“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?”
-Epicurus (“De Rerum Natura” Lucretius)
The Epicurean Paradox (or Problem of Evil) has taken many forms throughout history. For many atheists it is regarded as solid evidence that God doesn’t/cannot exist. From my understanding, some of the most notable counter arguments from theists are as follows:
-Evil is nothing more than the absence of good. Since humans are not pure beings, any part of us that is not good is inherently ‘evil’. This relies on the view of evil simply as a contrast to good, and not a moral judgment.
-People are unable to grasp the concept of ‘evil’ and thus all ‘evil’ could actually be a part of God’s plan.
-Free will. If we all could only do good things, we would be mindless drones. God invented evil so that we would truly have a choice to make with our lives.
I was just wondering if you all had any comments and/or arguments for or against this paradox. I find the topic of some interest to me.
(This post is in many ways a summery of the wikipedia article that can be found on the topic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_evil So if you’re looking for more information or clarification it can probably be found there.)