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Evil and God’s existence

Let’s start this series on suffering by addressing it on the philosophical level, and then approach it from the personal level.  Obviously, in the face of someone who just lost a loved one, these intellectual arguments for God’s existence would seem uncaring and cold.  That is not the time for them.  This defense of the faith, or apologetic, and the topic of suffering is necessary, but in the right context: when you are having a discussion with someone about current events, or answering someone’s questions online.  I’ll address the ministry side of dealing with people and their suffering  on a personal level later.

When philosophically addressing the issue of theodicy–the issue of God’s justice amid evil and suffering–the question often arises in this manner: “If God exists, why is there evil?”  The assumption is that since there’s evil, God doesn’t exist; He wouldn’t allow it if He saw it.

One way to answer that question is to reverse it: “If God doesn’t exist, why is there good?”  Just the mere existence of evil doesn’t deny God’s presence.  In fact, when one looks at the good deeds in the world, one can argue the opposite–God must be present because of altruism.

Getting to the starting assumption, or presupposition, is key, because all worldviews begin with them.  In this case, evil and God cannot co-exist.  Expose that thinking: what if God exists and is allowing suffering?  And what if God exists and is working good as well?

And that leads to another question: what is good?

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November 26, 2018

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