If one takes a look at what John Hick has to say about the problem of evil, they can see his view point. One view point made is that “through suffering is not ultimately evil but good, as such is used to make our souls better” (GFDL, Aug 29) and that states that the evil we suffer leads to a good later in our lives within ourselves. The outcome can also be seen by others and affect others around us. The evil we experience does change our future and it changes our mind and the way we think about future situations. Our minds are capable of so much growth that it is surreal. We do grow through those experiences but seeing evil in the world makes one feel pain, hurt and wonder. Through that we grow, and it can make or break our souls depending on how the person chooses to react to a situation. I’ve seen people experience evil and it breaks them, and they hate the world. I’ve also seen people experience evil and they allow it to build them and they grow from it. Some people choose to be negative while others choose to be positive. One’s outlook on life is the way they choose to look through the lens. A certain viewpoint makes it seem that suffering is not evil but good. One can’t see the good outcome until all is said and done but reacting differently to the situation can change one’s attitude.
The weakness in this argument for the problem of evil is that the “consequence of evil is suffering”. (Riley, 1 Mar. 2015) Perhaps one doesn’t always have to suffer, if one were to always look at it in a positive way that could determine one’s outlook of the evil. Yes, most people are hurt, sad, broken, torn, mad, etc. when something evil happens to themselves or others, but people also can’t just change the way people will act. If someone wants to choose to do evil that’s on them but maybe it is a learning situation for someone else. There can be pros and cons to evil. It’s not right and I’m not saying it is but finding other perspectives on the situation will open our minds up to why the evil happened in the first place. We can also see that in John’s argument with the problem of evil he says, “if God is perfectly good, then He must want to prevent evil. If God is all-powerful, then He can prevent evil. Evil exists. Therefore, God is either not perfectly good or God is not all-powerful, or both.” (Rea, 7th ed) God is perfectly good, and God is all-powerful. His plan wasn’t for evil to be here because He gave Adam and Eve specific instruction to not eat from the forbidden tree yet because of free will and temptation they did and thus sin entered into this world allowing for evil to arise as we can see with Cain and Abel also where Cain killed his brother. (Genesis, KJV) Satan chose to become jealous, he wanted to be like God. Isaiah 14:12-15 states, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the starts of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” (Isaiah, KJV) Satan wants to be like God but never will be so for the time being until he is sent to the lake of fire (Revelation, KJV) Satan will have his play time on this earth and lead people astray from God if people fall under his temptation. Satan is not good, he is even, thus the people falling under temptation and whatnot will commit evil doings. People have freewill and are able to choose good or bad, it is up to us, but influences are constantly being made in lives.
Now looking at what Alvin Plantinga had to say about the problem of evil was that “it is possible that God, even being omnipotent, could not create a world with free creatures who never choose evil. Furthermore, it is possible that God, even being omnibenevolent, would desire to create a world which contains evil if moral goodness requires free moral creatures.” (Rae, 7th ed) The weakness I see with this point of view is that God gave us free will, but I don’t believe He wanted us to choose evil. Our free will ultimately is for us to choose Him over evil yet our free will allows us to choose whichever route we want. I don’t believe His original plan was for evil to be in this world, thus His reasoning for Jesus in this world to save us from our sins to turn our ways from evil. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:17, KJV) People’s freewill will have them choose whatever path they desire to go on but let’s remember who the Lord and Savior is!
The person I think I would agree more with is John Hick just because I wouldn’t choose Alvin Plantinga thinking of the problem of evil for, I don’t believe that God would want evil in the world because God is not the author of sin, that is Lucifer. It’s just like when the serpent spoke to Eve about eating the fruit from the forbidden tree, I don’t believe he just spoke to her and she changed her ways, I believe the serpent spoke to her everyday trying to convince her to just eat the fruit. The more she heard that the more she thought maybe so, maybe I won’t die. I could be completely wrong but it’s just like us today, we hear the voice of temptation and most times it takes several times before we think perhaps it’s not such a bad idea to go with the bad. The evil we experience though will help us in our future and whether we allow it to make or break us depends on the way we handle the situation that we encountered. John Hick’s point of view seems more spot on than Alvin Plantinga’s. I wouldn’t be able to wrap my mind around Alvin’s view point.