THE EXISTENCE OF GOD AND THE PROBLEM OF EVIL A PHILOSOPHICAL evaluation
THE EXISTENCE OF GOD AND THE PROBLEM OF EVIL A PHILOSOPHICAL EVALUATION
1.1 PHILOSOPHY AND ITS QUEST FOR KNOWLEDGE
Philosophy arose from man's thirst for knowledge. It is a reasoned pursuit of fundamental truths, a quest for comprehension, and a study of ethical values. Philosophy tries to set evidentiary standards, give logical conflict resolution strategies, and develop tools for evaluating ideas and arguments.
It enables one to experience the world through the eyes of other inch vandals (Plato, Aristotle, Thales, Anaximander, Socrates, and so on) and various groups and cultures.
It improves our ability to perceive the relationships between diverse subjects of study, and it broadens one's understanding of the meaning and variety of human experience.
Philosophy is the only discipline that investigates questions in all aspects of human life, and its techniques can be applied to problems in every field of study or endeavour.
Religion, psychology, sociology, law, machine learning, education, and other fields of study place a high value on philosophy.
Philosophy is the mother of all subjects and is unlike any other field. It has no commonly accepted definition; it is distinct in its methodology, nature, and application.
However, while understanding man's existence is not as difficult as understanding God's, it is one of the world's greatest miracles.
This factual injunction is backed by one of completion's statements that there are numerous wonders in the earth and that man is the greatest of all miracles
1. The search for the true nature of man has resulted in a great deal of philosophical debate, opposing viewpoints, and hypotheses.
1.2 CONCEPTIONS OF GOD
Xenophanes was a Greek pre-Socratic philosopher who awoke metaphysicians and theologians from their dogmatic slumber by criticising God's anthropomorphism; ever since, there has been an endeavour to grasp God's character.
Various religious philosophers have claimed that God is apart from finite beings, and that he must be regarded as a mystery beyond human comprehension, the philosopher to the God of thinking.
God is largely conceived of in terms of transcendence, personality, and the Hebrew Scriptures, in which God is presented as the creator.
God created the Heavens and the Earth in the beginning1. This God has an anthropomorphic personality. He possesses finite intelligence and epistemic unit, as evidenced by his sadness at the creation of man.
This God is tribalistic, as seen by his unwavering support for the Jewish race over all others. Malinky's point of view. He writes, ”
The Hebrew concept of God is, to put it bluntly, authromorphic. He made both promises and threats. He had the ability to be angry, and his attributes included righteousness, justice, mercy, truth, and faithfulness.
He attaches himself to his people by covenant and therefore limits himself3
It is sufficient to remark that the concept of God in the New and Old Testaments differs. They are not identical. The God of the New Testament, sometimes known as the Christian God, is a universal and all-loving God who is fundamentally omniscient.
As much as this concept is open to interpretation, this God is portrayed as a triad consisting of God the Son, God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit.
Christians preach that God is almighty and has sovereignty over all that is in heaven and earth, that God is righteous in judgement over good and evil beyond time, space, and change, and that “God is love”
4. He is the personification of love. The creation of the world from nothing, as well as the formation of the human race, were manifestations of that love, as was the coming of Christ
5. This God is a God of miracles. He is either imperceptible or incorporeal.
In Islam, God is viewed as one, prefect, uncreated, eternal, omnipotent, and creator of the most gracious, merciful, the only owner, and the only ruling judge of the day of recompense
6. In monotheistic religions, the charge has frequently been made that the Christian concept of trinity, in particular, is at odds with the oneness of God. God is viewed as the cause and creator of everything, and he knows and foresees everything. He is a manifestation of justice. According to Gerald Hawting, “this God is one, there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of God”.
7. The concept of God differs in African traditional religion, particularly in the Yoruba socio-cultural Millie. God (olodumare) is more Old Testament-like. Yahweh's demand for honesty and uprightness. God is the creator; He is the source of both good and evil. He is the most powerful of all beings.
His methods are incomprehensible. According to J.S MBITI, the Yoruba regard God as the ultimate judgement. J.A.I BEWAJI states about Olodumare, ”
8. There is no doubt that God is the most powerful creature and that he possesses every supernatural characteristic imaginable, but the Yoruba do not believe that such a deity cannot do or cause evil. The ability to use all things is one of the supreme being's attributes.
In a similar spirit, E.B Idowu asserts:
He is the most powerful being, the creator, the wise and impartial judge who wields absolute power over the universe.
J.A.I. Bewaji also believes the following:
The origins of evil are God-created, and they aid in the maintenance of high moral standards. The Christian God is ever forgiving, slow to anger yet quick to forgive.
In fact, he desires that sinners repent and be rescued rather than their death. Whereas the Yoruba Olodumare is a morally upright God who administers justice here on earth rather than in the afterlife, where we cannot be certain that anybody will witness and learn from it10.
God, according to Nicholas and Cusha, is a mix of good and evil. Whitehead and other process theologians saw and the world as sharing the same process and being dependent on each other for growth and development. God is also thought to be dipolar,
with one element of his essence that is dependent on his world and another that is entirely absorbed in the world process and suffers as a result of it. As hinted, he explains the exercise of evil and suffering by providing to every level of creation the freedom to respond or fail to respond to God's persuasive command.
The process philosophy idea of God addresses two fundamental issues confronting Christian philosophers. These issues include how an immaterial person or spiritual being can be the source of matter. To this end, philosophy explains the process by attempting to eliminate the dichotomy between God and matter, which is an essential aspect of the divine being.
The second problem that the concept of God solved through the process of philosophy is the problem of evil. According to this school of thought, God simply means that he is not the author of evil.
God, according to Sigmund Freud, is a creation of delusion. God is an illusory construct designed to fill the 100pholes of security left by maturity above parental care. These numerous interpretations of God demonstrate that God is open to interpretation.
1.3 ARGUEMENTS FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD.
Immanuel Cant claimed that the existence of God cannot be demonstrated, but it also cannot be denied. Kant viewed God to be an objective topic, one that is unquestionably a subject of interpretation.
He claims that the concept of God underpins moral ideas, therefore we can make the practical assumption that God exists to ensure the link between virtue and happiness.
Frederick Nietzsche dismissed believing in God as weak and untrustworthy. Philosophers such as Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud attempted to understand the personal motivations and origins of beliefs, pointing out that this is insufficient to prove the existence of God.
We have various arguments for the existence of God advanced by various philosophers from Aristotle to Spinoza, and from one philosophical age to the next.
We also have a theistic view of God. Theists believe that God's knowledge, or omniscience, is limitless. He is regarded as almighty and omnipresent. God is likewise considered sexless, but he is generally addressed with the masculine pronoun.
Augustine, Duns Scotus, and St. Thomas Aquinas all sought more specific and substantial evidences for God's existence. According to Plato, God is transcendence; that is, the highest and most perfect being, and on who uses everlasting forms or archetypes to make an endless and uncreated universe.
From the beginnings of philosophy to the present day, philosophers have attempted to provide reasonable arguments for God's existence in a variety of methods.
They attempted to describe the nature of God in the grand scheme of things. The following argument for God's existence will be discussed.
1. Cosmological Case
2. Design's Argument
3. The Ontological Case
1.Cosmological Argument: Typically linked with Thomas Aquinas, this argument contends that the objects we perceive around us today are the result of a chain of preceding causes. As a result, there must be some initial reason that was not caused by anything else.
And that initial uncaused cause was caused by God. It is also known as the causal argument or the initial causes. In its most basic form, the argument goes as follows:
The universe exists because something other than Itself causes everything to exist. So the universe is caused by something other than itself, and whatever originated the universe is larger than the universe11.
There is also the experiential argument, in which people broaden their personal religious experiences of God to argue in support of his existence. Finally, there is the argument by reason and moral MgvffiaerA.
2.Design Argument: According to this argument, animals, plants, and planets show evident indicators of being designed for certain purposes, implying that there must have been a creator.
The designer's argument is often known as the theological argument for God's existence. Proponents argue that the design or order found in the universe proves the existence of an intelligent designer, sometimes referred to as God.
Here, William Parley contrasted the complexity of living beings with the lesser complexity of a timepiece, which we know was constructed by an intelligent being.
A watch would be meaningless without a watchmaker. Parley contended that living things could not exist in the absence of an intelligent designer.
Because watches are intelligent design goods, and living organisms, like watches, have sophisticated me chansons that have a function, living things are most likely intelligent design products as well.12
3.Ontological Argument: An ontological argument is one that points to the existence of God through the type of being. God exists because he is a perfect being, that he is all knowing, all powerful, and all good.
According to this argument, everyone but the fool thinks in their hearts that there is a being superior and perfect, which is God. As a result, the fact that man can conceive of a being greater than himself indicates that God exists in actuality.
And, without a doubt, that man, of whose nothing better can be envisaged, cannot exist solely in the understanding. For example, if it exists just in the mind, it can be imagined to exist in reality, which is greater.13
This thesis was advocated by St. Anselm, who claims that for something to be conceived in our understanding confirms its presence in reality.
1.4 ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE EXISTENCE OF GOD.
Various philosophers have objected to various arguments for God's existence at some point. These arguments are presented in the form of a counter-argument to the numerous reasons in favour of God's existence.
Atheists are philosophers or schools of thought who argued against the existence of God. We will explain this in terms of the world's sorrows and evil.
1.PAIN: According to Friedrich Nietzsche, “God is dead.” Nietzsche's claim that God once existed and is now dead is incorrect. He made this statement to make it plain or to imprint on the minds of religions that the presence of pain, natural disasters, disharmony, and chaos in the universe proves that there is nothing as God's existence. According to Nietzsche:
All people with an ounce of intelligence would recognise that the universe has no intelligent plan or rational Order unit: they would now understand why things happen one way and not another, and that the harmony and order we imagine exists in the universe is merely pasted by the human mind.14
The argument contends that because God allows pain, disease, and natural disasters to occur, he cannot be all-powerful, loving, and good in the human sense. Religions people, according to Nietzsche, are pitiful, dominated by the view instilled by religion, science, and philosophy, a vision that makes them impotent losers.
They see the world as a place regulated by national law, and they adhere to a slave mentality or morality that celebrates the man who serves his followers with meekness and self-sacrifice.
He postulated a morality based on the creation of a tough type of human being. Such a being will accept existence in all of its forms, including pain, and will thereby make living an art form.
According to Blaise Pascal, the universe's discord and misery are strong indicators of the absence of a divine being:
I would remain calm in my faith. But, knowing that there is too much to deny and too little to be certain of, I am pitied: thus, J have wished a Hundred times that if God preserves Nature, he should testify to him unequivocally.15
All of the arguments from injustices assert that God is partial in the distribution of destiny, if he ever was. The argument from multiplicity asserts that based on the contradicting testimonies of numerous religions regarding God, only one or even none can be correct about God.
Religion, according to Sigmund Freud, is an exercise in mass decision-making that primarily helps to keep people in a state of psychic infantilism. Because of life's difficulties and difficulties. Man conjured up the image of an elevated parent, who, like our own father, tells us that all will be well soon.
The reality is that if he is as powerful as he claims, problems should have been solved by now. Freud thinks that humans would be happier if they kept a semblance of truth in their thoughts and tended to their own gardens.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The dilemma of God's existence is as old as man, and it is a major topic that man raises in his thinking either consciously or unconsciously. Philosophers are deeply concerned about this issue.
The question of God's existence has virtually become a part of every being, and one who holds these beliefs will be labelled an atheist, which today connotes a black sheep of the family.
Man has many characteristics with other living things, but the reality remains that man is completely unique. Man has been endowed with qualities that other beings do not have, one of which is rationality, or the ability to reason.
Unlike plants and lower animals, which respond involuntarily to external stimuli, man is capable of deciding consciously which stimuli he should respond to and which he should disregard.
People in the field of religion are so certain of their beliefs that they presume, as with other areas of knowledge such as technology, culture, and ethics, that there must be a means to prove the presence and nature of God.
Others feel that seeking intellectual reason for the existence of God is superfluous and even wicked, and that it should be accepted without any attempt to prove its existence.
Man's rationality has automatically made him responsible for whatever action he performs after conscious evaluation of the fact that behind every action performed by man, there is a motivating principle.
1 It is equally important to know and understand the meaning and purposes of everything that exists, despite the serious mystery in which things are strictly bound up. A philosopher will never be content with anything less than a good explanation for choosing a belief or any phenomenon at all.
2 In religion, as in all other areas, philosophers seek answers that can be justified by sound arguments.
The fact that everything in nature has meaning and can be understood to constitute certain meaning towards the realisation of certain ends, and having equally grasped it to the extent that all other things as well as lower forms of life are meant and designed for human purposes and convinces, the word it becomes somewhat comprehend the meaning purpose and the end for which human existence is meant.
The existence of God cannot be proven simply by considering the term “GOD” as in the ontological argument. God's existence cannot be shown solely by investigating what it is about nature that makes it clear that it requires God as its original cause.
Some pessimists consider human existence as a walking shadow full of fire and fury signifying nothing.
3 That is, human existence counts for nothing except emptiness and meaninglessness.
Other thinkers, such as St. Augustine, believe that everything exists to serve a purpose. According to St. Augustine, God is a God of purpose who cannot create anything without a reason. This is life's greatest tragedy, according to him, because it is dangerous to be alive and not know why one was given life.
4 Because the deepest and ultimate craving of the human existence is the search for a sense of significance and relevance to life, fundamental questions such as “Who am I?” What am I here for, and why am I here?
And so forth has continued to perplex the minds of deep-thinking philosophers. The reality that God's existence can only be shown by his role and purpose in nature, as evidenced in Thomas Aquinas's argument for God's existence.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The goal of this essay is to critically evaluate the case for God's existence in light of the dilemma of evil. We'll also take a quick look at St. Thomas Aquinas' case for God's existence. To disprove the logical, empirical, sceptic, and theoretical determinism approaches to the problem of evil.
This essay's argument is that the facts of evil put into question God's phenomenal characteristics of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnibenevolence. But, beyond that, our thesis asserts that everything that exists is the result of something other than itself.
Whatever generated the cosmos and everything that exists is larger than the universe and everything that exists. Because God is the only being larger than the universe, God created both the universe and God.
Our approach will be historical, explanatory, and analytical.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION
The subject of this essay is limited to proofs of God's existence and the presence of evil. We will critically and extensively investigate the problem of evil in its different manifestations, with special reference to Thomas Aquinas' argument for the existence of God.