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AGAINST THE PROBLEM OF EVIL: A HISTORICAL APOLOGETIC AND PATRISTIC SYNTHESIS

Dimmitri Christou

The problem of evil as it appeared and continues to appear, throughout the ages in all of its complexities (i.e., the statistical problem of evil, the logical problem evil, etc.), concludes that the existence of evil demonstrates Gods non-existence insofar as the existence of evil is considered strictly contrary to Gods existence in virtue of himself. Particularly, it is argued that the sheer being of evil is contrary to God, who just is the Good. Still, evil exists; and so the logical conclusion followsnamely, God does not exist. After clarifying what the problem of evil is, the author points out the difficulties with which advocates of the argument from the existence of evil have failed to resolve. He then argues that these difficulties are epistemologically apparent rather than epistemologically actual. Specifically, human persons are not capable of epistemologically determining whether the apparent existence of evil is contingent upon a distinctly actual purpose. Hence, the argument from the existence of evil is insufficient insofar as it demonstrates Gods non-existence. Finally, apologetic insight will be drawn from the Church Fathers of the first millennium with respect to the problem of evil.