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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The truth about 'the problem of evil'

There is a wildly popular "argument" (*) against the reality of the Biblical Creator-God, generally called "the problem of evil", but also called "the problem of pain" and "the problem of suffering". So popular is this "argument", that it is frequently called "the single strongest argument for atheism".

I wish to share with Gentle Reader this incisive comment concerning the so-called argument -- Blog & Mablog Tired of Paradise
"Adam did not rebel against God because he was tired of living in a slum. No, his children live in slums because he grew tired of living in Paradise . . . The cause of the evil is our revolt against the good, which we routinely justify by pointing at the evil" (Rules, p. 135).

Here is a video of some fool named Steven Fry illustrating a typical deployment of "the problem of evil/pain/suffering". What, do you think, are the odds that he puts on that much a show about abortion? What, do you think, are the odds that he donates *any* of his own money to charities that effectively battle the causes of childhood blindness? Oh, come on! You've been around the block: you know, without even Googling him, that he works himself into a white-hot rage only if anyone suggests reducing the number of abortions, or not forcing the tax-payer to fund them (which amounts to reducing the occurrence); and that he'll heatedly blather-on about "greedy" conservatives who wish to reduce the size of The State, which, among other thing, involves reducing everyone's tax burden, even as he shelters his own income, which is more substantial than yours and mine, from taxation.

In other words, to the likes of Steven Fry, it's the pose that matters, not the substance or facts.

(*) It's not really an argument, as can be seen by the fact that having been given a rational-and-logical answer to the proposed problem, the person who poses it is *never* satisfied that he has received an answer. This is because he's not posing a rational-and-logical question, however much it may initially appear to be one.


SRV said...

I think that answer, while I agree with it to a point (though not perhaps in the same way you do as a Christian) is not complete and does not provide the total answer for the existence of evil.

Ilíon said...

It's not meant to provide the total answer for the existence of evil. It's not even *about* evil, per se.

It's about the so-called argument from evil. To be more precise, it's about human (individual and collectively) hypocrisy concerning evil.

SRV said...

it's about human (individual and collectively) hypocrisy concerning evil.

Yes, that I can agree with completely, and I do see the point. I think I once heard a conversation about evil with the Jewish talk show host Dennis Prager, and someone wanted to blame God for terrible things like murder and rape, and Prager said that's humans creating the evil, not God.

These are also versions of the free will Theodicy, of course.