This article is part of a series on perhaps the greatest question mankind has ever faced and will ever face; is there a God? These articles will be of a philosophical nature and not of a religious nature.
The term ”God” is used in a wide variety of different meanings. In this writing, the term will be used in a clear and relatively straightforward way with religious attitudes, such as those of worship, and with very important human desires, such as the desires that good will triumph and that justice be done. The properties a God must have to be an object of worship and to provide reason to think that there is a good chance that fundamental human desires will be fulfilled are threefold. God must be someone who is very powerful, very knowledgable and morally good; omnipotent, omniscient and morally perfect.
The problem of evil argues that this kind of God cannot exists when there is evil in the world. This argument focuses on the fact that the world appears to contain states of affairs that are bad. Affairs that should have been prevented by a being that could have done so. The philosophical argument goes as follows:
Premises 1: If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient and morally perfect.
Premises 2: If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to eliminate all evil.
Premises 3: Of God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
Premises 4: If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
Premises 5: Evil exists.
Conclusion: God does not exist.
Philosophers have, in response to this problem of evil, come up with an argument that might explain the problem of evil and overturn it. This is the ‘there is no best possible world’ response. This response will be discussed in a following article in this philosophical series.