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Evil, Problem of

The problem of evil is the problem of how to reconcile the existence of evil with the existence of God, assuming that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent. The “problem” is often presented as an argument against the existence of God from the existence of evil. If God knows when evil will occur and can prevent it from occurring, then it seems that God should prevent it from occurring. But evil does occur. So perhaps God doesn’t know when evil will occur, can’t prevent it from occurring, or doesn’t care to do so. That is, perhaps God lacks one or more of the properties of omniscience, omnipotence, and omnibenevolence. Insofar as we believe, however, as many do, that God has these three properties by definition, ...

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