Monthly Archives: January 2018

A Dilemma for the The Problem of Evil

Just a little fun argument. Oh and by “God,” I mean an omnipotent, omniscience, and morally perfect being. I am just curious as to which premise the atheist might reject…

P1. If God’s existence implies that we should expect the amount of evil and suffering that we actually find in the world, then the problem of evil is a failure.

P2. If there are morally adequate reasons for God to allow the amount of evil and suffering that we actually find in the world, then the problem of evil is a failure.

P3. If God exists, there are morally adequate reasons for God to allow the amount of evil and suffering that we actually find in the world.

C. The problem of evil is a failure.

Defense of P1: The central claim of the problem of evil is that we should expect to see little to no evil, if there is a God, but if God’s existence actually implies precisely the amount of evil that we find in the world, our expectations are not defied when we look and see, and so evil would not really serve as a counter-example to the hypothesis that there is a God. In other words, if God’s existence implies exactly what we do find, what we find is not a reason to reject God’s existence.

Defense of P2: To say that there are morally adequate reasons for God to allow the amount of evil and suffering we actually find in the world is just to say that there is a successful theodicy that undercuts the problem of evil. If there is a successful undercutting theodicy, the problem of evil is a failure as an atheological argument.

Defense of P3: if it is true that God’s nature is all-powerful, all-knowing, and morally perfect, then God would have the knowledge, ability, and desire to eliminate any evil for which there is not some overriding moral reason for allowing, e.g. soul-building, free-will, moral meaning, etc. In other words, if should turn out that there is a God, God would be able to account for the evil we find in the world and adequately explain why He allowed for it.

From these three premises, it follows that the problem of evil, as an atheological argument, is a failure.

Here is the proof:

Let,

G ≝ God exists
F ≝ The problem of evil is a failure
M ≝ There are morally adequate reasons for God to allow the amoung of evil and suffering that we actually find in the world
W ≝ We should expect the amount of evil and suffering that we actually find in the world

1. (G ⊃ W) ⊃ F (P1)
2. M ⊃ F (P2)
3. G ⊃ M (P3)
4. ~[(G ⊃ W) ∨ ~(G ⊃ W)] (Assumption for Indirect Proof)
5. ~(G ⊃ W) ∧ ~~(G ⊃ W) (4 DeMorgan’s Theorem)
6. (G ⊃ W) ∨ ~(G ⊃ W) (4-5 Indirect Proof)
7. ~(G ⊃ W) (Assumption for Conditional Proof)
8. ~(~G ∨ W) (7 Material Implication)
9. ~~G ∧ ~W (8 DeMorgan’s Theorem)
10. ~~G (9 Simplification)
11. G (10 Double Negation)
12. ~(G ⊃ W) ⊃ G (7-11 Conditional Proof)
13. G ⊃ F (2,3 Hypothetical Syllogism)
14. ~(G ⊃ W) ⊃ F (12,13 Hypothetical Syllogism)
15. [(G ⊃ W) ⊃ F] ∧ [~(G ⊃ W) ⊃ F](1,14 Conjunction)
16. F ∨ F (6,15 Constructive Dilemma)
17. F (16 Tautology)

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