The Problem of Evil, Free Will, and God's Not Dead.

Just a quick addendum to my review of 'God's Not Dead', and also a comment about the current state of Apologetics.

The Problem of Evil, simply put, is the idea that an All-Powerful 'God' would be able to abolish evil and apparently has chosen not to do so. To many, this idea of a 'God' is evil itself. Imagine, if you will, a grown man raping a 2-year old toddler. Now imagine that an all-powerful bearded man in the sky is watching this unfold, yet doing nothing. For myself, I consider this being to be completely immoral. If it were a human watching this happen, with the power to stop it yet not doing so, we would never hesitate to call the person completely immoral. Why is it so different for a 'God'?

Well, according to the movie and to current Apologetics, the solution to the Problem of Evil is 'Free Will'. By abolishing evil in this world, such a being would be abrogating human 'Free Will'. This seems to make sense on the surface, but let's examine it for just a second.

First, would this abrogate 'Free Will' in the first place? If we had never been capable of harming one another intentionally, if murder, rape, and theft were NOT within 'human nature', would we have any 'less' 'Free Will'? I would argue that no, we absolutely would not. We would have different urges, but so what, because we don't currently have the urge to encompass a planet for the purpose of creating small amounts of red cheese, and I don't see that it has affected our ability to make 'Free' decisions, do you?

Secondly, I have to argue that we already DON'T HAVE FREE WILL, and never did. We are chemical machines which follow a complex set of rules which has been determined by a combination of our genetics, epigenetics, and our environment. When we make a 'decision', we are only peripherally aware of the factors which went into that decision, and we can't possibly take into account the factors which we aren't aware of, such as the influence of our genetics.

Third, and this point is pretty important, but if a Creator God created us with this version of 'Free Will', then such a being has ALREADY LIMITED IT. Certain people may claim that, by taking away our ability to rape one another, our 'Free Will' would be limited, but think of it this way: If we are Created, then that means that a Creator God consciously made the decision to create us exactly as we are. This means that, when faced with the decision whether or not to allow us to kill each other purely with the power of our own minds, this Creator God said, 'Naw, let's not.'. How is this any different from what I'm proposing, that such a God could easily have prevented everything that we consider to be 'evil'?

The short answer, of course, is it isn't any different. "Free Will" is NOT the solution to the Problem of Evil, because there isn't a solution to it. The Problem of Evil is always going to be a problem when people insist that there is an all-powerful, yet all-loving God out there. Sorry folks, but reality says otherwise.

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