Friday, February 16, 2018

Frank Turek and the (so-called) "problem of evil"

I really enjoyed Frank Turek's talk on Christian apologetics two weeks ago at IU Southeast. It was well-organized, funny, fast-paced, informative, chippy but respectful, wide-ranging, etc. If you get the op to see him in action-- Christian, deist, agnostic, skeptic-- I'd recommend him highly. (Here's another post with some other details on the talk.)

I was just thinking again this AM about a cool point that was new to me-- that "evil" proves the existence of God. The claim that something is evil *requires* a notion of the good and standards of good/evil and justice/injustice-- which then point to something transcendent. (This is a version of the flip side of a famous coin: if believers have a problem with "the problem of evil", then non-believers have a problem with "the problem of good.")

So, the more important question is why God allows evil to exist as much as it does. (The fancy word for this is "theodicy".) My favorite answers to this are: 1.) slippery slope (on the evil spectrum of A-Z, if God got rid of S and T, then Q and R would look really evil-- by definition-- and one would continue to question God on this; 2.) Matthew West's song "Do Something"; and 3.) we usually want God to allow evil to exist when *we* generate it, but not when others do!


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