Haiti and the problem of evil

If there is an all-good, all-powerful God, why is there so much wrong with the world? This ancient problem — the problem of evil — receives unfortunate freshness every time something terrible happens.  Philosopher David Bain discusses the problem of evil, and its connection with the Haiti earthquake, in this short and accessible essay.

I usually think that the best hope for a solution to this problem lies in the idea that there is no best of all possible worlds. This view says that, for any possible world God could have created, there is an even better world that God could have created instead. If this were true, then God would have to make a less-than-perfect world — or else nothing at all. And presumably an imperfect something is better than absolutely nothing. Thus we might be able to explain how an all-good all-powerful God could have created an imperfect world. However, it’s another question whether this line of thinking can offer a complete solution to the problem of evil.  For that you’d need to explain how an all-good all-powerful God could allow, not just imperfections, but also hugely catastrophic events — like what has happened in Haiti.

Philosophy of Action and Philosophy of Religion By Stewart Goetz, Ursinus College (Vol. 1, 2006) Philosophy Compass

Morality and Religion By Tim Mawson, St Peter’s College (December 2009) Philosophy Compass