Lately I have been writing about the argument from evil against the existence God. This argument is meant to show that God’s existence is unlikely given the fact that we suffer at the hands of nature and our fellow creatures.
Interesting video story of Jennifer Fulwiler’s journey to Christianity from being an atheist all her life. This doesn’t mean Christianity is true, but it’s worth considering the rationale in her story:
Theists who use the free will response to the problem of evil argue that the existence of moral and natural suffering is unsurprising if God exists. God, they claim, has good reason to create free creatures who play a significant role in shaping their own lives and the lives of others – for good or for ill. Moreover, free will depends on a system of natural laws that enable predictions of the outcomes of one’s behavior; therefore, the suffering that issues from living in such a system becomes inevitable. To sum up, we should not be surprised to find moral and natural suffering in a world created by God.
Theists often try to explain why there is evil in the world by arguing that God highly values relationships characterized by moral responsibility for one’s actions and for the well-being of others. God values these things because moral responsibility is an integral part of love. Love implies the ability to seek the good of others and to intentionally benefit them. Love makes certain actions within a relationship valuable or harmful depending on what is done, and so those actions take on certain properties, such as being wrong, indifferent, obligatory, and praiseworthy. If love is of utmost value to God, then He would likely make creatures that Continue reading Free Will and the Problem of Evil→
In a previous post, I outlined four components of the soul-making response to the problem of evil. This response argues that moral and natural suffering are allowed by God so that humans can play an intentional role in developing the good character which God will fully endow them with in heaven. In the afterlife, those humans who have intentionally shaped their characters in the direction of goodness, and who have confirmed their intention in the face of suffering and temptation to the contrary, will be endowed by God with Continue reading 2 Objections to the Soul-Making Theodicy→
Apologetics – like any area of study – has its pros and cons. One of the pros of studying apologetics is that one quickly gains a birds-eye-view of the many positions that are out there, as well as the tension-points in each position. Seeing the bigger picture helps one to assess different worldviews by checking how they fit with particular facts. Unfortunately, one of the cons of apologetics has been Continue reading Apologists, Please Stop Lumping Agnostics Together With Atheists→
Fideism is the view that human beings live in separate religious spheres because of their different attitudes toward God. Believers begin with the assumption that God exists and base all of their subsequent thinking on that foundation. Unbelievers begin with the assumption that Continue reading Three Pitfalls of Religious Fideism→
Whether we identify as seekers or believers, most of us who think the existence of God would be a good thing have experienced times of confusion and discouragement in their search for truth. There are a lot of opinions and philosophies about God, a lot of books to read, and a lot at stake in how one thinks about God. I know this feeling full well. Sometimes it seems that the harder I try to find answers, the more Continue reading 4 Ways to Search for God When He Seems Hidden→