You may recall from my last post that if atheism is true, then there is no god in red pyramid world and thus no standard for knowing if something is either a problem or evil; there is only frustration and obstacles to my happiness and it’s up to me to remove them. But if there is a god and the world is only or primarily material in time, then there is definitely a very nasty problem of evil.
Since there is evil and suffering, god must either be evil himself, or too weak or ignorant or absent to do anything about it. Deism tries to solve this problem by supposing that there is a god who set creation in motion (by evolutionary means) but is not involved. The god of deism makes us responsible for our experience in the world. If the world has problems of evil, then it is our responsibility to fix them. But this approach leaves us still wondering why god didn’t set in motion a better world or why he doesn’t come and make it better?
Theism argues that God not only created all things but is still involved in His creation. Like a clock maker, God comes when something is wrong with the clock and makes corrections. But this argument still leaves us with the problems of a clock that keeps going wrong and a clock maker who didn’t, wouldn’t, or couldn’t create a clock that was perfect. Why not?
What if we are something more than clocks? Is it possible that we are the source of evil rather than God? If human beings contradict God’s design in creation AND ignore, contradict, and despise His Word on how we are to live in this world, isn’t that our fault, not God’s? Here is an interesting moment: human beings demand autonomy and independence but claim God is to fault when human conduct is evil and makes suffering abound. Is God still at fault for making us this way or evil a necessary consequence of free will?
How can human beings claim a free will but blame God for the evil and suffering that results from that will? Blaming someone else for the miserable consequences of what I will seems to be pandemic. Some insist that an all-knowing God should be able to create us with a free will that only does good. Others wonder why, if we have a free will, do we consistently use that will with such poor, miserable results. If the will is free, why not only, always will the good? Or, at the very least, why not use our free will to protect ourselves from evil, regardless of the source? Every answer to that question suggests that our will is not, in fact, free. Does that mean we are robots? Here is another interesting moment: are the only two possibilities for being human mean either a free will that does evil or no free will that makes us robots?