Seriously, what responses are there to the Problem of Evil?

Posts: 29
Joined: 2007-05-23
User is offlineOffline
Seriously, what responses are there to the Problem of Evil?

From what I've seen, all the arguments seem to involve Free Will (capitalized to indicate its presumed unassailability).  Are there any logically defensible arguments for the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent God?

If I am wrong on any point (including, but not limited to, spelling, grammar, and the question of God's existence), please correct me as quickly as possible.

Andyy's picture
Posts: 182
Joined: 2007-05-18
User is offlineOffline
In my theology classes in

In my theology classes in college, every response I ever heard was free will related.

Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Nope. They're all copouts.

Nope. They're all copouts.

Posts: 195
Joined: 2007-02-26
User is offlineOffline
It baffles me that they fail

It baffles me that they fail to see that "free will" equates to the reference to "unwilling" in the question.

Posts: 91
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
John Hick has an

John Hick has an interesting "soul-making theodicy" that he expounds in Evil and the God of Love.  I don't think it adequately accounts for animal suffering, but it has some interesting stuff to it that is not necessarily associated with free will.

Other than that, there is aesthetic theodicy that has some interesting implications.  But you would not be able to really adequately understand that angle if you were not well familiar with the basic principles of aesthetic philosophy. 

But you're best answer really is free will.  The others are "logical" in the strictest sense, but they don't tend to satisfy us emotionally or intuitively.

Ockham's Razor is only as sharp as you are.

wavefreak's picture
Posts: 1825
Joined: 2007-05-10
User is offlineOffline
I must be weird because

I must be weird because suffering doesn't always seem bad to me. If you've ever trained of a 10K or a marathon, some times it hurts. Especially intervals.  Or my son is "suffering" when I don't let him play computer games because he hasn't finished his homework. I guess this is a problem with many of the definitions used in discussing theism. We push everything into the realm of absolutes and then everything breaks down into an incoherent mess. Take "god created everything". This immediately gives rise to the question "did god create evil" and all of the contradictions it creates. So, for me at least, there is no "Problem of Evil" because I abandon absolutes in my definitions and stick with things that I can actually comprehend and discuss. Of course there are Christians that are absolutely sure that I will burn in hell for it.Surprised