PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Moridin
 
Comments: 341
Article views: 4517
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Moridin's badges.
 

The Problem of Evil

14 August 2013, 07:46

Before I proceed, allow me to clarify something:

The accepted definition of God is that it is a being that has three qualities, namely Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnibenevolence. Omnipotence means that it is all-powerful, Omniscience that it is all-knowing, and Omnibenevolence that it is all-good. These are analytic statements about God, meaning that they naturally follow from the concept of such a being. If I were to assert that a triangle has 4 sides, then the object of which I speak ceases to be a triangle, for it follows analytically that a triangle possesses 3 sides. Similarly, if i were to remove any of the above qualities away from God, then the being of which i speak ceases to be God.

Now that this has been cleared up, allow me to present The Problem of Evil, a common argument against the existence of God. Note that this the logical problem of evil, and deals with the logical incompatibility of evil with the nature of God, rather than arguing that the amount of evil in the world lowers the likelihood of God’s existence. The argument is as follows:

1)     (1) If God exists, then he is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent

2)     (2) If God is omnipotent, he is able to prevent evil

3)     (3) If God is omniscient , he knows how to prevent evil

4)     (4)  If God is omnibenevolent, he eliminates as much evil as logically possible

5)    (5)  If God exists there would be no evil

6)    (6)  There is evil

Therefore God does not exist

To sum the above up, the argument basically states that if God exists then he possesses all the means to stop, remove, or prevent evil, yet there is still evil in the world, so God cannot exist. Pretty simple, right?

Now the theist has a few objections to this argument, yet the one upon which I wish to focus is the one that is most commonly given: That evil is the result of the free will given to man by God, and is man’s fault, not Gods. This, at first glance, seems to be a viable objection, yet if one thinks more on it, it only serves to raise more uncomfortable questions.

Let me pose a scenario

Let’s suppose that a man named Jones decides to mow his lawn at 12pm on Saturday afternoon. Furthermore, let us also suppose that God exists. If God exists, then he is omniscient. If God is Omniscient, then at a time 100 years prior to Jones mowing his lawn (T1), God knew that Jones would mow his lawn on Saturday at 12pm (T2). If God knew that Jones would do this, then God believed that Jones would do this. And since he is omniscient, God can hold no false beliefs. Taking this into account, could Jones have chosen not to mow his lawn at T2? If he had not acted in this manner at T2, would he not have caused God to have a false belief at T1? If he had chosen differently at T2, would he not have rendered God no longer all-knowing? So it seems that this common response to the problem of evil leads the theist to a dilemma: Either God is all knowing and humans have no free will, or we have free will and God is not omniscient.  Regardless of which one you decide to choose, theist, you will notice that your choice leads to still more uncomfortable questions.

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then evil?” – David Hume

I look forward to your comments!

*Note that the example of Jones is taken from Nelson Pike’s Divine Omniscience and Voluntary Action in Philosophical Review (January 1965)

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
341 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Violence will never yield good re...

South Africans forget so easily that during the apartheid struggle most of our political leaders were accommodated in some of these neighbouring countries. Wtites John Lehlaka Masekoameng.  Read more...

13 comments 318 views
Blame Democracy?

Democracy has been nothing but a confusing ideology especially to the previously disadvantaged and nothing more perpetuates this phenomenon than politicians not delivering on their promises. Read more...

20 comments 695 views
Submitted by
Kelvin Esiasa167
Xenophobia: A demon In SA which m...

Xenophobia has dented the beauty of South Africa. The increasing emergence of xenophobia as social policy and practice in the face of presumed state acquiescence will only lead SA backwards. Read more...

4 comments 470 views
Submitted by
Carla Botha
A burning land

You tie an innocent person’s hands and feet with rope, you put an old black car tire around his body. You pour petrol over this still-alive person and you light a match.  Read more...

34 comments 1414 views
Submitted by
Zwelithini Mxhego
Lets unite under the banner of lo...

Maybe I have kept quite for far too long. You know, Nelson Mandela has come and he had declared "let us forgive, but let us not forget".  Read more...

5 comments 330 views
Submitted by
Chris Khanye
SA is rendered lawless and ungove...

It was at the 73rd Anniversary of the ANC on 8 January 1985, where Oliver Tambo made a call to the national executive committee of the ANC congress - Render South Africa ungovernable! Read more...

13 comments 1517 views
 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2015 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.