The problem of evil: Theism’s answers

It is often objected that some theist’s answers to the problem of evil are implausible. In other words, the theodocies that theists give are not good or at least the defenses they give are not good.

But let’s remember, to the atheist the problem of evil is for the theist who need to find a way to make God and evil plausibly co-exist.

If this is really the case, then why can’t the theist appeal to his world-view to plausibly defend the notion that God and suffering co-exist? The answer is that there doesn’t appear to be any problem in doing so.

On most theistic accounts, it is not implausible to suggest that humans and/or spiritual beings are ultimately responsible for all evil that occurs- moral and natural evil. Of course this won’t be convincing to the atheist, but remember the problem is for the theist. The theist can grant that in terms of both parties agreeing that these states of affairs aren’t equally plausible for the atheist and theist. So what? The atheist is just confused here.

Similarly, to suggest that an afterlife exists is not implausible on the theistic account. (Of course this is important in terms of justice and everlasting joy). Once again, for the atheist this is not plausible. But this is not his problem. Indeed, it is not my problem that he finds it implausible. What is the problem is for me to find a plausible theistic account.

On the theistic account, it is quite plausible to suggest that we would not expect to know God’s exact reasons for allowing evil, independently of the problem of why God doesn’t write in the sky indeed why he doesn’t give us his reasons. On theism, God is the ultimate mind. We are finite minds. So it seems rather axiomatic that we can’t see most of his reasons for anything. Of course the atheist will now object that with a parent, the parent eventually reveals his reasons to the child.

Here the atheist is presupposing that God won’t eventually give us his reasons for allowing evil!

I hope I’ve given a new perspective about the problem of evil in this short writing. Particularly in the case of why do the theist answers have to be plausible to the atheist? Just something to think about because it has almost always been taken for granted, which is a shame because it’s not obvious. If my case is true, then the theist has essentially conquered the rational problem of evil. Of course here the theist needs to remind the atheist that the problem evil and suffering is really way more of an emotional problem of evil. In fact, if the world contained 99% good, I doubt we would bring up the problem.


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