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In almost all of the existence of humankind, the introduction of the all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good “God” continues to have a longstanding impact. In recent years, many people have been doubting if God is as “all-powerful” or “all good.” This argument is called The Evil Problem that poses a question: If God exists and is able to destroy anything, why is there still evil in the world? Many Christian philosophers have created an objection to this question, stating that God gave people free will and because of that free will they’re able to do whatever they want, even if it’s evil. If God took away all the evil in the world, he should also be able to take away free will because that is morally incorrect and would make the world even worse than possible. My view is that if God was a supposedly “morally perfect being,” he should have taken out evil, pain and suffering in the world since recently there has been too much of it. If God truly loved all of his creations, he would want only the best for his creation which doesn’t seem the case at all.
According to Michael Tooley’s “Problem of Evil,” The Evil Problem is explained as this: 1) If God exists, God must be all-powerful, all-knowing, and morally all-good. 2) If God is all-powerful, he should use all his power to destroy all evil and suffering. 3) If God is all-knowing, he should know when evil will occur/occurs and should be able to prevent it. 4) If God was morally good, then he would desire to eliminate evil. 5) Evil exists. 6) Now if both evil and God exists and God isn’t powerful enough to destroy evil, doesn’t know when evil will occur, and/or doesn’t have the desire to destroy evil. 7) Therefore God doesn’t exist. One aspect about this argument is how to read evil in order to gain a better understanding of it. For some, evil in this context means “needless suffering” in the world. In the free will objection, this newly discovered appeal completely contradicts this argument. To reiterate this again, it argues that God gave us free will and because we have free will, we are allowed to whatever we want, even if it’s evil. But when we define “needless suffering,” we can talk about poverty, natural disasters, diseases, and etc. That completely contradicts the argument where free will is something that humans decide for themselves, aware of the consequences and are completely chosen at any point where felt necessary, however needless suffering is even random and can happen at any time. It even adds to the question if God is actually even good at all if he allows natural disasters, disease and etc., which he has created since Biblical times, to affect and kill his creation.
The main topic of this objection is the elimination of free will leading to morally incorrectness, thus leading to the world becoming far worse than it is. However, Tooley argues that if God decided to create a world of humans who could exercise free will whenever needed yet trying to create a balanced, good world, wouldn’t he allow this free will to allow humans to do good things? Let’s also go back to the all-powerfulness that God supposedly pertains. If God is supposedly so powerful, how can he create free will and gave it to humans, but allowed evil to spread in the entire world, especially when his entire religion’s philosophy is to do good. It just doesn’t make sense at all.
Another argument that is made in this argument is that with free will comes the aspect of natural evil. For those unfamiliar with the Bible and Christianity, after the betrayal of Adam and Eve, God banished them from the Garden of Eden and put original sin on their descendants (all humans). Religious scholars have used this argument to argue that it is not God’s fault that evil occurs in the world, but rather the fall of Adam and Eve that has led to this. It can be explained as a Pandora’s Box, where curiosity led to evil to happen and thus is affecting humans in the world. Regardless, if God really was all-good, why in the story of Adam and Eve did he leave the apple of knowledge to them and was able to trust them so easily? If he was all-knowing, why didn’t he figure out Satan’s plan to sabotage his creation and let Satan trick Eve into eating the apple? Why did he even have a creation if he basically set them up to fail miserably? Did he impose this so-called free will onto them in order to see them fail? Is God the good guy or the bad guy? This argument brings a level of many contradictions that can be easily be argued for.
In conclusion, the claim of free will being morally correct thus God cannot be totally good can be plausible but with the amount of realistic contradictions against this objection makes it believable that God cannot exist after not fitting the criteria of the Evil Problem. It would be more passable if it was argued that needless sufferings were part of God’s plan for humans but as God is presented to be this holy being that is just perfect, it can’t be that God couldn’t allow his own creations to be perfect.
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