Notes on the Problem of Evil

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Discussion thread for the blog entry "Notes on the Problem of Evil" by Laurens.

Permalink: http://blog.leagueofreason.org.uk/reason/notes-on-the-problem-of-evil/
 

he_who_is_nobody

Active Member
Laurens said:
This is the problem of evil. If God exists—no matter how you look at it—the existence of pain and suffering in the world is preventable. The only reason it can persist is if God is not loving, or if God is impotent. This conclusion is true regardless of whether or not we include human free will. In my opinion this is the strongest argument against theism. If anybody thinks that I have made any mistakes in my case, has any criticism, or wishes to rebut anything I’ve said feel free to post in the comment thread.

[Emphasis added.]

I would strongly disagree with you. This is only a problem for theists that posit their deity as loving, all-powerful, and engaged with humanity. In that case, that would work for most of the Abrahamic faiths, but even within the Abrahamic faiths there are those that posit that Yahweh has turned his back on humanity and will not intervene until the end times. Beyond that, there are several brands of theism that posit their deities as not being all loving, or having several roughly equally powerful deities with only a few of those deities actually caring about humanity and fewer actually loving it. As an example, this argument does nothing against a deistic deity or anything against the pantheon of the Hindu. Your definition of a deity seems tailored to try and only address the Abrahamic faiths and excluding other things humanity has called deities for millennia.

Thus, in my opinion, this is actually one of the weakest arguments against theism, since it only rejects a specific deity. At any point, if a theist says their deity is not all-powerful, not loving, or temporarily allowing humanity to suffer, this argument falls flat.
 

Laurens

New Member
he_who_is_nobody said:
Laurens said:
This is the problem of evil. If God exists—no matter how you look at it—the existence of pain and suffering in the world is preventable. The only reason it can persist is if God is not loving, or if God is impotent. This conclusion is true regardless of whether or not we include human free will. In my opinion this is the strongest argument against theism. If anybody thinks that I have made any mistakes in my case, has any criticism, or wishes to rebut anything I’ve said feel free to post in the comment thread.

[Emphasis added.]

I would strongly disagree with you. This is only a problem for theists that posit their deity as loving, all-powerful, and engaged with humanity. In that case, that would work for most of the Abrahamic faiths, but even within the Abrahamic faiths there are those that posit that Yahweh has turned his back on humanity and will not intervene until the end times. Beyond that, there are several brands of theism that posit their deities as not being all loving, or having several roughly equally powerful deities with only a few of those deities actually caring about humanity and fewer actually loving it. As an example, this argument does nothing against a deistic deity or anything against the pantheon of the Hindu. Your definition of a deity seems tailored to try and only address the Abrahamic faiths and excluding other things humanity has called deities for millennia.

Thus, in my opinion, this is actually one of the weakest arguments against theism, since it only rejects a specific deity. At any point, if a theist says their deity is not all-powerful, not loving, or temporarily allowing humanity to suffer, this argument falls flat.

Duly noted. I actually agree with you. I just worded it wrongly I should have been more specific, I shall edit it to make it clearer.
 
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