When arguing the existence or non-existence of God, it is important to keep in mind that humanity still does not possess the required level of knowledge to make irrefutable conclusions. The main paradox here lies in the fact that by even stating that God does not exist, a person is forced to consider the counterargument for the discussion to take place. However, despite the fact some scholars do not view evil as an opposing force to the good and God, in particular, they still cannot prove the rightness of their judgments. Thus, the problem of evil cannot be viewed as a compelling argument against the existence of God.
Logical Problem of Moral Evil
The presence of evil and suffering in our world creates plenty of challenges for people to start believing in God. Those who deny the essence of the Holy Spirit state that if God were almighty, the evil would already be punished. Their main argument is that morally perfect God would want to do something about constantly reoccurring suffering. The key point of this opinion is that as long as evil exists, God cannot be treated as all-powerful. The idea is very similar to that expressed by Perry (1999): if God were almighty, he should be able to create a stone that would be too big for him to lift. Thus, if God cannot create such a stone, there is something he cannot do. In the meantime, if he can create a stone, there is still something he cannot do, namely, lift this stone. The author’s thoughts lead one to a logical conclusion that “either way, there is something God can’t do, which proves he isn’t omnipotent” (Perry, 1999, p. 39). Eventually, this statement contradicts the theist claim that there is a perfectly good God. The challenge this conflict creates for both parties is known to be called the problem of moral evil.
A lot of Perry’s supporters reject the existence of an omnipotent God, backing the idea that he cannot do logically impossible things. They, however, do not consider the possibility of God’s omnipotence to include the power to do what seems to be logically impossible. The fact God does not respond to the occurring problems does not mean he is not all-powerful. Much of the evil in this world comes from the choices people make. A great many individuals freely and voluntarily choose evil instead of good, and their choices often constitute the sources of moral evil. Van Inwagen (2014) is convinced that all human beings have free will and that their future is undetermined. He also states that people are responsible for the actions they take and the consequences those lead to. God could not create a logically-possible world in which everyone would be programmed to choose the good, for it would be the world of robots, not humans. In the meantime, the pain and suffering people encounter on a daily basis is not the best of all possible worlds since God has prepared a much better place for everyone who follows his will. Of course, he could end all the pain and suffering in a blink of an eye, but how would he know then if we are worthy of his love?
Eventually, all the attempts to deny the existence of God appear to be groundless when the evidence to a given statement is requested—bringing some dubious theories about what is logically possible or impossible cannot be regarded as irrefutable proof because the human understanding of logic differs from that of eternal God. By resorting to the problem of natural evil, which is defined as the suffering caused by natural forces, and attempting to question God’s omnipotence due to him staying silent, people do nothing but express their ignorance of the Holy Scriptures. There is no such concept as God’s inability to interfere with a natural cataclysm; there is always his will for something to happen. What one calls natural evil might be, in fact, the response of the Almighty to moral evil people do on a daily basis. Nevertheless, God’s tolerance is immeasurable, and the Last Judgment is still to come. Thus, the presence of natural evil cannot be viewed as an argument against the existence of God. It is, more likely, the sign of his fast-approaching arrival, which has been expected by Christians for more than two thousand years now.
In closing, one needs to admit that the problem of evil that scholars have outlined in their research works contradicts the existing concepts of Christianity and is often unveiled in an erroneous context. The presence of natural evil is not proof of God’s non-existence; it is a response to all the evil people do to each other without thinking about the consequences. All the theories philosophers bring can be easily argued. Thus, the question of whether God can create a stone that is too big for him to lift can be argued by another question: what should be the exact size of the stone?
Perry, J. (1999). Dialogue on good, evil, and the existence of God. Indianapolis, IN Hackett Publishing.
Van Inwagen, P. (2014). Metaphysics (4th ed.). Boulder, Co: Westview Press.