A View of the Argument from Evil Essay Sample
- Word count: 1234
- Category: evil
Get Full Essay
Get access to this section to get all the help you need with your essay and educational goals.Get Access
A View of the Argument from Evil Essay Sample
When we think about the existence of evil several things come to mind. Most people including myself begin to think of the most tragic events that have occurred throughout man’s existence like the Holocaust, the wars throughout time, the terror attacks on September 11th, and the devastation caused by this summer’s tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. It seems almost impossible for us to not ask, why? When considering this question and the existence of God in class we discussed the argument from evil for the non-existence of God. The argument consists of several points beginning with how God is omnibenevolent and wants to prevent unnecessary evil.
God is also omnipotent, then He is able to prevent unnecessary evil. God is also omniscient then He knows how to prevent unnecessary evil. So if God omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient then there would be no unnecessary evil, but there is unnecessary evil. Therefore a God can’t exist with these features. From this argument several assumed conclusions can be drawn including one given which is that a God can exist except without all of this features, but this leads to the thought of God being somewhat flawed which would anger some theists. Theists try to avoid the though of God not being omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient.
So the thought is if God created the universe and bound it to laws including natural and other possibly moral laws and He can’t even breach them. Evil then must be bound to good somehow. I have heard that for every piece of evil there is a piece of good, in fact some people including theists take this notion a step further with the belief that that all evils in the world are necessary for some good purpose. It is a simple argument that is difficult to structure as easily compared to others but it can be seen and basically understood. The existences of evils whether natural or human induced bring goodness somehow and someway.
From every evil happening a good one will rise or already has. Many examples come to mind. Arguments for good coming from natural and moral evils, which are commonly known as human pain and suffering vary. One of the argument which we touched in class was that good can’t exist without evil, which makes them relative. This also leaves God with justification for making the existence of evil. Another argument theists could use is how the existence of free-will clears God for being responsible for moral evils. The existence of free-will separates God from moral evils, therefore pinning the blame on the free-will of humans.
It could then be argued that the moral evil is a result of the greater good which is the free-will itself. Here is where another popular, worth noting argument emerges which is one that opens the religious aspect of the topic. It is how the natural and possibly the moral evils throughout the world are a result of our free-will, sinning human actions. The thought of good coming out of evil could also depend on when the good occurs. It could be millennia afterwards or a century before. All of the aforementioned arguments are convincing but the good not existing without evil argument touches on one that stood out to me.
It is how the evils in the world including pain and suffering can warrant the existence of some of the greater good including heroism, courage, and selfless love. These arguments in favor of every evil for a good purpose are endless and in my eyes a strong case can always be made with the infinite possibilities. In Hume’s, Dialogues concerning Natural Religion one of the main characters, Philo draws four ways in which pain and suffering or evil can be reduced without impacting the good that evolves from it. The second and fourth circumstances seem to be the most defendable and applicable with today’s standards.
The fourth of Philo’s circumstances discusses the laws of nature and how the removal of some parts of the universe could produce no “visible defect and disorder in the whole (68). ” Here he presents a strong concept. Theist could argue that if God’s perfomed such miracles then it would alter our free-will. However I considered some possibilities which include how God could’ve removed some parts of epidemics to prevent children from being susceptible or even a slight alteration in the atmosphere to prevent severe weather all of which could be unnoticable.
Philo’s fourth circumstance is very debatable but it seems as though this argument poses a huge problem for theist and they can respond just not as convincingly as Philo’s argument. The second circumstance seems to be directly related to the fourth as it describes how the omnipotent God could have intervened at times to prevent some extremely terrible acts from occurring without having any causes or effects. Philo goes on to give some examples but we can imagine some modern day examples to contemplate the possibilities.
However theists can simply argue that if God were to intervene and prevent some evil from happening then He would then be preventing the resulting good from ever happening. For example if were to appear he would affect our free-wills which could prevent people from doing selfless deeds. For some reason though it does seem possible that God could’ve intervened during one of the more horrific moral evil events, the Holocaust and saved half of the victims and still the overall event in history could still have the everlasting impact.
In seems impossible for God to be able to intervene and somehow not even in the most minute fashion negatively effect history’s outcome. Philo could have put it best when he stated, “The parts hang all together, nor can one be touched without affecting the rest, in a greater or less degree (68). ” That is unless God being the omnipotent one He is could with a touch of a finger change not only one event but also consequently effect every related part with a positive or good result, but that doesn’t seem logical as Philo hints to. Basically if God intervenes at all evil could still result of his divine actions.
Here it seems as well that the theist can answer either circumstance The only definite conclusion I can draw from these discussions is that we simply don’t know and we only can speculate so much. So allow me to do so. First, it seems that the argument from evil for the non-existence of God is a good one but reminds us the God is only a thought. However when considering our finite capabilities, harsh evils and almost holy goodness are extremes that seem too extreme for their to be no God. Another speculation that I like to notice is that these laws of nature are laws and therefore limit us and the universe to an extent, up to the present.
If the universe and mainly the world evolved it is difficult to see how these laws, which have allowed so much to happen, could have just evolved, as they are simply too close to being absolute. That leads to a final simple thought or exaggeration, which could be a counter or supporting argument to my last thought. It is the concept of infinity in the universe and space. Consider if these laws could be broken or proven wrong, as other almost concrete facts have been then there actually are infinite possibilities, which leaves the door open to everything.