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Title: The Problem of Evil
Author: David J Larkin
  ... Rationalisation:
Is it possible to rationalise any supposition, the affirmative or the negative case?
Keywords: Religion, Religious Arguments, Evil
Created: July, 2013

To 'understand' is to 'know' uncertainty. To 'understand' is to 'know' an uncertain God: Agnosticism.

•My considered opinion is that the traditional arguments, individually or in combination, advanced by both theist and atheist are unpersuasive. Consequently, my disposition regarding the existence of God is that of agnosticism, cautioned by the recognition that the more that we come to claim to understand about the natural world the less our inclination to posit the existence of the supernatural.


The presence, indeed, the prevalence of evil, its diverse manifestations and degree, it is argued challenges the affirmation of God as good, of God as loving. Of course, both the challenge and the affirmation presuppose knowledge, and an understanding, of the Nature of God and, indeed, the will of God.

The application of 'finite' concepts to the understanding or characterisation of the 'infinite' is problematic; as, indeed, is the uncritical application of the 'tangible' to the understanding or characterisation of the 'abstract'. An attempt to analyse a proposition that defies comprehension is surely the matter of nonsense. Furthermore, the inability to comprehend God is not a sufficient ground to dismiss the possibility of God.

If we contend (or accept) that God is both good and loving and that God could, by choice, eliminate evil from the world then why evil? [1] Is there a purpose or intent? [2] What can we conjecture regarding the will of God?


What greater gift of love than the gift of knowledge?

If God's gift, other than life, is knowledge then how can one comprehensively know love without knowing hate, pleasure without pain, safety without fear ... or excitement without tedium?

Arguably little consolation for the anguished. Perhaps ignorance is bliss; but if bliss is not the gift?

But, surely it is possible to know love by degree or by association—the love of chocolate, the love of Mozart, or the love of a child—without the need to experience, to know, the antithesis?

What greater gift of love than the gift of imagination?

If God's gift, other than life, is unconstrained imagination, the ability to contemplate, to wonder, indeed, to wonder about the good and, of course, the possibility of evil ... but to covet evil is not simply to contemplate the possibility, and to act requires more than mere contemplation.

What greater gift of love than the gift of freedom?

... the freedom to act upon one's desire ... But if one does not desire evil is one less free to act?

What greater gift of love than the gift of ... rationalisation?

NOTES (click the list-number for any additional link)
1. Notwithstanding the ultimate source of evil, if God were not omnipotent, not able by choice to eliminate evil, then surely we would all be children of a lesser God.
2. As a general reflection, it need not be necessary that there is a purpose, for example, a purpose to life: life being a mere contingency. However, if life is given by God, if the creation of mankind was no accidental affair, then I consider it reasonable to question why: what is the purpose or intent? Why would God create mankind? ... And, of course, the gift of life would have been a gift to a non-existent entity.
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