June 5th, 2006

Richard Dawkins on the Problem of Evil

The Theology of the Tsunami
by Richard Dawkins
Op-Ed column in Free Inquiry 25 (3), 12-13, April/May 2005

I have never found the problem of evil very persuasive as an argument against deities. There seems no obvious reason to presume that your God will be good. The question for me is why you think any God, good or evil or indifferent, exists at all. Most of the Greek pantheon sported very human vices, and the ‘jealous God’ of the Old Testament is surely one of the nastiest, most truly evil characters in all fiction. Tsunamis would be just up his street, and the more misery and mayhem the better. I have always thought the ‘Problem of Evil’ was a rather trivial problem for theists, compared to the Argument from Improbability which is a genuinely powerful, indeed knockdown argument against the very existence of all forms of unevolved creative intelligence.
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