An interview with John Frame on the Problem of Evil

Andy Naselli has posted an interview with Dr. John Frame on the problem of evil. Below is question number three from the interview. Click here for the entire post.

3. People often think that the logical problem of evil is a problem primarily for theists. Would you say that it is at least equally problematic for atheists? Why?

In order to formulate the problem, atheists have to use the concepts “good” and “evil,” which make no sense in their system. If good and evil are just names for our feelings of approval or descriptions of the pleasure that comes from various events, then there is no reason to assume that God would produce only good and avoid all evil. So, as some have said, if believers have a problem with evil, unbelievers have a problem with both good and evil. For on the unbelieving view, there is neither good nor evil in an objective sense. Still, it is legitimate, I think, for atheists to question whether the Christian faith is consistent within itself. Whatever the unbeliever may think about good and evil, he has a right to ask how the Christian concept of good and evil is consistent with the Christian view of God.


3 thoughts on “An interview with John Frame on the Problem of Evil

  1. This is a very poor question, or maybe the answer just sucks. You have to assume evil exists, postulate its existance to postulate about evil.

    Evil may be the quick way to god. A Vietname Vet writer Tim O’Brien said something like this in one of his short stories about Vietnam(The Things They Carried): sll soldiers are theists: they pray alot. Caught up in hell the athiest quickly becomes a theist. The contrast of light and dark is educational. The light is brighter in the darkness by way of contrast and need.

    It hard to ignore the really horrible things happening in the world: what human beings are doing to other human beings or animals. You have to know about evil to avoid it. How many well meaning idiots voted for George Bush?! I worry about Christians being too caught up in dogma and “faith” and pursuing a state of relative ignorance, unlike, I think, our friend Jesus himself. Remember bible quote says: “may you be wise as serpents and harmless as doves”. But, like Jonah we may have have some bad experience in the belly of the whale to pursue the truth, in Jonah’s case to prophesize.

    I also happen to think you have to give up Christianity, or religion and take it up again as comparative philosphy and pursue learning.

  2. I disagree with Dr. Frame. He is mis-equating amoralism with atheism. Good and evil make no sense in an amoral system, but quite easily make sense in other moral systems, whether or not a god is involved. They can also easily be objective, whether or not a god is involved. Natural law, for example, despite its being called the first grace of god, is understood through reason – and reason would (reasonably) be pretty consistent from one observer to the next. It doesn’t have to come from a god to be objective. Objective does not mean authoritative. Much of the atheism that gets noticed is anti-theistic, but anti-theism is not required in order to be an atheist. There are atheists who are quite concerned with good and evil, and with right and wrong. Why else would they say believing in gods and the supernatural is wrong?

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