Evil the Free Will Defense Suggests That Essay

Excerpt from Essay :


The free will defense suggests that God permits, but does not cause evil. Therefore, it is possible to live in a universe in which good and evil continually coexist. Human beings are blessed with the ability to make a choice that can further the objectives of God and good, or to promote the interests of evil. Although this view is logically coherent, there are clear objections to it.

One objection is that God has nothing at all to do with evil, and human beings, made in God's image, likewise have nothing to do with evil. Free will is therefore irrelevant and in fact negated. There is no such thing as free will, according to this point-of-view. All human beings have is a fate that has been pre-determined by God. Using this objection, it is easy to see how the human being is portrayed as a passive recipient of life rather than an active participator. Yet this view also changes the nature of God, too. God in this worldview is passive, and fully neutral. This is not a God interested in binaries of Good and evil. God only sits back and watches creation unfold like a drama that has no ultimate moral meaning. Concurrent with this objection to the notion that evil is the result of human free will is that that evil exists independently of the human being. Evil comes from external forces, like Satan, and the human being is powerless to do anything about it.

A second objection to the free will defense is rooted in atheism. If there is no God, according to the atheist, then there is also no Good or Evil. These are artificial categories constructed by the human mind. The human mind perceives all uncomfortable and painful situations as "evil," but this is just a classification system and is not sophisticated from an existential standpoint. It is better to view the world according to a Buddhist framework, which suggests that suffering has no "evil" component to it at all. Like the atheist, the Buddhist does not believe in a creator God who has dominion over the world. The world is created, destroyed, and maintained by…

Sources Used in Document:


"Introduction to Philosophical Inquiry." Retrieved online: http://philosophy.lander.edu/intro/hick.html

Speaks, Jeff. "Swinburne's Response to the Problem of Evil." Retrieved online: http://www3.nd.edu/~jspeaks/courses/mcgill/201/swinburne.pdf

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