The Problem of evil is a term that refers to a set of atheological arguments that attempt to disprove theism by pitting the existence of a omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God and the existence of evil in the world against each other. 

Versions of the problem of evilEdit

Logical problem of evilEdit

The logical problem of evil attempts to deductively disprove theism by arguing that the proposition "there exists an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God" and the proposition "there exists evil" are mutually exclusive/logically impossible. Usually, these propositions are represented and broken down in the following format:

P1: If an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god exists, then there would be no evil. P2: There is evil.

C: Therefore, an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god does not exist.

The argument above is an deductive syllogism in the form of modens tollens, and is logically valid. To disprove it, one of the premises needs to be false.

Another form of the Problem of evil argument and a support for the first premise above goes like this[1]:

1. God exists, and is wholly good, omnipotent, omniscient, and omniscient.

2. Evil exists.

3. There are no limits to what an omnipotent, omniscient being can do.

4. A wholly good being always eliminates evil as far as it can.

5. God can eliminate or prevent all evil [From 1,3].

6. God will eliminate all of the evil that exists because he is good [From 1,4].

7. God eliminates or prevents all evil [From 5,6].

8. There is no evil [From 7]

9. There is evil [From 2, 8]

Another form goes like so. This one is formulated by J.L. Mackie. [2]:

(1) If God exists, God is an omnipotent and wholly good being.

(2) A good being always eliminates evil as far as it can.

(3) There are no limits on what an omnipotent being can do.

(4) Evil exists.

C: God does not exist.

Evidential problem of evilEdit

The evidential problem of evil attempts to use inductive reasoning to argue that the existence of a omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God is unlikely.

Respones and criticismEdit

Footnotes & ReferencesEdit

  1. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Evidential Problem of Evil", Nick Trakakis
  2. Common Sense Atheism on The Problem of Evil