We will be meeting again before the regular ACSJ meeting, at 6:00pm to 7:00pm with a discussion of a specific topic. We will start with a couple of statements of position, and then open up to a general discussion of the issues. Come join in and make this a spirited discussion in depth on a specific topic! This week’s topic is:

— The Problem of Evil —

The problem of evil is the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil with that of a God who is, in either absolute or relative terms, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent.

* God exists.
* God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent.
* An omnibenevolent being would want to prevent all evils.
* An omniscient being knows every way in which evils can come into existence, and knows every way in which those evils could be prevented.
* An omnipotent being has the power to prevent that evil from coming into existence.
* A being who knows every way in which an evil can come into existence, who is able to prevent that evil from coming into existence, and who wants to do so, would prevent the existence of that evil.
* If there exists an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent God, then no evil exists.
* Evil exists (logical contradiction – one of the premises must be false)

This argues that the fact that there is evil in the world, then there can be no God. There are various responses to this. For example, there may be a logical reason that some evil has to exist, and that elimination of some evil would cause more evil somewhere else. Maybe there is a minimum amount of evil that has to exist. Another is that evil is necessary to allow people to have free will: you must have a choice between good and evil to earn your proper relationship with God. In other words, God could eliminate evil, but then people would be non-thinking robots.

Our discussion will center on:

* What are some of the most typical Christian responses to the POE?
* What fallacies do Christians use when responding to the POE?
* How do Christians reconcile the POE?
* What are the best questions to ask Christians to get them to think about the POE?
* At a high level, are there any ways to reconcile the POE other than to change the nature of God or to just not think about it?

If you have a point that you would like considered, please make a comment or start a discussion about it on the Meetup discussions capability. We can start the discussion before the meeting.

—- If you are new to ACSJ please feel welcome to come join into this discussion which is a good way to meet some of the other members. Everyone is welcome. —-

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