The (Believers) Problem of Evil
King James Version (KJV)
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
For those who believe in a god, especially a loving, merciful god, evil is a real problem. Some say that satan causes evil in the world, others that evil is god’s way of testing our faith.
As far as I can see it, these, and other arguments like them, all fall flat. I could write a whole book against these arguments (and many have), but instead, I think my position can be summed up with the following quote attributed to Epicuris:
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
The first quote, from Isaiah, pretty much shows that the god who Christians like to claim as being a god of love, is also a god of evil. Their Bible is pretty unequivical about it: the LORD creates evil. It really can’t be any other way, if, as they say, their god created everything, for by default, he must have created evil as well as good.
To surrender the cause of evil to an unseen and amorphous entity is to refuse to take any responsibility for the evil that humans visit upon each other. When you accept that evil is a product of human activity, you can then look it straight in the eyes and tackle it head on, instead of pawning it off to an imaginary god or gods.
There are many reasons that I am an atheist; there is my love of science, my thirst for knowledge, and my instance on truth, no matter how ugly it may be. Still, the two quotes above make a very powerful, yet simple, argument against believing in any god or gods. They are a beginning point for shuffling off the imaginary coil of belief and moving onto a life of real responsibility those with who we share this planet.
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