Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Unbelieving Arguments: The Problem of Evil

Over at Vincent Cheung's* newly created blog, in reference to the recent Tsunami, he comments on the atheists/unbelievers chief argument - The Problem of Evil. He also has a 19 page book for free download on the topic. It goes like this: "If there were an all-loving, all-knowing God, why does he allow evil to exist in the world?"

On its surface the argument looks to have some weight. But a few moments of reflection show the argument to be irrational and based on pure emotionalism. He writes,

Big or small, no instance of natural or moral evil can generate a logical problem for Christianity. On the other hand, big or small, every instance of natural or moral evil can generate an emotional problem in a person about Christianity. But then the "problem" is purely subjective, non-rational, or even irrational. That is, the problem is with the person, not with Christianity.
Pay close attention to the italicized words. The problem clearly lies in the emotions of the objector. In no way does evil in the world disprove the existence of God. What it does do is cause emotional struggles within the person.

In any case, "the problem of evil" is convincing only to those who hold to false and irrational presuppositions -- of the primacy of human dignity and physical welfare, for example, rather than the glory, the holiness, the wisdom, and the sovereignty of God. Instead, one who understands the holiness of God and the depravity of man asks, "Why are so many people still alive?"
As the bible declares in Romans chapter 8, natural man (man that has not been born again by God) is unwilling, and incapable of understanding the things of God. In verses 5-8, we read:
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Natural man hates God. He doesn't want God. He's not searching for the true God. And he'll look for any "reason" to deny Him.



*Vincent Cheung is the president of Reformation Ministries International. He is the author of more than twenty books and several hundred lectures on a wide range of topics in theology, philosophy, apologetics, and spirituality.

6 Comments:

At 3/22/2005 1:43 PM, Anonymous Mrs.357 said...

Another great post. Are you sure you have a day job? Do you do any work there?
All joking aside, I love your determination to set the world straight for the Glory of our Father. Your passion for the Lord is beatuiful. Cant't wait to read what's next. Go get em'!

Hey, by the way, we're out of eggs. I guess cause everyone's bought them up to dye for Easter......
...any thoughts on that?
You know you wanna, don't fight it. Plus, I wanna see some more of that passion of yours ;)

 
At 3/22/2005 1:52 PM, Blogger Nick Lidster said...

i put it simple about what you said... to abserve something is to change it. ones observations of anythign is no more wrong then the observations of another, it takes several observations for several differnt observers in oreder to find the truth that exists.

 
At 3/22/2005 2:27 PM, Blogger Chris Mangum said...

I'm not sure if English is your first language or not. If it's not, my hat's off to you because I think I understand the gist of what you're saying.

If English is your first language, then I'm not surprised by your illogical comments.

"to abserve something is to change it."

I have no idea what this means, if anything. Care to explain?

"ones observations of anythign is no more wrong then the observations of another"

Someone observes a passenger jet fly into a building in New York City. Another observed a missile, rather than a jet, fly into the building. One's observation is correct. One's is wrong. Are you being serious or what?

"it takes several observations for several differnt observers in oreder to find the truth that exists."

Interesting. Approximately how many "observers" must it take to warrant something to be the truth? Also, I have not observed this, does this make what you said untrue?

 
At 3/22/2005 3:34 PM, Anonymous Mrs.357 said...

Mr. Lidster.
I'm not quite sure I understand what you're saying in your comment. Please clarify. I would be interested to know what it is you were trying to communicate. I love a good debate.
The internet is great isnt it? A wonderful place to share your thoughts and opinions.
Incidentally, I went to check out your site. Nice, but I could'nt post any comments. I wonder why you wont let just anyone post? Is it fear of being contested or challenged in public(so to speak)? Maybe you're just new and didn't know how to fix that one setting...for someone with so many thoughts and opinions, I sure do hope it's the latter of the two.

 
At 3/24/2005 11:17 AM, Blogger Jon said...

What I find most interesting about these arguments along the "problem of evil" line is that they belie a number of fast assumptions about Judeo-Christian belief systems.

First, they turn a very convenient blind eye to that character Satan. They claim that god is responsible for all evil, yet ignore Lucifer, his defiance of god, and his constant preying upon mankind.

But let's play devil's advocate (mind the pun). Okay, God committs evil. I have to raise a question: who ever said this, you know Life, would be easy? Who ever said that God was gonna just sit around and cater to our whims and make everything easy for us and we'd never have any troubles?

Actually, there was a place quite like that. It was called Eden. We got ourselves thrown out of there, if you recall. We gave in to sin, and now we are cursed to live in a difficult world where we must strive to return to the lord. Why in the heck would God make this easy on us? Why *should* God make this easy on us?

And besides, if one wanted to make an argument for the necessity of evil, even from a strictly non-Christian sense, it's not very hard. The whole can't have light without the dark argument.

My favorite quote regarding atheism:

"Choosing atheism as a system of belief is the same as choosing standing still as a form of locomotion."
-Yann Martel, Life of Pi

(I probably goofed that, remembering it off the top of my head.)

P.S.: You misspelled Tom's Hardware, just fyi. ---->

 
At 3/24/2005 12:44 PM, Blogger Chris Mangum said...

Oh man! Thanks for the head's up. Good lookin' out.

harwware ;)

 

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