Conversations with Angie: Angie on evil and freedom
I probably shouldn't have said "I know exactly what most Christians would say in response to it." What I meant is more like, "I've heard (over and over and over) a particular set of arguments that many Christians use." And, yes, the explanation that you just gave fits into that group.
The problem of evil argument is not exactly what I was talking about. It's more simplistic than what I was thinking (at least, I think it is... :) And, I've never thought that God can exist only in the absence of evil. That wouldn't make him very godlike, would it?
To me, the issue is more about God's character. I cannot reconcile what the Bible says about who God is with the world that I live in. Even factoring in his various attributes and roles - Mighty, Righteous, Holy, Merciful, Compassionate; Judge, King, Creator, Father, etc. - I do not find that his allowing such evil can be consistent with his nature or character.
Regarding the butterfly effect -- that's pretty much the explanation that I've heard before. Basically, it says that the whole earth reaps the effects of the sins of humanity. People often cite Romans 8:19-22 in support of this argument:
"For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now."
I can kind of see why they use that scripture for that argument, but it seems to do more harm than good, since it says that God subjected creation to futility. It doesn't say that creation was subjected to futility because of man's sin.
Soâ€¦ do you know any other responses to this argument?
Finally a little comment about all that you were saying about free will. It all made sense and sounded reasonable and logical. However, I feel like this argument is solely based on humanity's history and experience. We try to put everything all together to make sense of why/how we have a will and why/how evil exists, and why/how we can choose to do evil. But if God exists, and God created us, there really is no reason that he had to create us this way, unless he finds some entertainment or fulfillment in or through the conflict. He could have made us without any free will; we would not have known the difference. Is this making sense? I feel like it isn't
Conversations with Angie: Angie vs problem of evil, and Romans vs the butterfly effect