Philosophy: Does God Exist?

Philosophy: Does God Exist?

Philosophy: Does God Exist?

Does God Exist? Which argument on the existence/none existence of God you think is the most convincing in chapter 6? Pick one movie to discuss this argument. Analyze one specific scene in the movie where spectators can clearly see this argument on the existence/none existence of God. The essay must be done in MLA format with a minimum of 500 words

Necessary evil is an evil that is necessary to prevent a greater evil or promote a greater good.
For example: Chemotherapy.
Unnecessary evil is an evil that is not necessary to prevent a greater evil or promote a greater good.
For example: Torturing innocent children.

The Argument from Evil

There is unnecessary evil in the world.

If there were an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good being, there would be no unnecessary evil in the world.

Therefore, there is no all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good being.

Thought Experiment: Rowe’s Fawn

Suppose that in a distant forest, lightning strikes a tree, causes a forest fire, and burns a fawn to death.
How can an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good being allow such unnecessary suffering?


A theory that seeks to justify belief in God in the face of all the evil in the world is known as a theodicy.
Many different theodicies have been proposed over the years, and all seek to defend the claim that the evil in the world is necessary.

St. Augustine and the Free Will Defense

Evil is necessary for free will.
It’s possible to have free will and not choose evil, e. g., God, Mary, Jesus.
If God’s creation was perfectly good, how could evil enter into it?
The evil caused by humans (moral evil) is only one sort of evil. There is also evil caused by nature (natural evil).

Adam and Eve and Original Sin

The forbidden apple contained the knowledge of right and wrong. So before they ate the apple, Adam and Eve couldn’t have known eating it was wrong.
But if they didn’t know it was wrong, was it right to punish them? Philosophy: Does God Exist?
Even if it was right to punish them, was it right to punish all of mankind throughout eternity for what they did?

Is God’s Justice Different from Our Justice?

Voltaire: “How, you mad demoniac, do you want me to judge justice and reason otherwise than by the notions I have of them?”
John Stuart Mill: “I will call no being good, who is not what I mean when I apply that epithet to my fellow creatures.”
If God is not good in our sense of good, then it is false to call him good.

Thought Probe: Karma

According to the law of Karma, whatever evil we do in this life will come back to us in another life.
Hindus claim that Karma can explain natural evil—those who suffer evil at the hands of nature had it coming to them.
Is this a better solution to the problem of evil than those offered by Christians?

Thought Probe: Is There Free Will in Heaven?

Heaven is supposed to be a place where there is no sin and thus no evil.
But according to the free will defense, there cannot be free will without evil.
So how can there be free will in heaven?

The Knowledge Defense

Evil must exist in order for us to know good.
It’s possible to know evil without experiencing it, for example, Adam and Eve.
There is far more evil in the world than is necessary to give us a knowledge of it.

Contemporary Responses to the Indian Ocean Tsunami

“This is an expression of God’s great ire with the world. The world is being punished for wrongdoing.”

–Rabbi Schlomo Amar

“The tsunami is a warning from God to reflect deeply on the way we lead our lives.”

–Catholic Bishop Alex Dias


Contemporary Responses to the Indian Ocean Tsunami

“The tsunami was divine punishment for America’s cloning, homosexuality, trying to make homosexual marriages, abortion, lack of God in the schools, and taking Jesus out of Christmas.”

–Jennifer Giroux—founder, Women Influencing the Nation (WIN)


Thought Probe:
Wrath of God

The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed more than 200,000 people, is a classic case of natural evil.
Some see this as evidence of God’s wrath.
Would an all-good, all-knowing, all-powerful being kill 200,000 of his children to punish them or teach them a lesson?

The Ideal Humanity Defense

Evil is necessary to improve the human race.
There is little evidence that humanity has improved.
This conflicts with the principle that humans are infinitely valuable and thus should not be used as means to an end.

The Soul-Building Defense

Evil is necessary to make us better people.
Suffering often does not necessarily improve one’s character.
Forcing others to do something against their will, even if it will benefit them, is a violation of their rights.
There is much more evil than necessary.

The Finite God Defense

Evil exists because God lacks one of the traditional properties associated with Him such as being all-powerful or all-good.
If God is not all-powerful, He cannot perform miracles.
If God is not all-powerful, He may not be worthy of worship.

Thought Probe: God’s Goodness

American revolutionary patriot Thomas Paine claims that the Bible is so filled with cruel and vindictive acts, “it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon rather than the Word of God.”
Is Paine’s assessment a fair one?

Thought Probe:
What If God Died? Philosophy: Does God Exist?

If God is finite, it’s possible for God to die. In the trilogy Towing Jehovah, Blameless in Abaddon, and The Eternal Footman, science-fiction writer James Morrow explores this possibility.
Suppose God died. How would the universe be different? How would we tell that God no longer existed?

The Invisible Gardner

Suppose two explorers come upon a clearing in the jungle in which there are many flowers and many weeds.
One says that there must be an invisible, undetectable gardener, and the other says there is no gardener.
How does an invisible, undetectable gardener differ from an imaginary one?


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