The Problem of Evil


The problem of evil has always been one of the greatly weighty arguments against the existence of God. Out of all the existing theistic arguments, the problem of evil has always been around for the longest time possible to an extent that it has had the most words written regarding it, and that greatly draws the most diverse response from the Christians (Cahn, 2016). To state the problem of evil, it simply implies to the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil considering that God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent. There has always been an argument from evil that greatly aims at trying to show that when it comes to the existence of evil and such a God, it is completely impossible. Usually, the problem of evil tends to be formulated in two major forms, which comprise of the logical and evidential problem of evil. For the logical form, it greatly aims at showing a logical impossibility when it comes to the existence of God and evil (Cahn, 2016). On the other hand, evidential form attempts to show that given the evil in the world, there lack the possibilities that there is an omnipotent, omniscient and a wholly God. As time goes by, the problem of evil has significantly been extended to a non-human life form whereby it comprises of animal suffering from different natural evils as well as cruelty from the humans against them.

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Explanation of the Argument

In support to the problem of evil, there are a number of reasons and evidence that has greatly been offered. The first evidence was given lies under the free-will defense. An explanation given here is that, when it comes to much of the problems in the world, they normally occur simply because people chose to create them (Cahn, 2016). The argument put across here is that greatest evils in the world are usually those that are inflicted by man upon the other man. In the process of creating the world, God had a choice whereby he could have created free agents or robots who lack the capability to make their own choices. God took the choice of coming up with free agents, which were a right choice as it is very clear that a world consisting of free agents is more valuable as compared to a world of robots. However, the payoff here was the abuse of freedom whereby, at times, free agents opt to abuse their freedom and do wrong. In support of the problem of evil, atheists argue that God’s act of allowing people to be free implicates that He gave them the capacity to commit crimes and be immoral instead of limiting them from such, and there can never be such a God who claims to be omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent.

The second evidence in support of the problem of evil is that God cannot be all-powerful as he lacks the capability to stop all evil and suffering. Here, theist argues that there is a self-limitation when it comes to God’s power and His knowledge (Cahn, 2016). The point here is that it is possible for evil to happen; however, it is only because God is greatly committed towards the freedom of the man’s will. God could have come up with some other approach to controlling the happenings of the world. However, this militates against the words in the Bible, which states that God is in control and he clearly knows the future. This brings the conclusion that, for sure, God has self-limited his capabilities so that he can relate to mankind; hence, he cannot be able to stop all the suffering and evil.

Support of the Argument’s Premises

In support of the argument’s premises, I will focus on the atheistic stand that God cannot be all good and powerful; hence, there is no God. The reason for this argument by atheistic is that, if he is all-good and all-powerful, then there could be no much suffering and evil in the world as he could eradicate all these evil and sufferings. Moreover, if God is perfectly good being, he could always make sure that there no cases of suffering among his people or even the existence of evil.

Debate Evaluation

To evaluate the debate regarding the problem of evil, I will start by focusing on what is exactly wrong or right with the criticism of the argument I have discussed in this case. Firstly, I believe there is something with the atheist stand on the problem of evil though it does not completely apply to the entire problem of evil. I personally believe that much suffering is justified as without it, the world would be a worse place as it is through fear of suffering that people tend to follow the right ways and do the right things. Secondly, the problem of evil must be recast as the problem of unjustified evil considering the fact that not all evil is unjustified. When it comes to some evil, they are brought into the world by man and not God bringing us to the point that it is better to have the existence of free agents and some evil than lacking the existence of free agents and evil. The reason here is that some evil plays a significant role to help people see why God allow it to exist. The conclusion here is that existence of evil is not evidenced by the God’s existence but the existence of the unjustified evil.



Cahn, S. M. (2016). The world of philosophy: An introductory reader. Oxford University Press.