VB sums his chain of reasoning below. And very nicely done reasoning it is too. And then comes this: The problem of evil is more of a problem for the atheist than for the theist. He is right of course. But can anyone tell me why his is right. EVERYTHING THAT FOLLOWS IS VB’S:
I am somewhat of an obsessive compulsive after a few months I started to ask uncomfortable questions. I know what I experienced but the mind is a funny thing and I recognized hey you are basing your life on this belief which is a serious commitment maybe I am deceiving myself “Am I sure?” and of course I was not sure I needed more.
One of my strengths, and is always the case can be one of my greatest weakness, is that I have a very open mind, its not empty but open. I also think that to confront ones doubts one must face the opposition and their strongest arguments honestly and without distortion. Its a blessing and a curse because it is very tough to engage arguments that are contrary to what you believe. This is important, I recognize that I am not objective, I am guilty of observational bias, by recognizing this I recognize that I have to fight that and the way to do that is to expose oneself to ideas opposite of your own. I remember once on this site I mentioned that I was prone to observational bias and someone was surprised by that (it was not you) and I thought “are you kidding me”? Its a human condition.
It took many years but in a nutshell here is where I have landed.
Evidence is a plastic word and needs to be defined, here is how I prioritize evidence.
1) My starting point is where all of us start, and where many are ignorant that they start there, which is a set of unprovable assumptions, everyone has them. Everyone starts with metaphysics! I assume the reliability of mind.
2) Reason and its sister Logic is superior to experience. Logic cannot tell us what is but it can tell us what is NOT.
3) Because everything starts with metaphysics faith is not unreasonable, nor is fideism the same as faith.
4) Every worldview is a set of faith assumptions about the nature of things ie is a metaphysical belief.
5) Every worldview has difficulties.
6) To echo KF we should adopt the worldview that has the least number of difficulties.
As to the materialist, atheist, agnostic I GET IT. I understand why when we look over history, the pain and suffering that exists in our world, the evil and mayhem, atheism to me is a reasonable position but entails more difficulties than theism.
Here is my answer as a theist to the problem of evil, I don’t have one nor does anyone else, Jonathan Edwards, one of the greatest minds America has produced, spent his whole life contemplating this question and could not answer it. Those who appeal to the free will of man etc, just demonstrate to me that they don’t gasp the extent of the problem, I am laying it all out here and I know this will rankle some theists here but that’s a fact. As an aside I think the problem of evil is more a problem for the atheist than the theist