Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Evidential (Probabilistic) Problem of Evil: Part 1

In the last post, I responded to a second defense of the logical problem of evil: that a benevolent being desires to eradicate all suffering and evil now. I noted that while this may seem true at first, there are a host of exceptions to this generalization, and it is therefore not necessarily the case. But since a benevolent being does not necessarily desire to eradicate all evil and suffering now, it follows that the evil and suffering now observed are not incompatible with the desires of a benevolent being. Thus the second major assumption of the logical problem of evil also fails. I further noted that some theistic philosophers have sought (successfully) to show positively that evil and suffering are consistent with the existence of God. Consequently, most philosophers, including atheistic ones, agree that the so-called logical problem of evil is in fact not problematic after all. It will no doubt take some time for the news of this to trickle down to lay-atheist apologists who have a tendency to neglect the study of views which differ from their own, so I should not be surprised to hear the claim, especially on the internet, that the existence of evil proves that God cannot exist. The continued insistence that this is so, it seems to me, is the result of ignorance (willing or not), and should not at all lessen the confidence of the theist.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Logical Problem of Evil: Part 2

In the last post, I gave a brief overview of the logical problem of evil, and explained one possible way of defeating it. There is another way, however. You’ll remember that the logical problem of evil is the alleged logical contradiction between these two propositions:

1.       An omnipotent, omniscient, omni-benevolent being exists.
2.       Evil exists.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Logical Problem of Evil: Part 1

In the last post I discussed the Kālam Cosmological Argument. I will likely discuss it further at a later date, especially concerning some additional objections to it, but for now I’ll move on to an objection to theism. It’s not my primary aim in this blog to show that God exists. Rather, what I’d like to do, at least what I’d be perfectly satisfied with having done, is to show that it is rational to believe that God exists. Such an endeavor will require not only some defense of the grounds for (rational) theism, but also an attack on some objections to theism. It will not be surprising to anyone familiar with the question of God’s existence that the first issue to be discussed is the so-called “problem of evil”. This problem comes essentially in two forms.