This world is subject to great acts of goodness and also great acts of evil. These acts have extreme range on both sides, demonstrated in kindly helping your neighbor to build a fence and conversely, descending all the way to the holocaust. As it seems, both sides act on their own volition. Evil and good can also happen in seemingly non-directed ways, as in finding a giant sack of money on the ground or having your town destroyed by a tornado. The state of the world is that there are acts of good and evil, for whatever reason they happen.
The problem of evil arises in the belief, or to go further, the possibility of an O3 god. That is, a god that is omniscient, omnipotent and ...view middle of the document...
The first objection deals with the assertion that god is lacking in power, knowledge of goodness because “whoever does not choose the best is lacking” in such qualities. As the best choice seems likely to have been a complete lack of evil in the universe, “God did not choose best in creating this world.”
In his argument, Leibniz denies that god made the wrong choice in creating the universe as it is. He invokes the “best of all possible worlds” argument, stating that the world would not be otherwise if there was a better way for the world to be. He admits that there is evil in the world and that it is possible for god to have created an evil free world, but that some evil must be done for the benefit of the greater good. He states that he sides with Thomas Aquinas in that god permits evil for the good of the universe, and that god deliberately allows certain creatures to exercise their free will instead of acting to prevent sin that he may have foreseen. He then challenges any objectors to prove that a world without evil would be better than a world with evil.
I would argue that this is not the best of all possible worlds, but rather a world that simply is, even one guided by a divine hand. I don’t have a conception for the “best” universe, but I can certainly say the state of the universe could be better, meaning, at least, that the current one is not best. As an example there could be no malaria on Earth, something that is purely destructive towards humans. A world without malaria would be unquestionably better than this. If evil is to be defined as: this could have been better, the world is full of evil.
As for the problem of evil, not all misfortune is by human hand or with intention, and some of the evil that is, such as genocide, cannot possibly be for the greater good. Just as the Reverend Tom Honey was thrown into conflict with the devastating tsunami he cited, and with further examples of the two recent earthquakes positioned at opposite ends of the globe, I cannot see how the wake of destruction caused by all natural disasters could possibly be for the overall benefit of humanity. I do believe that some destruction can progress humanity into a better position, but that posit requires learning from mistakes and improving because of them, and also only covers a small portion of all the evil that happens in the world.
I cannot see the potential to learn from AIDS or HIV, other than to eradicate it and be more prepared for the future, but why should we have to learn how to beat a deadly disease in the first place? To what ultimate goal will the deaths of diseased millions achieve? It is impossible to deny that the world would be a better one without cancer or even the common cold.
The examples that Sam Miller brings up in Perry’s Dialogue on Good, Evil and the Existence of God of suffering an early morning to go fishing or to have a dull chapter or an ugly part of a painting only work if the action or composition has a...