Title

The problem with the problem of evil

Abstract

The question why evil exists in a world created (governed) by an omnipotent and perfectly good God is an intriguing one. This is the case because the existence of such a God would seem to preclude the existence of evil. Yet, evil does exist. This dilemma, the Traditional Problem of Evil (POE), has generated no small amount of discussion throughout the history of philosophy. As of late, however, the discussion has often been relegated to debate between skeptics and apologists, and it may not be apparent to the post- Christian mind why this subject remains worthy of philosophical importance. This is due largely to the acceptance of a certain formulation of the POE, commonly termed the Argument from Evil (AFE). The AFE holds that the POE presents far more than a mere dilemma to ordinary theism, it exposes a logical inconsistency among the most fundamental beliefs therein. The purpose of this thesis is to take issue with the AFE, arguing not that the POE exposes a logical inconsistency in ordinary theism, but that it exposes a flaw in the most fundamental of ethical concepts: the understanding of good and evil. This flaw is brought to light by analysis of the basic premises of the AFE, in which the AFE is shown to be founded upon problematic ethical presuppositions. The presupposed principles are that obligations can be derived from abilities, that moral responsibility is contingent upon free will, and that the notion of human free will is incompatible with the existence of an omnipotent God.

Notes

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Thesis Completion

2001

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Stanlick, Nancy A.

Degree

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Program

Philosophy

Subjects

Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences

Format

Print

Identifier

DP0021641

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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