Defenses of God (“Theodicies”): How Can an All-Good, All-Powerful God Exist and There Still Be Evil in the World? • Pain is useful as a warning of injury Objection: most pain does not warn and is useless • Evil is needed to help us appreciate the good Objection: so evil is ultimately good? And why so much evil? Why can’t God just give us such knowledge?
Problem of Evil (continued) Al Plantinga • Evil is defined from our perspective Objection: this makes evil (& good) unreal • Evil is punishment for our wrong-doing Objection: evil is not tied to moral desert • Evil results from misuse of our free will Objections: (a) why couldn’t God create us to choose freely to do good always—like him or the blessed in heaven? (b) What about natural evil?
Problem of Evil (continued) • Experience of evil is part of the process by which we develop into moral beings Objections: the horrific suffering necessary for such moral development is inconsistent with the existence of a loving God. What does a dying infant learn through suffering? And how does moral development justify the suffering of animals?
The Existence of God and Evil Are Irreconcilable(Fyodor Dostoevsky) • Evil is real, so is God: that situation is unintelligible and its acceptance relies on faith alone • Suffering (especially in children and animals) is never made up and is unforgivable. It has no purpose or rationale: that is why faith is not rational and does not make sense (1821-81)