Rawlings School of Divinity
Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics (MA)
Apologetics, Problem of Evil, Arguments from Evil, William Rowe, Stephen Wykstra, Parenting Style
Christianity | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion
Gazlay, Kyle Dean, "Arguments from Evil and the Parenting Style(s) of God" (2020). Masters Theses. 633.
In scholarly debates there are two primary positions on whether a God who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent can coexist with the presence of evil in the world. Atheists claim that God and evil do not coexist, while theists proclaim that God and evil can and do coexist. Atheists have used arguments from evil as a chief weapon against the existence of God and evil. Within arguments from evil, atheists create arguments that take an evidential or probabilistic stance on the matter. These arguments are called evidential arguments from evil. The evidential arguments from evil will use parent analogies to disprove God’s existence by explaining how God does not act like a good parent; therefore, it’s likely that He does not exist. This thesis is purposed to show that when evidential arguments from evil claim that God must act like a parent, they expect things of, project things on to, and assume things about God that are taken out of context. Essentially, what is happening is the atheists are creating a straw man argument against God. They are creating a straw man version of God, knocking Him over, and then saying see He does not exist. Another way to put it is that they have taken God out of context to conclude that He does not exist. A God with the attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnibenevolence can be found in the Bible. So, in order to gain a full picture of God’s interactions with humanity amid suffering, the Bible is a primary source that must be used to see how God interacts with humanity amid suffering. The conclusion of this thesis is that God acts in many different ways with humanity amid suffering; therefore, highlighting the fact that an in-context God stands in opposition to the out of context God used in evidential arguments from evil’s use of parent analogies.