THE EVIL GOD CHALLENGE
The focus of this paper has been on the evil god challenge: the challenge of explaining why the good god hypothesis should be considered significantly more reasonable than the evil god hypothesis. We have examined several of the most popular arguments for the existence of a good god and found they appear to provide little if any more support for the good god hypothesis than they do the evil god hypothesis. We have also seen that many of the theodicies offered by theists to deal with the problem of evil are mirrored by reverse theodicies that can then be applied to the problem of good. Prima facie, our two sets of scales seem to balance out in much the same way.
Now I do not claim that the symmetry thesis is true, and that the evil god challenge cannot be met. But it seems to me that it is a challenge that deserves to be taken seriously. The problem facing defenders of classical monotheism is this: until they can provide good grounds for supposing the symmetry thesis is false, they lack good grounds for supposing the evil god hypothesis is any more reasonable than the evil god hypothesis – the latter hypothesis being something that, surely, even they will admit is very unreasonable indeed.
While I acknowledge the possibility that the evil god challenge might yet be met, I cannot myself see how. Perhaps there are grounds for supposing the universe was created by an intelligent being. But, at this point in time, the suggestion that this being is omnipotent, omniscient and maximally good seems to me hardly more reasonable than the suggestion that he is omnipotent, omniscient and maximally evil.
The Mediocrity Principle:
he mediocrity principle simply states that you aren’t special. The universe does not revolve around you, this planet isn’t privileged in any unique way, your country is not the perfect product of divine destiny, your existence isn’t the product of directed, intentional fate, and that tuna sandwich you had for lunch was not plotting to give you indigestion. Most of what happens in the world is just a consequence of natural, universal laws — laws that apply everywhere and to everything, with no special exemptions or amplifications for your benefit — given variety by the input of chance. Everything that you as a human being consider cosmically important is an accident. The rules of inheritance and the nature of biology meant that when your parents had a baby, it was anatomically human and mostly fully functional physiologically, but the unique combination of traits that make you male or female, tall or short, brown-eyed or blue-eyed were the result of a chance shuffle of genetic attributes during meiosis, a few random mutations, and the luck of the draw in the grand sperm race at fertilization.
Courage to Doubt by Stephen J. Hurlin
The Christian Argument: Chapter 4 page 53.
Before we begin, I would like to clarify what is meant by certain words:
i) What does “God” mean? Any discussion on the existence of God has to begin with a definition of what is meant by the word “God”. Whenever I refer to “God”, I am referring to an actual entity, a physical Being, and personal God as found in religions like Christianity, i.e. all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good Creator.
ii) What does “atheist” mean? An atheist is someone who does not believe in God, For the purpose of this discussion, I would like to make a further distinction between an “implicit” and “explicit” atheist. An “implicit” atheist is someone who has never really given much thought to a belief in God and is atheist by implication. A newborn baby is a good example of an implicit atheist, because it has not had the chance, or made the effort, to make a rational choice based on research. An “explicit” atheist is a person who has studied all available information and has made an educated decision to reject theism in all its forms. An “explicit” atheist is absolutely, one hundred percent sure God does not exist. There is no “niggling about” or agnosticism, in an explicit atheist’s thinking. When I use the word “atheist” in this chapter I am referring to an explicit atheist.
Man’s Need for God: Chapter 5 page 60.
The argument that something cannot exist if it is not made by something else is self-contradictory. Who “made” or “created” God then? And who or what made that creator and so forth back into eternity. This is called the argument of infinite regression.