God and Evil

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PHL 101 11 March 2012 A Summary of the problem of evil and a critical evaluation of how it is said to undermine the traditional characteristics of God. This paper will attempt to review the philosophical quandary of the existence of evil and if evil exists can God exist and if so can this God still be declared perfect? The epistemological issue that arises is One’s knowledge of God and the validity of God’s existence. What is good and what is evil? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines evil as: 1. a : morally reprehensible : sinful, wicked <an evil impulse> b : arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct <a person of evil reputation> 2 a: archaic : inferior b : causing discomfort or…show more content…
As with a lot of things concerning God, it is based on an interpretation of what God says is good or not good. Those would be a form of evil that has no basis to be inherently good. If a parent punishes a child by spanking them, that is considered by a great many to be evil and wrong. But a good number of children will take this lesson as something not to be repeated. While the act is evil in nature, it can produce a positive outcome in the end. Looking at the Holocaust and the evil that was present there, how can we say this was allowed by God and what was the good of it. While on face value the mass murder of over 6 million people is not a good thing, we can learn a bit of tolerance from it. This evil act was perpetrated by one person who got a whole nation to believe what he said. While there are the ones who openly and covertly defied his will, humanity as a whole can learn from this. Just because an individual is part of a larger group doesn’t make him evil. Primo Levi and Auschwitz survivor wrote in his book about the guards, “These were not monsters. I didn’t see a single monster in my time in the camp. Instead I saw people like you and I who were acting in that way because there was Fascism, Nazism in Germany. Were some form of Fascism or Nazism to return, there would be people, like us, who would act in the same way, everywhere.” (Cantacuzino) Does evil undermine God? It all depends on how you look at it. Evil is

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