The aim of this week’s assignment is to demonstrate that you have given some con


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The aim of this week’s assignment is to demonstrate that you have given some consideration to the argument that the existence of evil is logically incompatible with the existence of an appropriate object of worship (that is, a being that is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect).
Read the following and answer all the questions below:
And the Lord spake unto the philosopher, “I am the Lord thy God, all-loving, all-powerful, and all-knowing.”
“Surely not,” replied the philosopher. “I look at this world and see horrible disease, hunger, starvation, mental illness. Yet you don’t stop it. Is it that you can’t? In which case you are not all-powerful. Is it because you don’t know about it? In which case you are not all-knowing. Or perhaps you don’t want to? In which case you are not all-loving.
“Such impudence!” replied the Lord. “It is better for you if I don’t stop all this evil. You need to grow morally and spiritually. For that you need the freedom to do evil as well as good, and to confront the chance occurrence of suffering. How could I possibly have made the world better without taking away your freedom to grow?”
“Easy,” replied the philosopher. “First, you could have designed us so that we feel less pain. Second, you could have made sure we had more empathy, to prevent us doing evil to others. Third, you could have made us better learners, so we didn’t have to suffer so much to grow. Fourth, you could have made nature less cruel. Do you want me to go on?”
Source: The problem of evil recurs in different forms throughout the history of theology.
Baggini, J., The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten, 2005, p. 283.
Questions:
(1) How would you describe the defense (theodicy) that God gives in response to the philosopher? What kind of defense is it? Do you think it contains elements of more than one of the defenses we considered this week?
(2) Suppose that the philosopher in the above exchange adopts a Gnostic or Deistic worldview. (Choose only one.) What would they say to God about why evil exists in the world?
(3) Some claim that if we could see the world from God’s point of view, what looks like evil to us would no longer look like evil. Is this a satisfactory justification of evil? Explain. Additionally, what do you think is the biggest problem with this ‘God works in mysterious ways’ approach to the problem of evil?
Learning Objectives
The objective of this assignment is to demonstrate that you understand the logical problem of evil, various attempts to reconcile the existence of evil with the traditional divine attributes of God.

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