One of atheism’s strongest arguments against God is the existence of evil. If there really was an all-powerful and benevolent God, He would eliminate the scourge of evil in the world. But evil exists; therefore, God does not exist.
But this argument implodes upon itself. In order for the atheist to construct this argument, he must first define “evil.” That sounds easy enough; but is it?
Consider the atheistic worldview: This universe and all that is in it, including humankind, is nothing more than a random collection of atoms, without any purpose or meaning. In the words of Carl Sagan, “the cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be.” If that’s true, then the very concept of evil is purely arbitrary and illusory. Everything that happens is no more or less “good” or “evil” than anything else. From an entirely selfish standpoint, I may not like what I see around me (or what happens to me); and others may or may not share that opinion. But in the absence of God, there is no objective standard by which we can judge anything as evil.
The average atheist doesn’t see the inconsistency of his reasoning. In order to make this argument, he has to assume the existence of some objective value that he calls “evil.” But by embracing a purely materialistic explanation for the universe, he has destroyed any rational basis for such an objective value. Expressed another way, his very appeal to values of “good” and “evil” presupposes the existence of some universal standard of morality. That’s what we believers call “God.”
Some atheists attempt to escape the force of this conclusion by appealing to the shared experience of mankind. But this reduces morality to merely a numbers game. Which culture’s values shall we use as the basis for this shared experience? That reasoning has been used in the past to defend slavery, misogyny, genocide, and a host other evils. (Oops, there’s that word again!).
I freely grant that believers must likewise struggle with trying to reconcile the existence of God with the presence of evil. But at least we have a basis for identifying some behaviors as “evil,” thus rendering the struggle a rational one. The atheist has to borrow the very concept of evil from the believer before he can even begin to think about the problem.
The problem of evil, far from disproving the existence of God, has actually led some atheists to abandon their disbelief and embrace a God who, although allowing evil to exist for reasons known only to Himself, at least offers a hope that someday all the ravages of evil will be reversed.
“One of atheism’s strongest arguments against God”
Strongest according to whom?
I’m an atheist and that isn’t even one of my better arguments, let alone my strongest.
I have had discussions with you and I hate to tell you, but your proclamations of personal opinion are not arguments.
Like all atheists’ arguments, they are total nonsense.
You lack any and all good evidence and merely argue by trying to insult atheists.
Unless or until you have good evidence, I have absolutely no interest in engaging you in conversation.
Saying that I lack evidence is you not making argument. It’s you expressing mind numbing arrogance and ignorance and the usual psychopathic atheist denial of reality.
You said you had good arguments.
Make them leave the playing field.
Discoveries in cosmology have all but proven the Cosmological Argument in addition to making a superstitious laughing stalk of atheism’s great hero Carl Sagan.
And the standard that atheists use for good and evil comes straight out of the Bible from Moses and Jesus, two of mankind’s greatest and most influential individuals whom atheists are also trying very hard to hallucinate out of human history.
How’s all that for a black hole of horror that’s sucking the last bit of brain matter out of yet another postmodern zombie: atheism.
The problem of evil does not disprove the existence of God, but it does disprove the existence of a benevolent deity. God could very well exist, but simply be ambivalent, or even purely evil. Yes, a purely evil supreme Creator could exist, just as easily (perhaps moreso) as a purely good supreme Creator.
This raises another problem: relying upon the Bible. If a supremely evil Creator could exist, the Bible itself may be a part of that evil Creator’s trick. Regardless of how historically accurate, regardless of how much truth it contains, or whatever positive message it presents – even if you are able to cast out demons and manifest other fruits of the Spirit – these could all just as easily be part of a supremely evil Creator’s trick.
This is the real issue that the Problem of Evil raises. Not that God does not exist because evil exists, but rather that Christians are unable to demonstrate that they think they worship is not supremely evil.
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