Monday, April 24, 2006

The problem of evil

John Blanchard, in his apologetic book, "Does God believe in Atheists?" argues that the problem of evil is the key intellectual problem that faces Christians in defending their beliefs. In short, the heart of the problem lies in the tension that exists between three propositions:
1) God is good
2) God is omnipotent
3) Evil exists

John Blanchard provides a Christian response to this problem in his book. Readers may be interested to know that William Dembski, more famous for his involvement in the Intelligent Design movement, has also turned his philosophical/theological brain to this issue. Here is a link to his paper "Christian Theodicy in Light of Genesis and Modern Science" - it is a 130KB PDF file.
The Earth as a place for soul-making also leaves much to be desired. The metaphor here is that of a school that attempts to train us to become great souls. But rigors of a curriculum are one thing; Lisbon earthquakes
and Asian tsunamis, not to mention Auschwitz and the Killing Fields, are another. Do we really need a curriculum that grinds so many of its students to powder? If the Earth is indeed a place for soul-making, how many great souls does it in fact produce? Is it not a tiny, tiny minority? How many flunk out Hick’s school of soul-making? How many do not merely flunk out but end up in the gutter, addicted to sensuality, money, fame, or power? How many cannot be said to have enrolled in any school whatsoever, whose days are consumed in struggling to survive (think of
bare-footed children scouring garbage dumps to eke out an existence)?