The Problem of Evil and Morality, a Humanist Answer, Part 1 April 15, 2012Posted by Ubi Dubium in Rants.
Tags: Epicurus, morality, religion
The “Problem of Evil” that atheists often pummel christians with was well summed up by the Epicurus:
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?
So, let me tackle my thoughts on this thoroughly, so I can just point people here instead of having to rehash this a thousand times.
First, I’d split this “evil” into two types. First there is the “evil” that people do to one another. This is the part that xians excuse claiming “free will”. Somehow it would violate our free will for god to intervene when one person is treating another person horribly. Even if I accepted that anwer (which I don’t), that does not cover all the bad things that happen in the world.
The rest and to me bigger part of the problem is the so-called “acts of god”. All the natural disasters that befall humans without regard to what religion they follow. How could it possibly violate our “free will” to stop sending tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts, earthquakes and tsunamis, epidemics, childhood diseases, and all the rest of this sort of thing our way? And why do they hit so indiscriminately? For all the strutting and posturing of the evangelists who claim that this is god’s wrath, why would god’s wrath hit so many innocents and true believers? Shouldn’t an all-powerful god have better aim? If some god were wanting to send a sinner a “message”, a well-placed lightning bolt would be much more effective. “Mysterious ways” the preachers claim. Well bollocks on that. If a god exists and wants believers, why be so mysterious? I think it’s a cop-out answer.
So back the xians come, inevitably, with something like this: ‘Well, you can’t explain it either, smarty-pants! And anyway, without god and the bible we woudn’t have morality at all. We’d all be running aroung killing everybody, so you’d better be grateful there’s a god!”
My analysis of this in Part 2.