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Word Count: 1260In “Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion,” Philo is a skeptic who believes, to some extent, that God is incomprehensible, but draws careful conclusions about Him based on experience. Philo discusses what can be inferred about God’s nature based purely on empirical evidence from the world. He challenges the idea that it is possible to infer God’s nature based on observation of the universe. He uses two concepts to prove his ideas: Epicurus’ old questions and four circumstances that lie behind the evil that humans and animals experience.Epicurus’ old questions are the following: “Is he willing to prevent evil, but not able?” This means that God wishes he could stop the bad things from happening, but he doesn’t have the power to. This would imply that he lacks ability and is not omnipotent, which is problematic when discussing the all-powerful God of the Christian faith. The second question is, “Is he able, but not willing?“ Meaning God has the power to stop these bad things, but he is not willing. This would imply that he himself is evil, or at least without the good and loving intentions that Christianity believes He has. The third question is “Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?” This implies that God has both the ability and the willingness to prevent evil. These questions pose an intellectual challenge because they imply that anall-good, all-powerful God cannot exist while there is evil in the world, and there is currently evil in the world. This is especially a challenge to Christians believing 1
God to be entirely good and powerful, because if God were to be all-good and all-powerful, he would prevent all bad things because he would have the power to do so and of course his goodness would cause him to not want any evil to fall upon the world. But there is still evil in the world, so that would imply that, based