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The Problem Of Evil And The Freewill Defense

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The Problem of Evil + The Freewill Defense

This paper discusses the problem of evil that arises from the battle between faith and rationality. If the existence of God and evil together in the world is rationally invalid, then faith in God is the only way to believe in God's existence. This paper will first address the problem of evil, including some criticisms of it that came by later philosophers, and then examine the freewill defense.

The problem of evil is based upon some underlying assumptions of God's nature that people commonly held at the time. These assumptions are that God is omni-benevolent, omni-potent, and omniscient. An indirect criticism of the problem of evil is that these omni-abilities that the problem rests upon do not make rational sense. So for example, if you say that God is all powerful then God could create a puzzle that no one would be able to solve. At the same time if God is all knowing then God would be able to solve the puzzle that could not be solved by anyone. This shows a contradiction between God's omni abilities and points out that God's abilities are irrational to believe in.

Another criticism to the problem of evil is that we need to define what evil is and who causes it. God is attributed with being the ultimate cause of evil due to his omni-abilities and the belief that he created a world with humans that are capable of causing evil. If God has all of these omni abilities then God is capable, smart, and good-natured enough that he could have created a world that would exist without any evil occurring in it. What I believe is the central problem with this is that it is very human-centrist, without any thought of the fact that what may seem evil to humans may not seem evil to another being in our world. What may seem evil to us, such as a wildfire that kills thousands of people and destroys their homes, may be something that is good for nature and the environment and therefore God is not causing evil. Some may say that evil in the way previously portrayed does not include gratuitous evil, which is considered evil in every which way, such as the rape and murder of an innocent child.

The freewill defense is given to try to explain why it is possible for evil to exist along with God. The freewill defense claims God created the best possible world, and in this "perfect" world he created human beings that have freewill. Human beings have freewill and are therefore capable of creating



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