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In what way does the problem of evil lead to atheism?

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Introduction

In what way does the problem of evil lead to atheism? Philosophy Leatitia Teboh 12.08.2011 Word Count 3880 Content Page Abstract................................................................................................................3 Introduction......................................................................................................4-5 What is evil and suffering.................................................................................5-7 Is there a God or Not.......................................................................................7-9 The philosophical and theological problem of evil and suffering...................9-10 God is not perfectly Good.............................................................................10-11 God is not all-powerful.................................................................................11-12 God is not all loving............................................................................................12 Evil is a punishment...........................................................................................13 Evil is a test...................................................................................................13-14 Evil is inevitable..................................................................................................14 Evil allows God's love to be displayed..........................................................14-15 Conclusion....................................................................................................15-16 Bibliography.......................................................................................................17 Abstract The Christian tradition is founded upon the belief that there exists a supernatural personal being who is the ultimate creator and to which all other beings owe their existence. Three major characteristics are endorsed to this being God, that of being omnibenevolent, omnipotent and omniscient. I intend to show that the existence of evil in the world today gives an adequate validation for the non-existence of God. I will argue that a wholly good, wholly powerful and all knowing, God can co-exist with Evil and because of that it influences people to become atheist. This mean that, as a consequence, I will argue that a Omnibenevolent, Omnipotent and Omniscient God exists, but because of the evil around us people ask question; if God is all 'omnibenevolent', 'omnipotent' and 'omniscient', why is he not able to stop all the evil and sufferings in the world because if he can't do it then that means there is no God; so because of that they turn to become atheist. The Problem of evil is usually seen as the problem of how the existence of God can be reconciled with the existence of evil in the world. It's regarded as a logical problem, because it is based on the apparent contradiction involved in holding onto three incompatible beliefs. The fact that evil exists in the world constitutes the most common objection to the belief in the existence of God of Classical Theism. ...read more.

Middle

Hindus and Buddhists think, evil is an illusion brought about by human greed and selfishness. For Hindus, under the doctrines of karma and reincarnation, all suffering is the result of evil committed in previous life. They say suffering is not from God, nor is God for it, because the actions (karma) of a person in one life affects that person in the next. Evil and suffering can therefore be overcome by a person achieving good karma which relates to the fact that the person will have to be doing good for others. Because then it means in the next life, one will move up the chain and eventually be united with Brahman (God). For monotheistic believers, there is no such thing as evil. It is an illusion of the human mind. Scriptures tell of the mixture of good and evil in human experience and record sorrow, suffering and human wickedness. Evil is seen an utterly bad and entirely real because for example when someone feels happy it's real and when someone is in the bad mood it is real. The writers of the Bible did not attempt to underestimate the reality of evil and suffering. Example the Psalmist writes in the most graphic detail of his personal suffering: "Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for God".9 But one of the most often cited biblical narratives is that of Job, who suffered at the hands of Satan but with God's permission, raising difficult questions about the nature of innocent suffering and God's role in human pain. Just like it's written in the New Testament that suffering is a crucial part of the ministry of Jesus. God becomes human in order to take on human sin through genuine suffering and death. ...read more.

Conclusion

(Matt. 5:45)19. Furthermore, when Job challenged God about why he was suffering, refusing to accept that it was a punishment, God confirmed his sense that there was no direct relationship between Job's sin and his sufferings, but asserted his right to allow him to suffer simply because he is God, the creator: "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding. (Job 38:4)20 Evil is a Test This view maintains that God uses evil and suffering in order to test human qualities and give humans the opportunity to show love, courage and other noble trials. Such testing builds character and helps humans to become better and closer to God: "Though now for a little while you may have had suffer and grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so your faith may result in praise, glory and honour". (1 Peter 1:6-7)21 Evil is Inevitable In this view, God is not responsible for evil and suffering, it is simply that this world, with all its imperfections, is the best possible world. If there were no evil there could be no good. Good needs the contrast of evil, as D. Z. Philips says: "The first morally sufficient reason ascribed to God to justify his allowing evils to exist, which I want to discuss, is the claim that if God wanted to create goods, it was logically impossible for him to do otherwise. Any good gets its sense from a contrast with an evil. To call for the absence of evil is, unwittingly, to call for the absence of good at the same time". Evil is logically necessary for human development because moreover, at the end, everything will be perfect in God's love: "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away". ...read more.

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