Dr. Craig’s Response to the Problem of Evil
Take a look at this great synopsis of Dr. William Lane Craig’s work on the problem of evil in these two, short, wonderfully-produced videos.
(1) The video aptly rebuts the logical problem of evil. Any atheist who continues to assert the logical problem of evil in response must reformulate his logical argument in a different way or show where the reasoning fails.
(2) J.L. Mackie and William Rowe were prominent atheists. Quoting J.L. Mackie and William Rowe against the logical problem of evil shows how even prominent atheists have rejected its force.
The video does not explain the distinction between the logical problem of evil and the evidential problem of evil. Since these are “inside baseball” terms in the philosophy of religion, many people likely don’t know the jargon. When this topic arises in conversation, always make the proper distinctions (see this post for more on that).
(1) The three-fold list of responses provides a variety of helpful discussion points for the theist in conversation. Any one of them can be used to mitigate the force of the evidential problem of evil, and taken together, they represent a strong rebuttal. Here’s the three-fold list:
- We’re not in position to say that God probably lacks reasons for evil and suffering in the world.
- Relative to the full scope of evidence, God’s existence may well be probable.
- Christian doctrines increase the probability of the coexistence of evil and suffering.
(2) The video expresses an understanding that evil and suffering still pose an enormous practical problem even when the intellectual difficulty dissolves. If you expect cold, rigorous logic to immediately effect a change of heart in someone going through deep suffering, you need to change your expectations.
The video assumes God is in a “judge-able” position when it comes evil. That, if we only knew all of the reasons behind everything that went on, we would surely find God not guilty of bad behavior. Contrary to this thesis, Brian Davies argues that God is radically different from us, and that He cannot be judged as simply one more moral agent among others.
I articulate some more details on this in my review of Davies’ great book.