Want to know how to cut the legs out from under the problem of evil dilemma? Try this simple question.
Often atheists will approach you and throw out a challenge to your Christianity that sounds something like this:
“If God is so good, why is there evil in the world?”
This is the classical problem of evil.
Indeed, it’s a thorny issue. But supported by sound biblical answers…yet, you don’t have to go there.
Why? An atheist has no business asking that question.
Remember: an atheist doesn’t believe in God. So they can’t use a component they don’t believe in to build a dilemma for you.
But there’s something else wrong with this question.
This question assumes the atheist knows what evil is. It assumes the atheist has a sense of a perfect standard. That’s what you want to get at.
So, cut the legs out from under the problem of evil by asking this simple question: “Why does evil bother you?”
What you’re looking for is what they believe in.
If they tick off a litany of violence, don’t let them end there. Push them for why torture, rape, bloodshed bothers him.
Usually they’ll admit some sense of injustice. If that’s the case, ask them where they got that sense of injustice. Does the opposite of injustice–justice–exist in the world then? If so, where does that come from?
What you’re doing is leading them to see that perhaps evil presupposes a morally perfect standard.
The atheist has to answer that question. Especially if he wants to use POE to object to God’s existence.