Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Problem Of Evil Revisited

I've recently been think about the traditional problem of evil. I'm talking about the argument that human moral evil is incompatible with the existence of an omnibenevolent god. The usual responses to the problem of evil are the free will defense, and skeptical theism. I want to offer a few quick rebuttals to the free will defense as a means to show how an omnibenevolent god is compatible with human moral evil.

1. If god prefers a world where moral agents can perform evil acts through the means of free will and considers such a world more valuable than one without free will, then this world is more valuable than heaven, because in heaven, it is believed, no one can perform evil acts and no one would therefore have free will. The possibility of free beings would entail evil actions could happen.

2. God could have made it so that all people born would naturally be good natured and wouldn't desire evil. He could have done this a number of ways, such as making it so that only the sperm cells that would make good people would ever be created or get to fertilize eggs. If this is not considered feasible or desirable, then a heaven where there is no moral evil is also not feasible and wouldn't seem desirable either.

3. If god cannot prevent human moral evil because it would violate free will, then it makes absolutely no sense to pray to god if you are ever threatened with violence.

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