Why Does God Allow Evil?

Topics: Good and evil, Evil, Theodicy Pages: 5 (1771 words) Published: December 15, 2010
Adam George
Philosophy 101
Fall 2009

“The Problem of Evil”
Many people dispute the true intentions of God, himself, since the beginning of mankind. Opposing and concurring arguments can be just as primitive. Regardless of personal perspective on any indefinite theory, it is undeniable that the controversy between good and evil will inevitably exist. Two dominant philosophers discussed in “The Problem of Evil” are Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and David Hume. Both of these authors discuss interesting motives from both sides of the issue: why and why not God should allow evil. What makes Leibniz’ perspective credible is his prestigious accomplishments. Leibniz is the son of a professor of law, and has countless achievements in a wide variety of subjects. These subjects include: law, science, theology, calculus, etc. He takes his work and philosophies seriously. In the topic of “God Can Allow Evil”, Leibniz defends God and his decision to allow evil. He justifies God in response to many common questions. Leibniz denies the fact that God didn’t choose the best world he could because even though there is evil, there is also an ulterior motive. With out a world with bad, an evaluation of good could not be determined. “I have wished to justify this denial by showing that the best plan is not always that which seeks to avoid evil, since it may happen that the evil is accompanied by a greater good” (Leibniz 74). Another quotation to make his point more clear is “That an imperfection in the part may be required for a greater perfection in the whole” (Leibniz 74). Leibniz disputes that there is more good than evil in humans because the quantity of evil does not surpass the quality of good. “God is infinite, and the devil is limited; the good may and does go to infinity, while evil has its bounds.” (Leibniz 75) Also, he illustrates that in a comparison toward the blessed and the damned, and the happy and unhappy; the proportion of degree is more than the number of people. In relation to intelligent and non-intelligent, you can not base them off the same structure because the number of good (ignorant or not) over powers the worth of evil. Leibniz condones human freedom despite predetermination and necessity. He does this by stating that although there is determination, it is not followed by a necessary consequence. “These voluntary actions and their consequences will not take place no matter what we do or whether we wish them or not; but, through that which we shall do and through that which we shall wish to do.” (Leibniz 76) He feels that if there is a such thing as an absolute necessity, it serves no purposes for praise or blame. Leibniz advocates voluntary actions are needed to make another action exist. It is necessary for Leibniz to claim that God could prevent evil but chooses not to because God, himself, would then commit sin or an unreasonable act. God would commit sin because it is believed that everything he does has purpose. He permits man to sin in an expectation of a greater good resulting from it. “But that the divine consequent or final or total will tends toward the production of as many good s as may be put together, the combination of which becomes in this way determined, and includes also the permission of some evils and the exclusion of some goods, as the best possible plan for the universe demands.” (Leibniz 78) God is not responsible for cause of evil; however does produce all that’s real says Leibniz. He elaborates his theory by saying that imperfection comes from limitations. He explains that God made the soul obdurate, how you perceive God’s impression is based upon the amount of your soul’s resistance not by supplying man with evil.

If God was not free, or absent of sin, he would therefore be imperfect, as Leibniz puts it. And if god was determined to be imperfect the world would either tend to evil or be indifferent. This is impossible to Leibniz (as stated in an...
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