The Evil God Hypothesis?

Imagine the universe and all within it was created, by a creator. Pretend he/she is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient…

Let us consider for one moment the idea that ‘your’ God is not Good, but is instead Evil…

His cruelty is without limit, his depravity is without bounds, he is simply a supremely wicked being..

Let us call this the evil-god hypothesis…

How reasonable is the evil-god hypothesis?

Clearly it is not at all reasonable, there is far too much good in the universe. If a being such as described were to exist he would have created us just to play with us in his evil little game, to torture us, there would be no love nor laughter etc…

Far too much good exists for all this to plausibly be the creation of such a limitlessly powerful and malignant being.

Let us call this the evidential problem of good…

You will note that the “evil-God hypothesis” and the “evidential problem of good” can easily be flipped into the “God hypothesis” and the “evidential problem of evil”.

The vast majority of arguments raised in support of the existence of God fail to provide any real clue as to this supposed creators moral compass, I would then argue that any of the arguments put forward such that they support a ‘good-God hypothesis’ can be reversed in support of an Evil God.

If you want to posit the existence of an all-good creator you must first explain all the Evil in this universe…

NB: use of the words Evil and Good is unfortunate but in keeping with definitions readily grasped.

I first heard this type of argument from Stephen Law @ Heythrop College University of London.

iDikko

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11 thoughts on “The Evil God Hypothesis?

  1. Perhaps there are two Gods, and like the normal flora in our body, which keeps the bad bacteria at bay, sometimes the bad bacteria gets through and fulminates when the good is not looking. Maybe it’s the same thing with good and evil Gods, sometimes the evil sneaks through when that good is not looking, or their attention has been diverted.

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  2. I believe one should pursue wholeheartedly the “good god’, “evil god”, “agnostic god”, or total “absence of god” with all their might and faith or non-faith! Perhaps people will be convinced of the merits of their beliefs as they are stacked against history, their life experience, current events, and realistically summing up the logical future outcomes of their belief system/worldview. I follow Christ because I can’t help be drawn to His merciful example of love and forgiveness. I’m constantly challenged by His simple yet difficult teachings such as ” Love your enemy.” There is a universe in that teaching, and that is the reason I’ve chosen to practice that mindset as I ponder history with Him. (See my blog, “praythroughhistory) How merciful would we be to the antagonists/protagonists of history if we truly empathized and saw ourselves as fully capable of the same choices they made? What difference would that make in our present? What would the future look like if our progeny viewed the past through the lens of the Eternal Now rather than “us vs. them”?

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  3. Your post reminded me of this great quote:

    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then He is not omnipotent. Is He able, but not willing? Then He is malevolent. Is He both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is He neither able nor willing? Then why call Him God?

    Epicurus (c. 341 – c. 270 BC)

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    1. Can I make an analogy? Why do good parents let their kids make bad choices? I think at some point they have to decide: will I smother this kid and shield them from all danger, or will I let them make choices and learn from their mistakes and pain?
      What if the Deity believed in you, your abilities, and your growth so much, that He didn’t stick His nose in your business, but rather waited until you asked for help?

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  4. No, not at all.. I would say however, that if one believes the bible to be the unalterable word of God then yes, they must believe in the Devil.. If they hold a watered down belief, one I would call an apologetic view, then they would not need to at all…

    Like

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