For your third paper you should clearly formulate a response to the Problem of Evil and defend or criticize it. The (logical) problem of evil can be expressed as follows:

 

1. An all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good God exists.

2. If an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good God exists, there can’t be any evil.

3. There is evil.

 

(1) and (2) imply that (3) is false, (1) and (3) imply that (2) is false, and (2) and (3) imply that (1) is false, so at least one of these propositions has to be false, or else there has to be some ambiguity in one of the terms (probably “evil”). Since the point of the Problem is to argue against (1), this means that a response to it involves arguing against (2) or (3). So in your paper you should:

 

A. Restate the problem in your own terms.

B. Give an argument against (2) or (3).

C. Either uphold that argument by going into detail and defending the parts of it (defense), or criticize it by showing how it is not really good enough to show that the premises in question are false.

 

In part B you are encouraged to use one of the arguments from your readings in the book. If you do that, then you will mostly be responsible in part B for understanding the author whose argument you are restating, and then in part C for the creativity of your own work in discussing that argument.

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