What Is the Problem of Evil?

Epicurus's questions are yet unanswered. Is he [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able? then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil?

- David Hume, Dialogues concerning Natural Religion

Podcast of the Day

Stephen Law, author of The Philosophy Files, The X-Mas Files and The War for Children's Minds, explains the Problem of Evil and gives an original take on this traditional philosophical problem.

Listen to Stephen Law on The Problem of Evil

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Short Article of the Day

The world contains quite a lot of evil: intense suffering, premature death, and moral wickedness. Let’s say that the proposition E is a report of all the facts about the evil in the world.

Many people believe in something like the Anselmian God (Anselm 1965 [1077-78]: ch. 2): an omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), and morally perfect being. This inspires a question: Why would God permit E? The question is sometimes rhetorical: He wouldn’t, and so He does not exist...

Continue reading Thomas Metcalf's article: The Problem of Evil

Further Reading

Journalist and best-selling author Lee Strobel commissioned George Barna, the public-opinion pollster, to conduct a nationwide survey. The survey included the question "If you could ask God only one question and you knew he would give you an answer, what would you ask?" The most common response, offered by 17% of those who could think of a question was "Why is there pain and suffering in the world?" (Strobel 2000, p. 29). If God is all-powerful, all-knowing and perfectly good, why does he let so many bad things happen? This question raises what philosophers call "the problem of evil."

It would be one thing if the only people who suffered debilitating diseases or tragic losses were the likes of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin or Osama Bin Laden. As it is, however, thousands of good-hearted, innocent people experience the ravages of violent crime, terminal disease, and other evils...

Continue reading the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on The Logical Problem of Evil by James R. Beebe

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Related Topics

If you’re interested in the problem of evil, check out some of the following related topics for more resources:

Aquinas | Augustine | Evil | God | Religion

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