Topics Worth Investigating

  1. The problem of evil is often put in this form of a dilemma:

    If God is perfectly good, then God would seek to abolish all evil.
    If God is all-powerful, then God could abolish all evil
    Yet, evil exists.
    Therefore, either God is not perfectly good or God is not all powerful or both.

    From a logical point of view, what kind is dilemma is the problem of evil? It does not appear to be either a constructive or a destructive dilemma.

  2. Many medieval thinkers thought of evil as a privation or the absence of good. Since a privation or absence has no cause, God is not causally implicated in the existence of evil. Discuss the adequacy of this argument.

  3. Joseph de Maistre states, "If there were no moral evil upon earth, there would be no physical evil."[1] What must we assume for this conditional statement to be true?

  4. In the Apology, Socrates states, "No evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death." Given Ivan's story of the death of an innocent child, how can this be so?



Joseph de Maistre. "First Dialogue" in The Works of Joseph de Maistre. Ed. by Jack Lively. New York: Schocken Books, 1965.