Theodicy and the Problem of Evil

Again, the deception is that we can get away with it and that we will be not be me and my family and my Lord, I honestly believe I never would have done it.'”.

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Therefore, you may conclude that such suffering was, in all probability, pointless. Probability is dependent on the amount of background information and, therefore, one would require omniscience to know the full extent of the above example. To this objection, the atheist may respond in the form of a question: is it reasonable to hold that throughout the entire course of human history, there was not at least one case of pointless suffering? Was not a single one of those deaths pointless, given the others?

Problem of Evil (Responses)

Think about the Crusades and the slaughtering of innocent women and children by "Christians" who claimed to have permission from God Himself. Is it not eminently reasonable to hold that at least one of these instances of innocent suffering was pointless? To establish the second premise, all that is needed is one such case. Draper, although hopeful that theism is true, points out that there are two problems that may prevent theism from being true. Those two problems are evolution and evil.

Draper attempts to show that evolution is more likely to be true on evolution than on theism.

Problem of Evil (4 of 4) Free Will Defence - by MrMcMillanREvis

He points out that for naturalists, there is a lack of plausible alternatives to evolution, while for the theist, who starts out with such grandiose things as omniscience and omnipotence, anything is possible. Some theists argue that the complex and well ordered evolution of some beings is not possible without divine intervention.

Draper gives the example of the human eye. Some theists argue that evolution cannot completely explain exactly how the eye became so incredibly complex. However, Draper points out that no one has yet to offer solid reasons why evolution could not have achieved the complexity seen in the human eye. While Draper admits that there are some gaps in the knowledge that we have regarding evolution, he counters the arguments based upon these gaps by saying that there is no good reason to believe that naturalist solutions to the problems or questions relating to evolution will eventually be found, as many have already been discovered.

Draper then goes on to discuss the pattern of pleasure and pain in conjunction with evolution as an evidential argument for naturalism over theism. Draper points out that there are countless connections between pain, pleasure and reproductive success.

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In order for humans to be successful in reproduction, they must maintain a constant body temperature. By pointing out that the blind process of natural selection is what drives evolution and that often a strong trait such as walking upright that gives a species reproductive advantages would be furthered even though it may also come with weaker traits such as back and foot problems , Draper argues that natural selection is much more probable on evolutionary naturalism than on theism.

Additionally, if natural selection drives evolution, it is most likely that the evolution of pain and pleasure also arose from natural selection, thus inherently linking pain and pleasure to reproductive success. Draper says that this idea is furthered by our knowledge that many parts of organic systems are methodically conjoined to reproductive success. The moral randomness of pleasure and pain i. Although neither naturalism nor theism has been proven to be true or false, Draper argues that the ratio of the probability of naturalism is much greater than the ratio of the probability of theism.

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Since theism and naturalism are opposite hypotheses, they cannot both be true simultaneously. Therefore, all things considered, evolution and natural selection provides a powerful argument against theism. Draper, Paul. Louis P.


Pojman, ed. For a Greater Good? Peter E. Evil and the Power of God by C. READ: C. Perhaps the most common theodicy is the so-called free-will argument - very similar to Augustine's argument. God creates humans with free will because that is better more perfect than to create them without free will.

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God who is all perfect must do what is the best. To create humans who would only do good would be to deny them free will. It is free will that is the source of evil and not the God that created the evil doers. Evil is the result of human error 2.

Human error results from free-will the ability to do wrong 3. If we didn't have free-will we would be robots 4. God prefers a world of free agents to a world of robots 5. Evil is therefore an unfortunate - although not unavoidable outcome - of free-will 6. For God to intervene would be to go take away our free-will 7.

Therefore, God is neither responsible for evil nor guilty of neglect for not intervening. Argument against the free will defense:. Consider these cases meant to illustrate that the deity is not removed from responsibility for evil even if humans have free will.

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If people do exactly what their deity created them to do then why would they be punished for doing what the creator created them to do? If the creator knows that the fetus will become a child and grow into a mass murderer and the deity proceeds to allow the conception and the birth and the growth of that human being and then allows that being to get the means together and commit the murders then why would the human being be punished for what the creator-deity made that human being to do?

If it is the choice of the human to kill was it not the choice of the creator to make the being that will choose to do the evil? Counter Example Situation 1. Let's say I run a sports and gun shop in a small town. Someone I know, Joe, comes running into the store and wants to but an automatic weapon. Joe is very agitated and angry and he tells me hat he hates all those women across the street in the bakery shop and he is going to teach them a lesson.

I tell him that he should not hurt anyone. He says sell me the gun and I do. He tells me he is going to kill those women. I tell him it is wrong to do that and he should not do that.

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He asks me to sell him the ammunition for the weapon he just bought and I sell it to him. He says he will kill every last one of those women and I say he must not do it. I tell him it is very bad. He asks me to show him how to shoot the weapon and I teach him. I warn him again not to use it to kill people. He goes out of the store and crosses the street and kills everyone of the women.

When the police question me, I tell them the whole story and I point out that it was not my fault because Joe had free will and I warned him and told him not to do it! Well, most humans would hold me responsible just based on what it was reasonable to think that Joe would do given what Joe said before leaving my store. If I am responsible in part for the killings then what about God who gave Joe life and knew for sure what Joe would do with that life? I only know pretty darn well what he would do with the weapon.

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God knows for sure and can stop anything. Or else, God does not know or God does not have all power. Counter Example Situation 2. I ask some human being, say Susan, to baby sit for a group of eight children aged 3 to 7. I ask Susan to watch them for 5 hours. They are playing in the very large ballroom of a mansion. In the ballroom are a large number of toys, electronic games and small rides for children.

Some workers had been removing paint from the iron windows and left cans of paint at the far end of the ballroom where the windows are. There is also paint remover, thinners, flammable liquids and a blowtorch they have been using to get the old paint off of the window frames. I return five hours later to find the mansion on fire, Susan out in front with three of the children. The other children were trapped inside and burned to death. I ask her what happened and she said she stepped out of the ballroom for a break and when she returned it was on fire.

I ask her how she could do such a thing and she replies that she only stepped out for five minutes and he warned the children before she did so not to touch the materials at the end of the ballroom near the windows. She told them that it was very dangerous.

They touched those things anyway. Now if some human made those claims there are few rational adults who would not think that the person who was left to watch the children was responsible for the harm that came to them. That Susan should have known. If this is what we would think about Susan, then what should we think about GOD, who is supposed to know everything about the past, present and future and is all powerful as well?