For the past three weeks we have considered the logical version of the problem of evil (Pt. I, Pt. II, Pt. III) and found it wanting. This week we turn our attention to the evidential version of the problem of evil.
Evidential Version: "It's Improbable that God could have Good Reasons for Permitting Suffering."
The evidential version differs from the logical version because the evidential version makes a more modest claim. The evidential version says that it is improbable that God exists when one considers all the apparent unnecessary suffering that occurs in the world. William Lane Craig explains:
"The atheistic claim here is that suffering in the world renders it improbable that God exists. In particular, it seems highly improbable that God could have good reasons for permitting the suffering in the world. So much of that suffering appears to be utterly pointless and unnecessary. Surely God could have reduced the suffering in the world without reducing the world's overall goodness. So the suffering in the world provides evidence that there is no God."1
In the coming posts we will offering 4 responses to the evidential problem of evil.
How would you respond to this challenge? Please feel free to share in the comments!
Courage and Godspeed,
1. William Lane Craig, On Guard, p. 157.