The Problem of Evil in Philosophy

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The Problem of Evil in Philosophy What is the classic "problem of evil" in the Western philosophical/theological tradition (the "trilemma")? The problem of evil is the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil with that of a deity who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. The trilemma was stated by the Greek philosopher Epicurus during antiquity and was restated during the modern period by David Hume. Epicurus poses a trilemma in order to refute the notion of an omnipotent and omnibenevolent God. He first argues that if God is unable to prevent evil, he is not omnipotent. If, alternatively, God is not willing to prevent evil, he is not good. How then, Epicurus asks, can evil exists if God is both willing and able to prevent evil? Epicurus' trilemma exposes a logical contradiction in the Judeo-Christian conception of God and his creation of the world. He attempts to force his opponents to either admit that God is not omnipotent or not omnibenevolent. In order to escapes this trilemma, one would either have to deny the existence of evil in the world or come up with an explanation for how evil can exist when God is both willing and able to prevent such evil. What does Immanuel Kant mean by "radical evil"? Radical evil refers to a source of misbehavior that is caused by unfaithfulness, hypocrisy, and delusion in a person who aims to be moral or good. Kant believes that this unfaithfulness stems from a "perversity of heart" rather than a desire to be

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