The Problem of Evil
The argument from evil is the argument that if an omnibenevolent and omnipotent God were to exist, he would not condone the apparent suffering and evil that takes place. This argument was first proposed by the Greek philosopher Epicurus who devised:
“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?”
One explanation for this is that the evil and suffering is the result of our free will which many versions of God is attributed to not intervene with. A famous supporter of this argument is the author C.S. Lewis who stated:
“Humans are free to do good or bad. Even an omnipotent God could not logically create humans who are free to do only good. Therefore evil is an inevitable consequence of human freedom.”
However, this counter-argument only explains what we consider ‘moral evil’ (such as shootings, suicide attacks, etc.) and not ‘natural evil’ which consists of events such as tsunamis, cancer and hurricanes which an omnipotent God could prevent.
Sceptical theism suggests that we do not have the knowledge to why these actions we attribute as ‘evil’ take place and that, to God’s omniscience, these actions have a greater purpose.
The Paradox of the Stone