To counter last week’s episode, in which we discussed atheism, today we talk about theism. I (Valerie) am only recently divorced from theism, but Bret has had many years to process and deal with his feelings about this belief. He shares his gut reaction when he learns that someone is a theist (ie. believes in a god or gods) that many of you may relate to.
We also chat about The Problem of Evil (which I feel should be capitalized, though I don’t think it’s a rule or anything.) We give a basic definition for this logical puzzle and then sound off on some popular, Christian apologetics for it as well as our own opinions.
There are some pretty ancient texts surrounding the POE debate that can be difficult to read and conceptualize. I found this more modern discussion that you may find useful, as well as this breakdown (that I read out loud) that explains the struggle to believe the concept that both evil and an all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful god can coexist:
- God exists.
- God is omnipotent (all-powerful), omnibenevolent (all-good/loving) and omniscient (all-knowing).
- An omnipotent being has the power to prevent that evil from coming into existence.
- An omnibenevolent being would want to prevent all evils.
- An omniscient being knows every way in which evils can come into existence, and knows every way in which those evils could be prevented.
- A being who knows every way in which an evil can come into existence, who is able to prevent that evil from coming into existence, and who wants to do so, would prevent the existence of that evil.
- If there exists an omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient God, then no evil exists.
- Evil exists (logical contradiction).
Have your theistic views changed at some point in your life? We would absolutely love to hear from you on this, the POE debate or any other thoughts that this episode sparks. Feel free to leave a comment on this post, or send us message through our Facebook page.