Problem of Evil

Problem of Evil - • Back to the stone o Perhaps...

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The Problem of Evil 9/12/06 The problem of evil o An atheological argument o Moral evil: the production of a harm or suffering by a free agent who acts while aware of the harmful consequences of his/her act. o Physical evil: the production of harm or suffering by something other than a free, knowing agent (eg. Disease, earthquake) Hume’s Philosophy o Is he willing to prevent evil but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil? (p.63) o Is it your turn now to tug the laboring oar (p. 66). Sharpening the problem o 1. The GCB is omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient o 2. The GCB would therefore be aware of moral or physical evil (even before it occurs). o 3. The GCB has the power to prevent all evil. o 4. The GCB would will that there would be no evil. o 5. Evil exists. o 6. Therefore, there is no GCB.
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Unformatted text preview: • Back to the stone o Perhaps omnipotence is not a matter of being able to do anything. Perhaps it is instead a matter of being able to do anything it is possible to do. • Leibniz’s (1647-1716) answer o “the best plan is not always that which seeks to avoid evil.” o “God allowed to certain creatures the opportunity of exercising their free will even when he foresaw that they would turn to evil.” • Responses to the problem o “God is giving us a test.” o “Evil is just a privation.” o “Things balance out” o “No mountains without valleys” o Is the existence of some evil compatible with the existence of the GCB? (defense) o Is the existence of the actual amount of evil compatible with the GCB? (theodicy) • Moral virtues that require evil o Forgiveness, Compassion, Mercy, Perseverance, Courage...
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2008 for the course PHIL 100 taught by Professor Green during the Fall '06 term at UVA.

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