Swinburne's Theodicy: The Existence Of God

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If God exists, he must be omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), and omnibenevolent (all good). However, there is evil in this world. Evil is defined by suffering. Then comes the question of whether God exists and if he does, then why is there still evil and suffering in the world? If God were truly omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent, then our world would not contain evil whatsoever. There is a whole range of people who experience suffering but it is best to narrow it down to simply children. Adults have already “eaten the apple and know good and evil, and they have become ‘like god.” In other words, children are innocent and do not deserve to suffer. They suffer for the sins of their fathers. It is unjust and God does …show more content…
He is being a generous God by allowing us to have freewill and have responsibility for “ourselves, each other, and the world.” Furthermore, he shares with us the power to determine what sort of world we would like to create. Swinburne believes that God wants to make our lives valuable and useful. However, God cannot just give everything to us without there being evil in the way.
There are two kinds of evil in this world according to Swinburne: moral and natural. Humans cause moral evil. Natural evil is due to natural causes. With moral evil, humans cause their own suffering due to the God-given gift of free will or “free and responsible choice.” “A God who gives humans such free will necessarily brings about the possibility, and puts outside his own control whether or not that evil occurs.” Humans are therefore not responsible for their actions unless they have true choices to
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Therefore, one cannot assume that suffering is good because if God allows it, it is evil. If we do, then we are assuming God is good and that suffering is good. In other words, we would be “begging the question” to continue assuming that God is good when is reality, he cannot be omnibenevolent if he does not cease the suffering of innocent children for the matter. Johnson questions the moral character of God. There are three possibilities according to Johnson: “a) God is more likely to be all evil than he is to be all good; b) God is less likely to be all evil than he to be all good; or c) God is equally likely to be all evil as he is to be all good.” Given all of the evil present in the world, there are absolutely no reasonable excuses as to why an omnibenevolent God would permit there to be evil. With all the possibilities rejected, the only reasonable conclusion is that God is unlikely to be all-good (omnibenevolent), all-knowing (omniscient), or all-powerful (omnipotent) because if “evil exists and God exists, then either God doesn’t have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn’t know when evil exists, or doesn’t have the desire to eliminate all evil.” Therefore, it would be right to conclude that God does not exist because he does not uphold all of the

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