A Crushing Blow to the Problem of Evil & Suffering (Theodicy)

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A Crushing Blow to the Problem of Evil & Suffering (Theodicy)

In almost ALL theological debates, I have seen theists admit that the "Problem of Suffering and Evil" is the most difficult atheist argument to overcome.

Why would an all-loving, all-powerful, all-knowing God allow bad things to happen? There are a wide array of answers to this question. Any systematic theist response to this question is called a "theodicy".

I have an important new argument to refute theist theodicy, that is explanation of evil & suffering.

First, let us assume the most common form of theodicy. The theist posits a four-pronged response: 1. The devil causes evil. 2. Humans have free-will, and this allows moral evils. 3. God himself creates natural disasters and other natural harms such as disease to punish bad people or force them to undergo spiritual growth. 4. Adam and Eve screwed everything up in the Garden of Eden, and God was forced to unleash suffering upon mankind.

My refutation:

There is a direct contradiction of the fall of Adam and Eve response with the idea of intelligent design that is irreconcilable.

We're all familiar with Christians who claim that the world and nature is so beautiful and wondrous that it must be intelligently designed.

BUT; we are faced with the problem of the fall of Adam and Eve when God unleashed suffering onto the world. Consider how life was before the supposed fall and how it is now.

God would have two important knobs to twiddle when re-creating human existence after the fall. He has to balance good and bad. That is, he has to balance things so that there is just the right amount of suffering and just the right amount of "wondrous, marvelous" intelligent design that will inspire awe and mystery.

How does God decide this balance? We have mortality, diseases, natural disasters, animals that would like to eat us, and the problem of acquiring food, shelter, and water. BUT; we also have things like music, art, science, love, etc.

How did God allow just enough good things in but give us all these other things that are harmful to us? Why do we live only 70 years? Why not 50 or 250? Why did God choose the specific parameters for human existence as they are after the fall of man?

Most Christians will appeal to mystery at this point or the oft-repeated maxim by Leibniz, "All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds."

Obviously, this is not the best of all possible worlds though. Many things could be improved OR WORSENED. God could've made things a whole lot worse for us. Why not make the whole world a desert and make our search for food and water more difficult? Why not make childbirth even more painful than it is? Why not make MORE diseases than there are? Why not make more carnivorous and fearsome animals seeking on making meals out of us? Why not make more natural disasters happen more frequently than they do?

Are we to assume that JUST the right amount of suffering exists in human life? Are we to assume that just the right amount of GOOD exists in human life -- that we receive JUST the right amount of blessings and glory from God? And what about when the most holy and pious get struck down with terrible illness or destruction of their homes?

I tell you what, there's a much better explanation for all of this:

There is no God, nature is unguided, and we humans should make the best of this natural, mortal existence that we can. All labelling of certain things as "bad" or "good" are fictitious category mistakes, like attributing the property of color to a sound. All the things that happen to humans, good or bad, have no intention; because nature is indifferent.

Everything simply is the way it is without divine purpose; implying that we can change and mold things to better our situation.


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even as an atheist i see

even as an atheist i see this as a particularly weak argument. You're asking why God would set the "parameters" that he supposedly did but in doing that you accept that some parameters do need to be set, and since we can't really question god without knowing his motives we can't suggest his parameters are wrong


you're bad and good suggestion is also misguided. bad and good are haman concepts and are vital to our survival, i.e. identifying someone lunging at you with a knife as bad will help you to react if someone does lunge at you with a knife. we identify bad things as threats and good things as pleasures. what is wrong is to apply these principles to things that aren't threats or pleasures