- Argument of Evil
- How Evil Attempts to Deny God’s existence
- Defences to the Problem of Evil
- Validity of the defences
Man has been accused of infidelity because he serves both God and evil. He has most of the times denied the existence of God (Psalms 14:1). Perceptive observers talk of these as a post-Godly era. Robert Taylor, Jr. argues that those who believe in evil can still be swayed back to God’s way of life. This can be done through the emphasis of God’s teachings and arguments (2).However, despite the shunning of evil by most of the world’s religions, evil has always been there. The purpose of this essay is to discuss the argument of evil and how it attempts to show that God does not exist. We shall look at some of the defences against evil and their validity.
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Argument of evil
It is argued that evil resulted from Man’s freedom. That it was not God’s responsibility to bring evil to the world. Douglas Walton asserts that when God decided to create man, the course of making moral machinery was given up. God would have wanted to create a system where His creatures only did good but the fact that He allowed Man the freedom to make choices destroyed this program. In making choices, man decided to occasionally do what God termed as sin (325-326). Evil is justified in the thought that it would have been illogical for God to bring up Man, give him freedom and then expect him to avoid choosing evil. In this case, evil happens because God did not deny man freedom of choice. In fact it would have been inconsistent; Walton argues that the intention to put man away from evil should have been sustained through denial of freedom because it is through this that he selects actions that God dislikes (327). Additionally, evil happens because man was made with a sense of self identification. That is, when an individual feels something is deficient in the body, the resultant actions may involve evil as long as man satisfies his own self. Ted Krasnicki adds that it is not the individual who commits evil but it is something within him, the drive that elevates his desires to obtain what he feels he is lacking. Hence evil exists as neediness for the full availability of something which a being is permitted by origin and which he should have (36). However, the sheer lack of the possession that one ought to have does not lead to evil. A deaf person may lack a sense of hearing but such a person may feel the need to have the sense. The fact that he has been created in this condition means the man has been denied his normal being. In this case, the absence of hearing is evil because the sense has been deprived from the deaf man. Otherwise, a worm may not need the sense of sight because normally, worms exist without sight which their proper good, away from evil (Krasnicki 36-37).
Thus evil is that lies further from both the total being and total non-being. Creatures of God commit evil by trying to make choices; that is, God did not create evil: It is not a being but it arose from man’s way of choice.
How Evil attempts to deny God’s Existence
The belief in the existence of God is usually destroyed by evil. Taylor, Jr adds that evil reduces God’s belief because it makes men to argue that they have never seen Him. In normal circumstances, God should have appeared before these men but because they haven’t seen, heard or felt Him; they choose evil which is easier to manipulate (4-5). Hence evil makes men to deny God because they have not perceived Him in any of the five senses.
As we can observe, evil can make men to disbelieve God’s existence in two ways: The fact that they haven’t felt his presence and the way suffering is continuously felt in the world today (Walton 329). Evil is real and exists in our everyday life. Millions of people have died in wars; others have been pained with hunger. Other forms of suffering include rape, violent robbery and resource conflicts around the world. This kind of pain makes men to deny God. They feel that had God been there, He would have offered protection. Biblically, evil puts men away from God. As a result of the Adam and eve punishment, many forms of suffering were issued (Gen 3:16-19). For instance, God punished man to toil and earn bread for the family while the woman had to feel labour pains at birth. This means that the suffering was caused by man himself. In this context, man forgets to serve his punishment by thinking that God has forsaken him to experience the aforementioned pain.
Defenses to the problem of Evil
Evil is a problem because it serves to conflict man with God. This problem has been explained as being beyond man’s control. As observed earlier, evil is seen as a result of man’s free will. Douglas Walton notes that this theory of Free Will tries to put al the evil as a cause of a kind and ever-present deity. In this way, God created man, gave him opportunities to explore the world but provided a set of wrongs and rights which a man must use to measure his relationship with Him (332). As a result, man formed religions to keep him close to God. However, it is God’s intention that good and bad be done so that not all can be chosen.
The existence of evil is argued to be essential. Ted Krasnicki asserts that evil maintains the perfection of the universe. It is nature’s arrangement since God is the provider of all things and evil is only within the things permissible by Him. He argues that the good of the world would be hindered if evil wasn’t there (39-40). Thus it is God who causes inequality in making superior to animals and even among his own men. In this case, evil problem is seen as God’s plan.
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Validity of the Defense
These views have been confronted. First God’s omnipotence cannot be measured in His ability to better the world because he is above challenges. In fact, Taylor, Jr., adds that there is no proof that more good comes out of man in the presence of evil than in its absence. For example, in a society where insecurity, rape and violence have been rampant, it is not easy to find men turning to God; instead they usually forget his existence. The idea that God has enabled the existence of evil is wrong, man makes and follows it.
Additionally it is not easy to say that man occasionally chooses to do evil. There are people who live among the evil but have chosen to do good. For instance, a child growing out of a drinking environment may not elect to drink. Despite the choice of drinking being available, the child may shun it during her entire life. Moreover, evil is not always the love of people, argues Taylor, Jr. some people may chose to love fighting, violence and brutality but others will choose to put kindness in their fore. Yet all these are men, who are expected to occasionally choose sin. The fact that some proper may decide to live lives free from evil is suggestive that evil is indeed man made. Hence the problem of evil cannot be defended.
Walton, Douglas. “Modalities in the Free Will of Defense.” Journal of Religious Studies. (1974): 325-331.
Taylor Jr., Robert R. “Does the existence of God prove God Does not exist?” Christian Evidences-19th Annual Mid-west Lectures. 2001. Web.
Krasnicki, Ted. “Good, Evil, and God in the Evolution of A.N Whitehead’s Theodicy.” Doctoral Thesis. Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. University of Montreal. 1994. Web.