I know for most of you the problem of evil is of little interest or appeal. There are many believers who think it is fatal to atheism and there are atheists who argue, and I agree with them, it is fatal to theism. In the emptiness of the word god after the holocaust, the author asks
Can one reasonably believe in God–or even define the word God–after the Holocaust?
And I think it is not.
An anonymous commenter on the above post argues atheists have no basis for morality other than personal preferences. There is abundant written material on this already.
Anonymous shared a link which I think to her answers the problem of evil.
First, I think the book of Job of is not arresting because it answers the problem of evil, but precisely because it doesn’t.
Peter Kreeft can’t help lying. He writes
The unbeliever who asks that question is usually feeling resentment toward and rebellion against God, not just lacking evidence for his existence. C. S. Lewis recalls that as an atheist he “did not believe God existed. I was also very angry with him for not existing. I was also angry with him for having created the world.”
No, maybe the believer who asks that question is feeling a resentment. The non believer is asking the believer to prove their claims. C.S Lewis is not the poster girl for atheists. He doesn’t and didn’t represent all atheists. And his beliefs or what he wrote cannot be used as a standard for judging other atheists.
He offers a 4 part solution to the problem;
He argues, first
If God is the Creator of all things and evil is a thing, then God is the Creator of evil, and he is to blame for its existence. No, evil is not a thing but a wrong choice, or the damage done by a wrong choice.
but this doesn’t excuse god, nor solve the problem. God is still culpable because we can say with justice it created beings with the capacity for evil. Being powerful and all, there is no contradiction in the expectation this god could have created beings with only the capacity for good in varying degrees but never for bad. The first solution fails as an answer to the problem of evil.
Freewill is his second solution. One can check my posts on freewill as a refutation to this claim.
His third solution is to become a christcultist. An all-loving god who could easily have said you forgiven all you assholes kills his son because he loves us! Please, your god is doing a miserly job being all-powerful and all.
In his fourth solution, which he claims answers the philosophical problem, he claims the following
- first who is to say we are good?
- who says suffering is bad. He has quotes to support this assertion but one could easily respond to his claim that happiness is only possible when we don’t suffer.
- god has his reasons for allowing evil and we have no right to demand answers. Might makes right. You there shut up! Really.
Kreeft then tells us god casts no one to hell. Why did god have to make a hell in the first place? Why, with foreknowledge that people would fail its many tests, create hell? Is it even imaginable an all loving and all-powerful being couldn’t redeem everyone?
Every time I read an apologist attempt to answer the problem of evil, I am left very disappointed. In my opinion, most, if not all of them haven’t thought really hard about the problem and if they have, then their thought processes need a little reworking. Or maybe I am blind to their genius.