Epicurus’ Argument


For those who are not aware, the argument goes as follows (in the most basic sense):

God exists.
God is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good.
A perfectly good being would want to prevent all evils.
An omniscient being knows every way in which evils can come into existence.
An omnipotent being, who knows every way in which an evil can come into existence, has the power to prevent that evil from coming into existence.
A being who knows every way in which an evil can come into existence, who is able to prevent that evil from coming into existence, and who wants to do so, would prevent the existence of that evil.
If there exists an omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good being, then no evil exists.
Evil exists (logical contradiction).

In plainer terms:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then He is not omnipotent. Is He able, but not willing? Then He is malevolent. Is He both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is He neither able nor willing? Then why call Him God?

The simple apologetic:
This logic displays good and evil in terms of physical forces, which move contrary to each other.  At first, this logic makes complete sense, because it is easy to apply physics-like properties to ideas, but this is of course not the case.

It is better to assume that Good and Evil is more comparible to a volume on a television, where silence is evil, and the maximum volume (lots of noise) is good.  Thus, silence is absolute evil, maximum volume is absolute good.  Now, it is safe to assume that the majority of modern televisions make the presumption that absolute silence or maximum volume is not always the best case, and therefore, there are intermediate volumes that may still contain portions of silence and volume.  This is also the case with good and bad, and a similar argument is made and brought forward by Augustine, called Privatio Boni, but it does not satisfty the increments of good and evil, and treats it as a if it had binary or on/off switch states.  That stated, it is observable that evil things can happen with some mixture of good in it, such as a bank robber being caught by police (bad = probably caught in the process of holding up a bank and possibly causing some harm to people; good = not [s]he is caught), or in other combinations, and moreso in amounts.

It is safe to assume that God is absolute good.  It is also safe to assume that humanity is not absolute good, and has potential to have evil (not enough Biblical information to say if it’s possible for a human to be absolute evil) – with this logic, it was possible that Hitler, Stalin, or other notable “evil” historical figures would have some capacity or capability of being good.

I think it’s clear that good and evil are not just two sides of a coin, but a scale between two states.

What do you think?  Leave comments and give me your take (which is completely possible to be contrary to mine)!

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