[Premise 1] If God existed, there would not be pointless evil and suffering placed upon people.
[Premise 2] There is pointless evil and suffering all over the world.
[Conclusion] Therefore, God does not exist.
Introduction to the Argument:
Many people strongly believe and pray to their understanding of God every day. This gives them a sense of hope and belonging to the world that we live in. It provides a sense of community to the people who believe in the same God. These people like to look past or make excuses for all of the bad things that have happened to them, their loved ones, animals, and human beings in general. In the article The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism, William L. Rowe explains that a supposed omnipotent God would prevent pointless evil, he lets the audience know what pointless evil is, and he explains why he thinks there is pointless evil in general.
Explain the Argument About the Lack of God:
If there were a benevolent God overlooking the world, there would not be constant pain, suffering, and killing going on every day. These things constitute pointless evil. A holy and all-powerful being would be able to prevent suffering and evil on all levels. He would not just sit by and watch a massive amount of people and animals endure both emotional and physical pain due to the evil permeating the world. Why is this evil occurring in the first place if there is an omnipotent and all-good God?
Rowe states that “if the intense suffering leads to some greater good, a good we could not have obtained without undergoing the suffering in question, we might conclude that the suffering is justified, but it remains an evil nevertheless”. Pointless evil is the evil in which we cannot figure out the greater good of it. Rowe gives an example of pointless evil occurring and that example is: “In the fire a fawn is trapped, horribly burned, and lies in terrible agony for several days before death relieves its suffering. So far as we can see, the fawn’s intense suffering is pointless”. The suffering of the fawn will never lead to the greater good of living creatures.
No one really knows for sure why there is so much evil that leads nowhere. “The theist may point out that some suffering leads to moral and spiritual development impossible without suffering. But it’s reasonably clear that suffering often occurs in a degree far beyond what is required for character development” (Rowe). Even if some suffering is “required” according to a believer of God, why is the suffering so intense? If suffering was needed for moral and spiritual development according to God, he would make the suffering as short and painless as it could possibly be.
Assessing the Argument About God’s Nonexistence and Permeating Evil:
It seems as if there are more instances of evil in this world as there are instances of good. This evil is not justified and it has no point to it. There are no sins that can lead to the intense amount of suffering that human beings and other living creatures endure. There is a theory that people are born innately good and there is a theory that people are born innately evil. I believe that people are born innately evil. There are natural urges in every human being that cause them to do things that are ungodly. A human being that is born innately good would have no bad inclinations. Bad inclinations lead to sinning according to theists. If everyone has bad inclinations, then every person has sinned. Thus, they were not born innately good. It takes a lot for a person to ignore their bad inclinations.
Animals endure suffering everyday because of human beings. The evil that is placed on animals has absolutely no point. The animals that endure the most constant suffering are the animals in slaughterhouses. If there were an omnipotent God and he believed that human beings need to eat other living creatures, he would make them endure the least amount of suffering possible in their deaths. These animals should just be put to sleep. In reality, they are cut open while they are alive and they are trapped in small spaces. This is more than just animal abuse. This is animal torture. The people who kill these animals mercilessly are incomprehensible. No one should be okay with torturing other living things for their own benefit.
Every species of living creatures seems to get abused by human beings in general. There are many pets that get abused daily. People have pets to keep them company. This company should be cherished. If an animal does something that a human does not like, they should not be punished because animals have natural urges and instincts just as humans do. They should not be treated as lower beings.
There are people who kill and are in gangs and there are people that are always purposely doing wrong and evil things to others, but they sometimes never get caught or punished. They may even prosper from their wrongdoings. On the other hand, there are people that do very good deeds and are kind to others, but these people have awful things happen to them or they suffer with terrible illnesses.
Natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis kill and cause pain and suffering to the people who survive. Also, wars are abounding constantly all over the world and millions of people die or get majorly injured physically and emotionally due to the evil doings of others. If there were a God, natural disasters and wars would not occur because they are pointless evil due to the wreckage they cause.
Reactions to Possible Objections about the Nonexistence of an Omnipotent God:
The majority of people believe in some sort of God. A lot of people would object to an atheist’s point of view because they would make excuses for the suffering. The biggest argument that a theist may submit is “pointing out goods, for example, to which suffering may well be connected, goods which an omnipotent, omniscient being could not achieve without permitting suffering” (Rowe). A response to this belief would be that if there was a God, he would let it be known why the suffering was occurring. If a person has suffered or is currently suffering, they are never told why this is occurring by this omnipotent God. They cannot change their ways for God if they do not know why God was punishing them. Hiding things from someone is ungodly so God should not be permitted to hide things either. Everything should be out in the open to ensure understanding.
In summation, there are arguments for and against a God that is all-powerful. Because of the evil constantly seen in this world, there are more plausible arguments that are against an omnipotent God. An omnipotent God would not allow any living being to endure the amount of suffering that every living thing has to endure in their lifetime.