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The problem of evil posted 20 July 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Taliesin, Peralogue


Let's see, I wrote a paper on the problem of evil for philosophy last semester, and basically came out of it realizing that there was no real answer to the question. That is, there's no all-encompassing answer that can justify the presence of evil if God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. It's simple enough for those who don't believe in God to use this as another of their proofs, because it does seem so counter to what one would think God would want for his people. One argument is that evil exists due to free will; were God to constrain us from carrying out evil acts, we would not truly have free will. Yet, why couldn't God create men who were capable of evil, but would instead always choose good? And for that, I have not yet come up with an answer....

There are many separate justifications given for the presence of evil (result of free will, in order to be able to appreciate the good, to bring about some greater good, to strengthen our souls, etc...) None of these are really satisfying, though.

All of this thinking makes faith much harder <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> But then, I believe that faith is pretty meaningless if it hasn't been examined and tested and such - the question is, how well will it hold up?

Oh, and another point, personally I don't ascribe any evil in the world to the influence of an evil entity. It always seemed a little hokey to me, and I guess it's far too easy to blame the devil for our actions. Rather, the evil is a result of that potential within all of us. Why God gave us that potential is obviously up to debate, but that's how it is.... You can always chalk it up to the inscrutability of God's purposes, but I suppose that's the easy way out.... view post


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