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God and the “problem of evil”

by Greg Krehbiel on 11 February 2013

One reason the so-called “problem of evil” argument against the existence of God has never had much traction with me is the existence of people like this.

Abandoned by God, Betrayed by Mankind: Despite all he has seen, Elie Wiesel refuses to give up on faith or altruism.

People who have seen and experienced far more evil than I have ever seen still manage to believe. And often it seems that a lot of the people who are convinced by the “problem of evil” have very little to complain about.

The existence of evil is a huge mystery — whether you believe in God or not — but I think it’s a mistake to call it an argument.

-- 2013-02-11  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 2

  1. Dave Krehbiel Dave Krehbiel
    11 February 2013 @ 1:18 pm

    some say, “how can God allow this or that?” I have never had much of a problem with that.

    Let’s imagine an alternate universe created by a benevolent and all knowing, all powerful God. Let’s imagine that this universe contains only five bad things: a meteor impact that kills 1 billion people, a war that kills 1 million people, a plague that kills 1000 people, a rainy day when Julie gets married, and crabgrass in Mrs. Johnson’s yard.

    That’s it. No other bad stuff. Everything else is wonderful.

    So it are imaginary universe, at the moment of creation, God is able to foresee all these future events, and so he sees the impact of the meteor, and the death of 1 billion people. He foresees the questions of everyone, “how can a good God allow this?” And so he decides not to allow the meteor impact, since he wants people to believe that he exists.

    So now we have an alternative universe with only four bad things. And once again, God perceives a problem: people asking how he can allow a war which kills 1 million people. And so God decides not to allow the war.

    And so on.

    We do not have the ability to compare the amount of evil in the universe we live in with the amount of evil in any other universe. The only thing we can say for sure is: evil exists, and so far, if there is a God, he is allowing it to happen.

    Some call that “grace”.

    The Bible (in my opinion) teaches that at some future date, God will eliminate evil. Today he offers mercy and grace freely and without cost.

  2. Robin R.
    13 February 2013 @ 12:17 am

    It is hard for me to imagine that one could respond to the problem of evil by a mere shrug of the shoulders.