Problem of Evil Against the Existence of God Assessment

Pages: 3 (837 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

Existence of God

Evaluation of the "Problem of Evil" Argument

The existence of evil in the world has long been used in arguments that God does not exist. This "Problem of Evil" argument can take many forms, but it is nearly always centered on the idea that God and evil are mutually exclusive. The strengths and weaknesses of these arguments depend on assumptions made about both the nature of God and the nature of evil. As an example, we'll examine the following argument:

Premise: Many reptiles perished during the fire in the park.

Premise: The animals suffered terribly.

Therefore, God does not exist.

In order to analyze this argument properly, we must first unpack the implied premises and sub-arguments of the deduction. The argument is actually a combination of two sub-arguments. The first sub-argument concerns the nature of God, and begins with the premise that God is perfect and good. This premise is followed by the premise that God is all-knowing and all-powerful. Since the allowance of evil violates God's good and perfect nature, and since his omniscience and omnipotence necessitate his control over the existence of evil, the conclusion must be as follows:

Sub-Premise: If God exists, he is perfect and good.

Sub-Premise: If God exists, he is all-knowing and all-powerful.

Sub-Premise: Evil is a violation of God's goodness and perfection.

Sub-Conclusion: If God exists, he does not allow evil to exist.

The second sub-argument concerns the existence of evil, and incorporates some elements of the initial argument:

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Sub-Premise: Many reptiles perished during the fire in the park.

Sub-Premise:

The animals suffered terribly.

Sub-Premise:

The suffering of animals is evil.

Sub-Conclusion: Evil exists.

The conclusion of the initial argument is actually the conclusion that follows the premises of the two sub-conclusions:

Premise (Sub-Conclusion 1): If God exists, he does not allow evil to exist.

Premise (Sub-Conclusion 2): Evil exists.

TOPIC: Assessment on Problem of Evil Against the Existence of God Assignment

Conclusion: Therefore, God does not exist.

Logically, both the sub-arguments and the overall argument are valid. Whether or not the argument succeeds depends on one's attitude towards the truth of some of the premises. Several of the premises in the sub-arguments are open to disagreement.

In the first sub-argument, it MAY be possible to argue with the truth of the first two premises -- that God is good, all-knowing, and all-powerful -- but since those are rather standard attributes of God, one would essentially be arguing with a definition. The third premises, however -- that evil is a violation of goodness and perfection -- is much more open… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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