By Vexen Crabtree 2002
If God is all-powerful and all-good, it would have created a universe in the same way it created heaven: with free will for all, no suffering and no evil. But evil and suffering exist. Therefore God does not exist, is not all-powerful or is not benevolent (good)1. Such arguments have been used by many philosophers as evidence against belief in god2,3. A theodicy is an attempt to explain why a good god would have created evil and suffering. The most popular defence is that it is so Humans could have free will. However the entire universe and the natural world is filled with suffering, violence and destruction so any Humanity-centric explanation does not seem to work.”
The Validity of Love theodicy is the idea that god created evil because we could only love god in a valid way if we had a choice between loving god and not loving god. Because of this choice, evil and suffering exist due to us not loving god perfectly enough. However, a simple look at the free will of god itself disproves this theodicy.
If God has no free will and love from this god is valid and acceptable, then God could have created us the same way. Where our love and worth is valid, despite there not being the existence of evil or free will.
If God does have free will and never chooses evil, then God could have created us with the same quality. That by choice, we never choose evil, but we still have free will.
To say that evil, suffering, disease, despair and unhappiness were created by god because it is necessary for love and worth to be valid, is wrong. It seems that either there is no god and suffering just happens to be part of the natural world due to physical cause and effect, or, if there is a god, it is amoral and doesn't particularly care if people suffer or not.
To the present day, all theodicies have failed to explain why a good god would create evil, meaning that the existence of evil is simply incompatible with the existence of a good god. After thousands of years of life-consuming passion, weary theologians have not formulated a new answer to the problem of evil for a long time. The violence of the natural world, disease, the major catastrophes and chaotic destruction seen across the universe and the unsuitability of the vastness of reality for life all indicate that god is not concerned with life, and might actually even be evil. Failure to answer the problem of evil sheds continual doubt on the very foundations of theistic religions.”
Current edition: 2002 Jan 22
Parent page: Monotheism and Free Will: God, Determinism and Fate
Monotheism and Free Will: God, Determinism and FateThe Validity of Love Theodicy: God, Humans, Free Will and EvilBiblical Christianity Denies Free WillThe Illusion of Choice: Free Will and DeterminismGod Has No Free Will: 2 ProofsIs Free Will the Reason God Allows Evil and Suffering?Theological Problems with Heaven, Paradise and Nirvana
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(2016) "A Biblical-Theological Response to the Problem of Theodicy in the Context of the Modem Criticism of Religion". Published in the Evangelical Review of Theology (2016) 40:3, 247-263.