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Trilemma Rebuttal 2

February 19, 2010

I started spewing about this stupid thing yesterday. Today we’re assuming, for the sake of argument, that Evil is Evil and that everyone everywhere agrees on some definition of Evil without any help or ultimate authority from any kind of creative, benevolent God.

The ancient Greek philosophy in question, again:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then He is not omnipotent.
Is He able but not willing?  Then He is malevolent.
Is He both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is He neither able nor willing? Then why call Him God?

My second big problem with this little stanza is that it also assumes that only two things are necessary for the prevention of evil: a willing God and an able God.

If we assume that there are only two factors to any number of life’s little equations we can draw all kinds of strange conclusions.

If I told you, for example, that all it takes to make a baby is an egg and a sperm, you would look at the world around you and any number of wrong answers would seem perfectly reasonable. You would naturally assume that a couple who is having trouble conceiving is missing either an egg or some sperm. You could convince them to buy cells from other people, or sell them drugs to help them produce more of their own, when in fact that may not be the issue. Its makes much more conceive: timing, healthy uterus, proper hormone balances, etc.

If a mayor proposed to end murder in his city by jailing all the criminals for life and outlawing guns, would he be successful? Not entirely. Because there are more elements involved.

The same is true of this issue of Evil. Preventing evil in a world full of free-willed people requires more than a God who is both willing and able. He is willing. He is able. Then whence cometh evil? From you, man.

He is willing if we ask Him, and He is able if we let Him. But we don’t. We refuse Him. We shut Him out of our lives, our workplaces, our schools, our societies, and our countries.

He is willing and able, but He is also Good and He is Just. He is the author of free will and He will not violate it. The same people who cry about, “Why doesn’t God do something about this?!” would find themselves even more miserable if He did. If He decided one day to take back what He said about free will and choice. If He somehow sucked it out of us and we became flesh and blood robots.

You’d really hate Him then.

Some will argue that means He isn’t really willing, since He isn’t willing to violate free will. Or that He isn’t really able, since He’s bound by His own word. Tomorrow.

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