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1 1 LECTURE 5 THE PROBLEM OF EVIL 1 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY 2 Our world contains much present and historical evil: Mass Murder, Torture, Starvation, Disease, Decrepitude, Utter Poverty, Oppression, Prejudice, Failure, Loneliness, Ignorance, Boredom, Depression - See Dialogues , Part X THE EVILS OF THE WORLD 3 The existence of evil has been felt for centuries a problem for theism. It seems difficult to believe that a world with the evil which ours contains could be under the control of a perfectly good, all-knowing and all- powerful person. - See Dialogues , Part X THE GENERAL PROBLEM
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2 4 The problem of evil is the main argument for atheism (the view that God does not exist). Other Arguments For Atheism [1] Inconsistency Arguments – it is logically impossible for there to be a being with God's traits. [2] The Argument from Silence – the failure of God to make it clear that God exists is evidence that God doesn't exist. AN ARGUMENT FOR ATHEISM 5 Evil is not - "a force" - necessarily personal Any intrinsically bad state of affairs counts as evil. Main Example: Pain and suffering (physical and mental). EVIL DEFINED 6 [1] Natural Evil – evil resulting from impersonal natural forces. - e.g. starvation and disease from a hurricane. [2] Moral Evil – evil resulting from the intentional actions of persons. - e.g. pain and suffering from torture.
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