Monday, September 3, 2007

The Logical Problem

So today I want to simply define the logical problem, the argument that says that God's existence is disproved by the existence of evil. Over the centuries, this philosophical argument has been made in a variety of ways. In recent centuries--and because of the success and spread of Christianity--it has generally been leveled against the God of the Bible. As recently as the 1960's, some atheists--notably British philosopher J. L. Mackey--believed that God's existence could be disproved logically; that is (to put it another way), that Christianity could be demonstrated to be illogical.

The God of traditional theism, of Judeo-Christianity, is omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), and omnibenevolent (all good). Yet there is evil and suffering in this world that He alledgedly created. Atheists (like Mackey) used to claim that...
If God is indeed omnipotent, he would be able to eliminate evil.

If God is indeed omniscient, He would know how to eliminate evil.

If God is indeed omnibenevolent, He would want to eliminate evil.

Since, however, evil exists, the God of traditional theism (of Christianity) cannot exist.
There have been theists, of course, who have responded to this challenge by giving up part of the "God set"--one or more of the 'omnis.' But the fact is that the Bible does indeed ascribe omnipotence, omniscience, and omnibenevolence to God.

This, then, is the logical problem of evil, to which I'll provide a response in the next post.

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