THE EXISTENCE OF GOD AND THE PROBLEM OF EVIL: A PHILOSOPHICAL EVALUATION
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STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The question of God’s existence is as old as mankind. It is a major issue that man raises in his thinking, either consciously or unintentionally. This is a problem that philosophers are highly concerned about. The question of God’s existence has nearly become a part of every being, and those who do not believe in God are labeled as atheists, a term that now connotes a family’s black sheep.
Although man shares many characteristics with other living things, the fact remains that he is a one-of-a-kind creature.
People in the field of religion are so certain of their beliefs that they presume that, like other areas of knowledge such as technology, culture, and ethics, there must be a means to prove God’s existence and nature. Others feel that seeking intellectual justification for God’s existence is superfluous and even bad, and that God’s presence should be accepted without any attempt to prove it.
After a conscious evaluation of the fact that behind every action performed by man, there is a motivating principle, man’s rationality has automatically made him responsible for whatever action he takes.
The fact that everything in nature has some meaning and can be understood to constitute certain meaning towards the realization of certain ends, and having equally grasped it to the extent that all other things, including lower forms of life, are meant and designed for human purposes and convinces, the word it comes to some understanding of the meaning, purpose, and end for which human existence is meant.
The existence of God cannot be established solely by considering the term “GOD” in an ontological argument. God’s existence cannot be established solely by investigating the concept of what it is about nature that causes it to require God as its initial cause. Other thinkers, such as St. Augustine, believe that everything exists for a reason. According to St. Augustine, God is a purposeful God who cannot create anything without a reason. This is life’s biggest tragedy, according to him; it’s not death, but life without a purpose, and it’s perilous to be alive and not know why one was given life. 4 The need for a feeling of significance and relevance to life is the deepest and ultimate craving of human existence, thus fundamental questions such as Who am I? What am I here for, and why am I here? And so on, which has continued to perplex the minds of deep-thinking philosophers.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The argument of this article is that the facts of evil call God’s phenomenal characteristics of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnibenevolence into question. But, more importantly, our thesis asserts that everything that exists is the result of something other than itself.
Whatever created the cosmos and everything that exists is larger than the universe and everything that exists. Because God is the only being larger than the universe, the universe and God both exist as a result of God.
The method we will use will be historical, explanatory, and analytical.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION
The topic of this essay is limited to proofs of God’s existence and of evil’s existence. We will critically and extensively investigate the problem of evil in its different manifestations, with special reference to Thomas Aquinas’ argument for God’s existence.
We will use relevant academic literature (textbooks, journal articles) from the following universities to write this essay: Olabisi Onabanjo University’s library.
The main library of the University of Ibadan
Babcock University Ilisan Remo’s core library.
The University of Lagos’ central library.
Information gleaned from a global website and a different educational institution.
A History of Philosophy, vol. 1 (New York: Image Books, 1960), p. 102. Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy, vol. 1 (New York: Image Books, 1960), p. 102.
Genesis Chapter Ivsl of the Holy Bible
God in Philosophical Analysis, by Malinky Kerner (New Delhi: Alhied Publishers, 1990), pp. 54-57.
John chapter 3 verse 6 of the Holy Bible.
Ibid., vsl 4 of John Chapter 3.
Surat Alfatihah, Chapter Ivsl -5 of the Noble Quran.
Islam, by Gerald Hawting (London: Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 15.
African Religions and Philosophy, by J.A.I.Bewaji (London: Heinemann, 1969), pp. 36-38.
E.B.Idowu, Olodumare, God in Yoruba Belief (London: Longman 1962) p. 76.
J.A.I.Bewaji Ibid p.344.
Man’s desire for knowledge gave birth to philosophy. It is a reasoned search for fundamental truths, a quest for knowledge, and a study of ethical values. Philosophy is to set evidence standards, give logical conflict resolution strategies, and develop tools for evaluating ideas and arguments. It allows one to experience the world through the eyes of other inch vandals (Plato, Aristotle, Thales, Anaximander, Socrates, and others), as well as various groups and cultures. It improves our ability to see connections between different fields of study and broadens our understanding of the meaning and variety of human experience. Philosophy is a never-ending quest for knowledge.
Philosophy is the only discipline that seeks answers to questions in all aspects of human life, and its methods can be applied to problems in any field of study or activity. Religion, psychology, sociology, law, machine, education, and other branches of study all place a high value on philosophy.
Philosophy is the mother of all disciplines; it is unlike any other field in that it is quite distinctive. It lacks a broadly accepted definition and is distinct in terms of its methodology, nature, and application.
However, while understanding man’s existence is not as difficult as understanding God’s, it still ranks among the world’s greatest miracles.
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