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Problem of Evil and Varieties of Atheism Essay


The article “The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism” gives a powerful argument to support the ideas of atheism based on the existence of evil. Human pain and suffering is evident in every part of the world. This “kind of suffering justifies the existence of evil in our universe” (Rowe 335).

According to Rowe (336), “the world does not have any omniscient or wholly good human being”. Informed atheists should therefore “take a unique position concerning the rationality of theistic ideas and beliefs” (Rowe 337). The author explains atheists “should take the position of friendly atheism” (Rowe 335).

Atheists usually deny the presence or existence of any divine creature. The main idea in this article is that the existence of evil in the universe confirms the concept of atheism. The article goes further to explain how atheists should have a friendly attitude towards theism.

This article challenges me to think in different ways about my values and beliefs. I have always resisted the idea of atheism. I believe that the above concept is unfounded, wrong, and inappropriate. However, the author explains why atheism is undeniable. The article gives three premises to support atheism based on different forms of evil.

The “first premise is that there is intense suffering that could have been prevented by a supreme being” (p. 336). The second premise is that an omniscient being such as God would have prevented any form of suffering in the world. This fact takes us to the third premise. The premise states that there is “no omniscient, omnipotent, wholly good being” (Rowe 336).

On the other hand, theists can use several arguments to support the existence of a supreme being. For instance, they can reject the first premise of atheism by analyzing the existence of good things in the world. Theists “also explain how human beings cannot experience good things without encountering different pains and heartaches” (Rowe 338). This argument explains why both atheism and theism are powerful concepts towards understanding the nature of evil.

This knowledge has changed my views about the world. I am ready to accept the concept of atheism because it presents powerful ideas to many people. However, the article cannot change my position as a believer. The article has changed my worldview significantly. Human beings should support their arguments and ideas about the existence of a supernatural being.

The best strategy is ensuring that atheism and theism coexist with one another. This situation would be critical towards analyzing the issue of evil in the universe. This idea would be necessary towards safeguarding the religious rights and opinions of many people (Rowe 340).

Human suffering is undeniable in our world. Theists offer unique arguments to explain why suffering plays a major role towards promoting human happiness. Atheists also believe strongly that a supernatural being cannot allow evil things to happen in the world. This situation explains why the idea of “friendly atheism” is acceptable and relevant.

This “concept will be appropriate because it gives an appropriate rationality of theistic belief” (Rowe 339). The arguments presented in this article have encouraged me to think in fresh ways about the issue of atheism. Although atheists tend to refute the existence of God in the universe, individuals should have a friendly attitude towards the idea of theism. This exercise encourages me to read more articles and books in order to understand this subject much better.

Works Cited

Rowe, William. “The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism.” Philosophy: The Quest for Truth. Ed. Louis Pojman and Lewis Vaughn. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. 335-341. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2020, April 3). Problem of Evil and Varieties of Atheism. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/problem-of-evil-and-varieties-of-atheism/

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"Problem of Evil and Varieties of Atheism." IvyPanda, 3 Apr. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/problem-of-evil-and-varieties-of-atheism/.

1. IvyPanda. "Problem of Evil and Varieties of Atheism." April 3, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/problem-of-evil-and-varieties-of-atheism/.


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IvyPanda. "Problem of Evil and Varieties of Atheism." April 3, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/problem-of-evil-and-varieties-of-atheism/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Problem of Evil and Varieties of Atheism." April 3, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/problem-of-evil-and-varieties-of-atheism/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Problem of Evil and Varieties of Atheism'. 3 April.

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