A little background: people variably state that either God doesn’t exist, or that God is evil, based on the Argument from Evil.

The Argument From Evil is simple: it holds that animals have been ripped to shreds for billions of years by other animals and forces of nature.
The God in the Hebrew Bible murdered humans and animals in an all number of gruesome ways. There is no way, they argue, that this omnipotent (all powerful) and omniscient (all-knowing) God, as stated in the three Arahamic religions, is good. How could a good God allow this to happen?

Based on the continuous evil of God in the Hebrew Bible, Marcian adopted a religion called Gnosticism. It holds that there are two Gods. One is Yaweh, the God of the Hebrew Bible, an evil God. The other is Jesus, of the New Testament, a good God. Two Gods exist, one cruel, the other kind.

Image result for marcion of sinope
https://pursuingveritas.com/2015/06/02/the-marcion-problem-tertullian-part-i/

Generally speaking: a theodicy is a response to the Argument from Evil.

Otherwise, a theodicy may be defined as “the vindication of divine goodness and providence in view of the existence of evil.” It is a response to the statement that no God can exist because of the amount of evil in the world.

This flow-chart explains five theodicies fairly well:

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https://www.slideshare.net/ppppp/good-and-evil-15318812
  • Skeptical Theism
    • Since God is so powerful and knowing, and compared to us, so much more insightful, that maybe what humans think is good, is actually bad, and what we think is bad, is actually good.
    • A counter-argument would argue that it sure does not feel that way at all, so how can is really be so?
  • There is a Jewish theodicy that God does so many horrible things in order to teach humans what “good” is.
  • We wouldn’t know how to be ethical without it being pitted against the apparently evil acts of God.
  • The next theodicy states that if life on Earth were always blissful and free of pain, then it would be boring, even more painful than if evil didn’t exist.
  • In order to be happy, we need to have experienced not being happy.
  • To respond, the general rule that being in a good mood can only come about if one was in a bad mood, is true in theory, but it has never really been tested.
  • Additionally, humans and animals don’t need the extreme pain of losing a limb, or get stabbed in the stomach, or get shot, in order to find happiness later on.
  • Another theodicy is that God wanted humans to figure out things for themselves, how to find peace based on their own efforts.
  • And yet, it seems kind of cruel to do this if an all-powerful God could have made life serene without much effort.
  • This theodicy gels well with Deism.

Deism

God created the Earth, then stopped watching, and left. God does exist. But God has nothing to do with this world. After creation, God has had no more influence in the world, no good, no evil.

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https://www.slideshare.net/SharanpreetKaur/augustines-theodicy

Many of The Founding Fathers of the United States were mostly Deist:

  • Thomas Jefferson
  • James Madison
  • Thomas Paine
  • John Adams
  • George Washington
  • Benjamin Franklin.
Image result for famous Deist

Other famous Desits existed otherwise!

  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Neil Armstrong
  • Voltaire
  • Albert Einstein
  • Napoleon Bonaparte.
Image result for famous Deist

As a thought-experiment, what would your response to the Argument From Evil be?

Sources: http://eskify.com/5-amazing-facts-deism/, https://www.azquotes.com/quotes/topics/deist.html, http://moderndeist.org/