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Thesis statement for the problem of evil

Leave a comment After a week of hosting people, jumping back into a thesis mindset is difficult. Please bear with me. The point of this thesis is to compare two quite different takes on demonology in order to show that, in spite of their differences, these models thesis statement for the problem of evil very similar ethics.

The problem of evil is one of those problems that never goes away. We live in a messed up world full of suffering: If suffering exists, this implies either a that God wants a world without suffering, but is unable to create one, and is therefore not all-powerful, or b that God is able to create a world without suffering, but does not want to, and is therefore not all-good.

This classical statement of the problem makes a lot of assumptions. It assumes that for God to be God, he has to be omnipotent all-powerfulomniscient all-knowingomnipresent everywhereand omnibenevolent all-good. This description of God has been around for a very long time, and it makes sense: The problem, as stated, is a conundrum.

It seems that in order to account for the existence of evil, you must take away one or more of these omni-attributes of God. Atheists see the existence of evil in the world as evidence against the existence of God at all, or else insist that if God exists, he is not good at all. How Religion Poisons Everything. Others simply modify the attributes of God.

A Simple Statement of the Problem of Evil (2011)

For example, some scholars I think Wink fell into this category hold that the earliest traditions in the Old Testament held that God was the source of both good and evil, and they have several scriptures which seem to imply this.

Job is a particular problem: Today, most Christians modify their notion of omnibenevolence in a different way.

Not comfortable with saying that perhaps God is the source of evil as well as good, we instead change the definition of what is good.

They say that because God is perfectly good, he is therefore the definition of goodness, and whatever he does is good by default. They go so far as to say that God can murder as many human beings as he likes, as many children as he likes, and this would still be good, because God is good by default!

Therefore, the things that seem evil to us are actually good, because they come form the hand of God. In this video, he says that the whole purpose is that God can only show us his love for us by dying for us, and this required a sinful world in which he would die, to make his love for us that much more plain and visible.

Now, not many people actually believe this, but most of us still subscribe to some version of it: If this seems difficult to you, then you might be interested in reading more from Greg Boyd. In God At War, he argues that this view of the problem of evil is backwards: It appeared that neither sound was heard, because no help came to Zosia.

She survived having her eyes gouged out, but the next time the Nazi patrols came by she was noted as being defective, and was therefore killed.

This is a true story, and there are millions of stories like it in our world; all of them make the intellectual problem of evil seem an inadequate thesis statement for the problem of evil to be asking.

If there is such thing as free will — truly free will — then evil should not only be possible, it should be expected. If children really do have the ability to choose to obey their parents, and disobeying them is evil, then they are capable of disobeying. By this account human beings create evil all the time, and we are largely to blame for many, if not most, of the problems in the world.

Critiques on J. L. Mackie’s “Evil and Omnipotence”

But even this is not nearly enough to account for all of the evil in the world, Boyd insists. There must be a deeper source of evil in the world: Satan, a fallen angel.

Satan and his demons have the ability to influence or even possess human beings, causing us to do great evil. We also have the ability to do evil on our own. In a world of choice and agency we can fail, we can be disordered, and we can do evil. In such a world, evil is not only possible, it should be expected. God is not in total control. This is God limiting himself for the sake of genuine relationship with his creation, refusing to make us into puppets who only do his will.

How Can A Good God Allow Evil?

Even if we allow that God does not force us all into line, to do good all the time, God still created a world in which people would do great evil. This implies that God could have created us all to be saints, with predispositions toward goodness like little Oliver Twist, who is always good no matter how badly he is mistreated.

If God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent, then even if he allows us to have genuine free will, the problem of evil remains. Why did God create a world that has more suffering than other possible worlds? In the meantime, what do you think about the problem of evil? What does the existence of suffering in the world imply to you? Is God good, morally neutral, or does he have an evil streak?