This thread may be misplaced, but those for whom it is intended are those arguing on the “…Athiest…” thread on this forum – thus its placement.
I’ve decided to make this its own thread as the other thread has grown quite large and, simply, The Problem of Evil is deserving. I mentioned it on the other thread and received a number of replies, all of which amount to a clear misunderstanding of the logical argument. So, the purpose of this post/thread is to outline the Problem of Evil in a logical form, then welcome responses and open discourse.
THE PROBLEM OF EVIL
The Judeo-Christian God is described by his followers as having a number of qualities. Among them are:
(1) OMNISCIENCE – This means God is “all-knowing.” It is believed that God knows everything, quite simply, regardless of the boundaries of space time. He knows EVERYTHING.
(2) OMNIPOTENCE – This means God is “all-powerful.” Which means he can, quite simply, do anything he wishes with no limits whatever. Scientific laws do not supercede God’s will. If He want’s it, he can do it.
(3) OMNIBENEVOLENCE – This means God is “all-good.” It means that there is nothing God does or wants that isn’t good.
The Problem of Evil can now be outlined logically:
Given Premise 1: God is all-knowing
Given Premise 2: God is all-powerful
Given Premise 3: God is all-good
Observed Premise 4: But, Evil exists
Conclusion 1: Therefore, God cannot simultaneously possess all three of the given characteristics.
For those that don’t see the deduction clearly, I’ll explain further.
If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good, then he MUST know what good is at all times, he MUST be able to have good at all times and he MUST want nothing but good at all times. However, there isn’t good at all times. This means that at least one of the three aforementioned attributes is wrong to some degree. Perhaps he is two of the three. Perhaps less. Perhaps he is MOSTLY good, or SOMEWHAT powerful, or FAIRLY knowledgeable, for example, but not “OMNI…”
When I present this argument, it isn’t from a soapbox or some high horse. It isn’t my argument. It is however, a beautiful deductive argument that quite simply cannot be contended. I say “cannot” because, I assume, everyone here understands the notion of “necessity” that arises when you precede a quality with the prefix “all-”. Everyone here, I assume, also respects the logical principle of non-contradiction (that is, for example, that one cannot simultaneously hold and not hold a belief, etc)-- and that principle is inherent in this argument.
My claim is that if you believe (and truly understand why) 4 + 4 = 8 and that no right angle can be more or less than 90 degrees, you will also find this argument to be logically valid.
I welcome all responses, but request that you quote only the portion of the post with which you are replying to. For example, if you find some problem with my definition of “OMNIPOTENCE,” please quote that portion and make your reply. Quoting the entire post makes no sense and becomes confusing.