Continuing on our series about the problem of evil, we will be discussing why I think the problem of evil is self-defeating. If you want to check out the video where I discuss this in depth, you can find it (here).
The syllogism of my argument is laid out in a simple modus tollens format, it goes as follows:
P1: If God doesn’t exist, we have no groundings for our knowledge of evil
P2: The problem of evil requires groundings for our understanding of evil
C1: The problem of evil requires the existence of God
C2: The problem of evil requires the existence of God to argue against the existence of God and is hence self-defeating.
Premise 1 of our argument is undeniably the most controversial premise of our discussion. It follows the normal moral argument for the existence of God. Since the objectivity of morals can only be explained on theism, it follows that our knowledge of evil also requires the existence of God.
The reason for believing in this relationship between morals and God is simple. On atheism, we are random results of the cosmic big bang, star dust floating around in space. There can be no meaning or purpose to our existence, hence there is no moral value either in such a worldview. (this is discussed in more depth in my other video, 3 simple and powerful arguments for the existence of God)
Hence, it appears that P1 of our argument is sound.
This should be not surprising, since the problem of evil is essentially an argument for evil, it is undeniable that the proponent of the problem of evil has the burden of proof to demonstrate what evil is and why it exists.
This conclusion follows deductively from P1 and P2, since evil can only be grounded by the existence of God (P1), it follows that in order to raise the problem of evil, one must require the existence of God to ground their objection (P2).
Following from the previous arguments, it also follows, analytically, that the problem of evil requires the existence of God to argue against the existence of God, which is self-defeating. To make this more clear, since the problem of evil can be summarised as follows—God exists, evil exists, therefore God does not exist, by showing that evil is grounded only by the existence of God, we can reformulate the problem of evil to be—God exists, God exists (because evil exists), therefore God does not exist, which is evidently problematic.
From this simple argument, I think we can see that the Problem of Evil is actually self-defeating and should not be seen as a powerful response to theism. I hope you have a great week, stay safe, and God bless.
P.s. if you want to see the footage of this video, make sure you check it out (here)