The Problem of Evil: If God is Good, Why Do People Suffer? essay

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Introduction

There is a great argument which says that, if God is believed to be all-good and all-powerful, He would have created earth the same way he created heaven. This would make the universe to be a place with no suffering, no evil and free will for all. However, this is not the case as evil and sufferings are among people. This has made people to start claiming that God does not really exist, He is not good and He is not all powerful. Many people say that they do not understand how a good God would create humans and make them suffer.  Most people try to argue that He did that so as many humans can have free will. This is not the case however as the whole world is filled with violence, destruction and suffering.

It is clear that the world is filled with great amount of suffering and evil deeds. Human beings are hit by this reality each and every day on all levels, be it intellectual, emotional or practical. With this it is true to say that most people have a hard time reconciling this truth, which is harsh, with the idea of an all-powerful God existing. This problem can be summed up by giving four contradicting statements. These statements according to Peter Kreeft and Ronald k are: God exists, God is all powerful, God is all good and evil exists. (Kreeft and Tacelli,1994)

If we can look at these four statements clearly, and we have to agree with them, we must agree with three and reject the fourth one. A good example is that if we say that God does exist and He is all good, and we say that evil exists, and then the idea of God is all powerful should be rejected. This is because according to the statement that He is all powerful, He should be able and should put a halt to evil. Another example is that if we can say that God is all powerful and He does exist, and yet there is evil, then we can say that God is not all good. This is because He allows evil to dwell among the human beings.

Responses to this Problem

There are five possible responses to these problems .These are mainly atheism, pantheism, polytheism, idealism and Christianity. Atheism solves this problem by disagreeing that there is an existence of God. Pantheism is a belief that everything is God and God is everything. This denies the idea that God is all good, claiming that God could be both evil and good. Polytheism is a belief that there are many gods, which denies the third statement and makes God to appear as one of the other gods. The response of idealism says that reality is mind’s product and denies the fourth proposition claiming that evil does not exist and is just an illusion. Christianity however agrees with all the four propositions and denies the allegations of any contradiction between the four propositions (Keller 2007).

Possible Solutions

There may be a good reason as to why God permit evil, a reason which we as human beings are not aware. There is no genuine contradiction between the existence of an all powerful and all-good God and evil existence if this is logically possible. It does not mean that God does not exist just because we are not in a position to figure the reason behind His allowance of evil. It can be justified that God has not completely left human beings in the dark. The world we live in could not be among the best worlds if there were any other existing worlds, but it is the best God could create giving the commitment He had creating free creatures like human beings. One of the main objectives God had when creating human was to have a relationship with us that had reciprocal love, that’s why He created the best achievable world. Since He created free creatures, He cannot make people choose to love Him or choose to do good because by doing so, the human being would not be free and that would be a contradiction. This shows that if human beings choose evil, it is something that God cannot control without taking away their freedom.

This argument of problem of evil should be an argument for God and not an argument against God. Christians are supposed to account the evil problem, while atheists should account for the good and evil problem. God does not have to explain the evil problem to anyone. Taking a good example with Job who kept asking God the question “why?” God then asks Job some quite intimidating questions that he cannot answer (Swinburne2003).

Conclusion

Up to now the theodicies   have not managed to give a good explanation as to why a good God would create evil. This means that evil existence is not compatible with the believe that there is a good God. The theologians have failed to formulate a good answer to the evil problem for a long time after spending many years of life consuming passion. There is a lot of violence in the world, many diseases, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis and other major catastrophes and chaotic destructions that are seen around the universe. This together with the unsuitability of life reality gives indications that God is not concerned with life and he may be evil. However, people should not that if God was never concerned with life, He would not take care of his people from the dangers of the world.

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