Quote #233 “Whence then is evil?”

Is he willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

David Hume, in Dialogues concerning Natural Religion (1779), reporting an argument that he credits to Epicurus

4 replies on “Quote #233 “Whence then is evil?””

So, we assume evil?

Yeah, good one Hume, way to go ahead and report an argument based on tenuous assumptions!

If you think that it is overall better for the world to exist than not to exist then the issue is just whether this is the loveliest possible world.

Would you rather the world was not destroyed in a nuclear war? Then presumably you do agree with the first conjunct?

As for the second: Who knows the interconnections between all things?

We can only exist and be free in this world, which moreover we don’t understand. An omnipotent God who would constantly interfere with His creation would be a slavemaster.

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