Probably the most powerful reason against the existence of The Classical God of Theism (hereafter referred to as God) is evil and suffering in the world. The problem of evil is an ‘a posterori’ argument, established from experience based on empirical senses. It is also synthetic as evil and suffering can be seen around us daily. There are a number of possible reasons for the problem of evil and why it causes a problem for religious believers, making it an inductive argument also. In his book Philosophy of Religion John Hick defined evil and suffering as “physical pain, mental suffering and moral wickedness”
“The Rock of Theism” is what David Hume called the Problem of Evil as it is a strong argument for atheists to use against the existence of God and such a hard one for theists to address. The challenge of evil is the ultimate challenge to believe in God as it can’t be solved. The problem of evil causes problems for religious believers as it presents four problems, a theological problem as it challenges the nature of God, a philosophical problem as the believer has to accept conflicting claims, a diverse problem as evil comes in different forms with each requiring its own explanation and finally a challenging problem as the existence of evil and suffering is real and happening every day.
As there is more than one type of evil that also causes problems for religious believers as God didn’t just create one evil but multiple ones. Moral evil is “all evil caused deliberately by humans doing what they ought not to do” (Richard Swinburne) e.g. murder, terrorism, war whereas natural evil is “the evil that originates independently of human actions” (John Hick) e.g. volcanoes, famine, disease. Leibniz coined the term ‘metaphysical evil’, which is tracing back the evil (moral and natural) to their ultimate cause.
Monists claim that the universe is a single harmonious unity that is good