AQA AS PhilosophyWatch
The logical problem of evil was first created by Epicurus in his Epicurean paradox and has been repopularised by the likes of John Mackie in his inconsistent triad.
This problem is outlined as follows:
- The classical theistic description of God is that he is an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent being.
- Evil and suffering exists in this world.
- An omnipotent being would have the power to stop evil and suffering.
- An omniscient being would acknowledge the existence of evil and know how how to stop evil and suffering.
- An omnibenevolent being would not permit evil and suffering to be inflicted onto its creation as it creates only goodness and love.
- Since evil and suffering exist, it must mean one or more of the qualities of God is invalid.
- This means that either the nature of this God is not as we thought, or that God is an impossible concept and does not exist altogether.
- Either way, we've shown that the classical idea of God is not compatible with the problem of evil which questions God's existence. As Hume puts it, "Evil is the rock of atheism".