Free Will Theodicy Essay

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William Rowe defines gratuitous evil as an instance of intense suffering which an omnipotent, omniscient being could have prevented without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse.(Rowe 335) In a world with so much evil it raises the questions If God is all powerful, all knowing and all good, how can he allow bad things to happen to good people? Can God even exist in a world with so such gratuitous evil? These are questions that has afflicted humanity for a very long time and has been the question to engross theologians for centuries. The existence of evil has been the most influential and powerful reason to disprove the existence of God. It is believed among many theist that God is the creator and caretaker…show more content…
This theodicy suggests that God gave humans free will to make moral decisions and as a result of free will there is evil and suffering. God wanted us to freely love him and of course with this free will comes also the decision to turn away from God. This freedom is the only way that we can truly love God, without it humans could not directly choose God and his will, we would simply be robots being told and what to do. “For God to have created a being who could only have performed good actions would have been logically impossible.” (Plantinga 1974) Only in this freedom could love manifest. Love necessitates the need for choice and the need for choice manifest both good and evil. Of course this theodicy does not cover the evils that exist in the world that have no direct relation to people making bad moral decisions. Natural evil exist in the form of earthquakes and floods and other various natural disasters. This would leave some to assume that everything in the world was given the gift of free will and can also make the decision to not follow God's’ will. Alvin Plantinga elaborated on the free will defense stating that moral evil is a result of the actions of humans with their free will and that the possibility of a non-human spirits whose free will is largely responsible for the natural evils that occur in the
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