Imagine a chess-playing supercomputer. This machine has a processing power so huge that no intelligence, natural or artificial, can defeat it in this game. On a lazy Sunday evening (after going to Church, of course ) you decide to sit down and engage it in a casual battle. You want to see how good it actually is. You want to see what all the hype is about. You are a half-decent player yourself and in your younger days were a formidable opponent, respected in every school you studied in. You play White and the battle commences. In a tense opening you somehow survive up to the middle game – perhaps the most important stage of a chess game – and in the midst of a complex stand-off, the computer plays a move that, according to all your calculations, is a blunder. You are certain of this. The super grandmaster computer has made a mistake.
Or has it?
What is more probable here: that you have calculated accurately and the computer has messed up big time, or that there is an ingenious gambit the computer has masterfully calculated, seeing eight, nine, ten moves ahead while you, capable of seeing five to six moves ahead at your most brilliant self, are the one blind to what is happening, or will soon happen, to your White army which is about to be spectacularly put to the sword?
This is how I feel whenever people say an Omniscient God cannot do this, an Omniscient God cannot do that. “An Omniscient and Omnibenevolent God cannot permit evil to exist, therefore such a God cannot exist because evil exists.” And they state this with all the pompousness and assuredness of a fact. These poor creatures, in my not-so-humble opinion, make the sad mistake that man makes while playing the computer. He uses a finite knowledge to judge what an infinite knowledge should and should not do, can and cannot do, and inevitably pays a hefty price (in this case a quick checkmate). I posit that in order to accurately judge the wisdom of a decision taken by a super-intelligent chess machine and whether or not a certain move played is a blunder, it is necessary for one to be an equally or superiorly super-intelligent chess player. It is not logical for a finite intelligence, capable of only a finite mental sample space and a finite foresight to guide its decision-making, to judge accurately the soundness or lack thereof of a decision made by an infinitely intelligent mind, with an infinite mental sample space to guide its decision-making. In my possibly flawed opinion, the “logical problem of evil” commits a huge oversight on this and cannot thus be logical.
The ILLOGICAL problem of evil is a feeble and flawed attempt to legitimize atheism and our skeptical brethren need to come up with something better.
But if you feel like it’s a solid argument and will hold water when your turn comes to face the Tribunal and that God will nod in agreement and say “Intelligent man! I never looked at it that way. I apologize for all the trouble, please step right into Paradise” then go right ahead and take your chances. If you feel like you can go into a philosophical argument with God and dazzle Him with your intellect, and impress Him with your logical exposition of atheistic philosophy then I wish you all the best.
For the rest of us silly superstitious believers, onwards and upwards. Let’s die in our silliness. He who laughs last…
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