The Problem of Evil and God


This site is devoted to the logical problem of evil -- the charge that an omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent God is logically incompatible with the existence of evil. It is particularly concerned with the attempt to reconcile evil and this God by appealing to human freedom. In our era, the most prominent defender of the logical problem of evil is the atheist philosopher J. L. Mackie. The most prominent contemporary defender of this defense of theism is the Calvinist philosopher Alvin Plantinga.

Meditations on God and Evil

I will approach this issue not just from philosophical perspective, but also from a personal and even spiritual one. The problem of evil is not just an abstract, academic exercise in conceptual engineering, but a spiritual struggle between the demands of the reality of evil and the equally real demands of religious faith. No doubt that faith in God is typically tied to and grounded in a host of awesome and majestic passions, emotions and experiences, culminating perhaps in religious and mystical experiences. But despair and anguish in the face of senseless cruelty and suffering, a sense of infinite and godless darkness, compels the spirit with as much force as an experience of infinite divine light. These are the topics of the monthly meditations on the logic of God and evil.  Read February 2012 meditation here.

A Message from Ivan Karamazov

"Tell me frankly, I appeal to you -- answer me: imagine that it is you yourself who are erecting the edifice of human destiny with the aim of making men happy in the end, of giving them peace and contentment at last, but that to do that it is absolutely necessary, and indeed quite inevitable, to torture to death only one tiny creature, the little girl who beat her breast with her little fist, and to found the edifice on her unavenged tears -- would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me and do not lie!"

"And can you admit the idea that the people for whom you are building it would agree to accept their happiness at the price of the unjustly shed blood of a little tortured child and having accepted it, to remain for ever happy?"

Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov Trans. David Magarshak, Penguin Books, 1958, 287-288.

Read monthly Meditations on God and Evil here!

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional