The Problem of Evil (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

In his 1996 paper, “The Evidential Argument from Evil: A SecondLook”, Rowe set aside the problem of attempting to find asatisfactory account of the inductive step involved in direct,inductive formulations of the argument from evil in favor of a verydifferent, Bayesian formulation of the argument from evil. The latterargument has been vigorously criticized by Plantinga (1998), but Rowe(1998) has remained confident that the new argument is sound.

As we have noted, the logical version of the internal problem of evil holds that the two statements

The upshot of our pastry analogy is this: given that evil, like thehole, is merely a privation, it requires no cause (or as themedievals, and Leibniz, liked to say, it needs no “cause perse”). God does not “causally contribute to theexistence of evil” because evil per se is not a thingand therefore requires no cause in order to exist. And since God doesnot cause the existence of evil, God cannot be causally implicated inevil. Thus, the holiness problem evaporates.

Philosophy of Religion » The Problem of Evil

This paper will explore the various expressions of evil within the play.

This objection could be overcome if one could argue that it isunlikely that there are many unknown goodmaking properties. For if thenumber is small, then the probability of Q may still be higheven if Q does not express a law, or a consequence of alaw. Moreover, I am inclined to think that it may well be possible toargue that it is unlikely that there are many unknown, morallyrelevant properties. But I also think that it is very likely that anyattempt to establish this conclusion would involve some verycontroversial metaethical claims. As a consequence, I think that oneis justified in concluding that such a line of argument is notespecially promising.

The problem of evil essay - The Village Guru

Is the situation different if one shifts to a deity who is notomnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect? The answer depends onthe details. Thus, if one considers a deity who is omniscient andmorally perfect, but not omnipotent, then evil presumably would notpose a problem if such a deity were conceived of as too remote fromEarth to prevent the evils we find here. But given a deity who fallsconsiderably short of omnipotence, omniscience, and moral perfection,but who could intervene in our world to prevent many evils, and whoknows of those evils, it would seem that an argument rather similarto the above could be formulated by focusing not on the mereexistence of evil, but upon the existence of evils that such a deitycould have prevented.

The Problem of Evil - Essays on Atheism - Quora

But what if God, rather than being characterized in terms ofknowledge, power, and goodness, is defined in some more metaphysicalway—for example, as the ground of being, or as being itself? Theanswer will depend on whether, having defined God in such purelymetaphysical terms, one can go on to argue that such an entity willalso possess at least very great power, knowledge, and moralgoodness. If so, evil is once again a problem.

Free Will and the Problem of Evil

When we consider the probabilistic problem of evil, however, things are not so easy. For even though the account of evil given above is possible, still it seems wildly improbable. Explaining all natural evil as the result of demonic activity, for example, seems ridiculous. And could not God reduce the evil in the world without reducing the good? The world is filled with so many seemingly pointless or unnecessary evils that it seems doubtful that God could have any sort of morally sufficient reason for permitting them. Accordingly, it might be argued that given the evil in the world, it is improbable, even if not impossible, that God exists.