If God omnipotent he can do anything logically possible so created world free from evil.
If God is omniscient, he knows how to stop evil. Omnibenevolent then would wish evil to end.
Mackie - a wholly good being eliminates evil as far as it can.
Inconsistent triad - Epicurus•If a perfectly good god exists, then
there is no evil in the world. •There is evil in the world. •Therefore, a perfectly good god does not
"Either God cannot abolish evil, or he will not; if he cannot then he is not all-powerful; if he will not then he is not all-good" - Augustine
1.2 Can God and evil both
Challenge for classical theism Other religious views suggest both can co-exist eg Hinduism
Aquinas - infinite goodness is an essential part of God's nature, anything against this will show God doesn't exist
1.3 Evidential problem of
This is an inductive argument ( a process of reasoning that draws a general conclusion from specific examples)
-There exist instances of intense suffering
-An omnipotent and omnibenevolent God would prevent suffering.
-Therefore there does not exist an omnipotent and omnibenevolent being.
Rowe - if evil and suffering was for a greater good then evil could be allowed. Suffering could be justifiedRowe's examples of pointless evil and suffering
1.4 Moral evil
1.5 Natural evil
Moved from Manichaeism - 2 natures existed from start light (good) and darkness (evil)Predestination based on God's wisdom
Romans 8:28-30"We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified."
Humans not predestined to sin but have free will to choose to sin.
Number of elect was fixed.
God is perfect. World made free from flaws.
Evil not a substance but a privation so God cannot make a privation.
Evil from fallen angels and humans.
Created things susceptible to change only God is perfect.
All guilty through Adam.
Original Sin passed through generations by concupiscence. The Fall introduced natural and moral evil. All punished through natural evil. As humans destroyed natural order.
God saves through Jesus.
Principle of plenitude - asserts that everything that can happen will happen eventually. Can explain the presence of natural evil.
2.1 Development of
Moral and natural evil blamed on Adam because he abused free will.
Uses scripture to support views rather than philosophy
Predestination - both heaven and hell.
Adam's sin was not only foreknown by God but predetermined.
Humans want to sin as well as predestined.
Sin is a privation or absence of good.
Evil is traced back to sin.
God knew sin would happen although he didn't determine this.
Our world is best possible world. Faced with all possible universes, God chose the best
3 Free-will Defence
FW essential otherwise we are robots.
Genuine FW requires genuine possibility of evil..
If no FW there can be no relationship with God.
Moral evil is misuse of FW. Evil is result of human action and not God.
Kierkegaard - parable of king and peasant girl. King = God, peasant girl=humanity
God cannot intervene to stop suffering as would interfere with human freedom and take away our responsibility.
Even stopping holocaust would compromise human freedom.
Altho omnipotent, God can only do logically possible. To take away evil and allow FW is logically impossible.
4 Hick's 'vale of
Modern version of Irenaeus.
Moral and natural evil are essential to soul-making so have a good purpose.
Hick says God left humans imperfect or unfinished to enable them to complete process of creation themselves.
Humans created in image of God with potential for perfection in future, then they will be in likeness of God.
Hick admits that God is partly responsible for evil in world. God has good reason because he needed to allow humans to develop themselves. This is how virtues are formed.
No suffering is pointless. Altho it is unpleasant it is an essential part of development. God is showing his true love in allowing evil to exist.
Epistemic distance - awareness but not certainty of God. Distance of knowledge
Natural evil has part to play because the world is not a paradise. Counterfactual hypothesis - had to create imperfect world
Need for an afterlife - all will eventually become 'children of God' and inherit eternal life.
Based on work of AN Whitehead.
Developed by Griffin.
Accepts Hume's view that evil is incompatible with omnipotent, omnibenevolent God.
God is not omnipotent but is good. God doesn't create ex nihilo as this suggests a one-way process.
Use different version of Genesis - 'when God began to create the heavens....' God is in the universe not over it.
God doesn't have the power to stop creation rebelling.
As creation process develops, possibilities for good and evil both increase. Humans exert more control and God's control diminishes.
God is unable to stop evil. He still has responsibility for it.
If God could have avoided all possibilities of evil then he would have avoided all possibilities of good too.
God himself suffers as every evil frustrates his creative desires.
God is 'fellow sufferer who understands' (Whitehead)