God’s Permitting Horrific Evils

Dr. Craig

I have attempted on several occasions to have you explain the following .

1) How can a maximally great being possibly have a "sufficient" reason to allow things such as the rape of a child, if as you say such an act is "objectively" evil?

It seems to me that the above is as illogical as a maximally great being having a sufficient reason to allow 2+2=5 .............. If 2+2 =4, then no amount of power, will, or sufficient reason could change that objective truth! I would like to hear you explain how if in the same sense that " Child + Rape = objective evil" then how could a maximally moral being find sufficient reason for permitting it being actualized in any possible world?

Your previous attempts in suggesting that God, allows such evil in order to have more souls come to him freely simply doesn't seem to add up logically. At best that is presupposing that a maximally great being could act contrary to his own objective truths for some greater good. (Allowing the suffering of an innocent child = more saved souls) But does that make any more sense than 2+2=5? Certainly not to me! Could God, for the sake of saving souls permit married bachelors, square circles etc.?

If (child rape) "is" objectively evil as you say, then even God, could not have a sufficient reason to permit it. Allowing the suffering of a child to save a soul makes it an discretionary act of God's subjective decision making, and not an objective truth rooted in his very nature. If God can permit it to occur then it follows that despite our subjective objections to such acts that God, has a purpose in allowing it to be actualized. If God permits it, then it follows logically that it cannot be objectively wrong; how else could God have a sufficient reason for permitting it? It appears you want it both ways: But objective truths has no sufficient reason to be anything other than true or false!

2) A world wherein events such events as the "Holocaust" do not occur is maximally greater than a world wherein such events do occur. The Holocaust occurred! It follows our world is not maximally great!

It would follow logically that if it were even possible that such a world could exist, that only such worlds would exist if in fact a maximally great being does exist.

Why would a maximally great being create a world wherein his maximal greatness is not reflected?

The world we live in is often very cruel and seems as if (so called evil)) is arbitrarily measured out unfairly.

A child is raped and dies leaving behind a loving family and never having known the joys growing up, marrying, or having children of his/her own, yet many Nazi's including (The Dr. Of Death: Josef Mengele) escapes and lives a life of Reilly into their golden age. Fair? A sign of maximal greatness to bring more souls to Christ? The truth is, agnosticism, and atheism is primarily the result of the cruelness and harsh world we live in: Its hard to believe that a maximally great being allows less than maximal greatness to prevail in any possible world. Then what is the agnostic and atheist told? Believe it this this way or that way, or else a much crueler world awaits them: But, what kind of maximally great being hides from his creation and expects blind allegiance in order to make it into the next world wherein we are told it will actually reflects his maximal greatness? Why not create that world in the first place? I used to be a devout Christian, yet have watched both my mother and father be robbed of their mental faculties after years of faithful service. The cruel world my father lives is 24 hrs of pain and the onslaught of dementia, the same disease that claimed my own mothers life...But I am but one of millions of members of the human species that has watched faithful servants be rewarded in this life with Dementia, Alzheimer's , Cancer , Gulags, Nazi's, tornado's, hurricanes, dunk drivers, etc.... The reality Dr. Craig, is that the world does not reflect maximal greatness, it reflects arbitrary measures of pleasure and pain wherein we all must at times ask: Why? I won't say arrogantly with certainty that God does not exist, but it is becoming harder and harder for me to believe that a personal and maximally great one does.

David

United States

Read Dr. Craig's answer HERE

A Powerful Apologetic Method: ABDUCTIVE Reasoning!

"What in the world is 'Abductive Reasoing'?" Well, abductive reasoning is employed by crime scene detectives, car mechanics, and your medical doctor.  Abductive reasoning is when you look at all the known facts, and seek to form the best explanation to explain the data.  Abductive reasoning seeks to find the "inference to the best explanation" for the known facts.   

This is a vital way of thinking and investigating that all serious Christians should be engaged in....

 - Pastor J. 

A theodicy (Answering some questions about God and evil)

Incumbent to the duty of the apologist is to be prepared to not only defend the essentials of the faith (the existence of God or the resurrection) but also issues that tend to have a strong grasp on the emotions of people—the seemingly incompatibility of evil and the existence of God is one of these issues. In this paper I will address five questions and that can hinder the intellectual capacity of people to discern aspects of God (be it His goodness or even His existence) and formulate a theodicy. The questions are, 1. Why is there any evil at all? 2. Why are there the types and kinds of evils that there are? 3. Why is there the amount of evil that there is? 4. Why is there the particular evils that there are? 5. Why does God allow moral evils, and, natural evils, as He does?

Before attempting to make compatible the existence of God and the existence of evil, it should be examined from purely a neutral standpoint (if this is even possible)This is a crucial step as it sets the table to answer each of these questions. For the purposes of this paper, suppose we argue that the neutral position consists of a world that is nearly identical in every respect from this world save one major difference, there are no purported religious experiences or in fact no religions at all—no one believes in God and for all intents and purposes God does not exist. In this sense, I will refer to religion as a belief in a being or reality that transcends earth and its inhabitants. In this scenario I would like to ask the question, does this world have a problem with evil? The answer is both yes and no. Yes it has a problem with evil in the sense that people would still kill each other, still commit hate crimes, and commit all sorts of atrocities; or that moral evil would still be as equally prevalent in this world as it is in ours. Further, on top of the problems with moral evil there also the remaining problem of natural evil; earthquakes and tsunamis and hurricanes still ravage the land leading to death and people losing homes and property.

In another sense, even though it is clear to the inhabitants of our world that the neutral world is full of evil, it is impossible for these events and actions to actually be considered evil (from the neutral perspective). Simply put, if there is no absolute moral law (the ability to claim that certain things in all cases are evil) then there could be no breaking of those moral laws. At best, without the use of a universal standard, one could merely hold to preferences and nothing else, i.e. “I prefer to not be murdered” as opposed to “all incidences of murder are evil.” The only means of having a universal law is through a universal law giver (God), without which universality is impossible.

Any normative system of ethics would deny subjective morality as it pertains to person to person morality. Or that, it seems that a robust ethical system could not be stemmed from the preferences of any given person—there are too many limiting factors between people.  Education, culture, mental faculties, past trauma, presupposition, socio-economic status, and upbringing all affect one’s view concerning the morality of any given event. Further, if person to person morality follows, what happens if a conflict occurs? What if Dwight thinks it is perfectly fine to murder but Gareth does not like the idea of being murdered at all. What then? Obviously the scope must be bigger then a given individual.

If person to person morality fails what about having morality decided by a given group of people (such as a country)? The problem with this possibility fails for the same as the previous, different countries have different cultures, educations, socio-economic status and so on. On top of this, if a country or a culture decides what is evil or wrong, then one culture could not tell another culture that their actions are wrong—who could then, by moral grounds rightly stand up against Nazi Germany? Thus far, the neutral world has no means of proclaiming the evil of anything.

This neutral world could, via universal consensus decide that everything on vice list A(which contains things like rape, murder, and stealing) is evil and conversely everything on virtue list A ( which contains things like charity, hospitality, and bravery) is good. If this occurred, would it be possible then for universal objective evil and good to exist? The answer is still no. Even if the entirety of the world were in agreement on the morality of a given action, this would not entail objective morality, but merely subjective morality but with a high degree of agreement.

Further, if the neutral world began to exist (and by however means it did) based on an irrational cause (for there is no rational causer such as God) how could the people of this world ever hope to even formulate words 

about

 evil let alone be able to clearly delineate it; or that one could believe that the world is merely a product of an irrational cause, but if that was case, they would have no rational grounds in believing that (or anything at all).

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