly moral being could allow, or cause, more evil than is necessary in order to bring about some good because there is no minimum amount of evil that would otherwise bring about this good. Bruce Russell, in The Problem of evil, uses a parking fine as an example. There may not be any minimum parking fine that will deter people from illegally parking, so a good person may impose a fine around $55. This may seem like a great deal of money to some individuals, but it is an “unavoidable evil” to deter people from illegally parking. By discrediting this premise, I have inferred that the conclusion that God does not exist is false.
Considering the first premise, one might acquire as to why God,...