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Filmosophy

The Problem of Evil in Film

The standard philosophical definition of God is that He is: omnipotent (all powerful); omniscient (all knowing), and; benevolent (perfectly good). However, the ‘problem of evil’ seems to entail that the existence of evil is incompatible with belief in a benevolent, omniscient, omnipotent God. That is to say: if God is omniscient then he knows about the existence of evil; if omnipotent, then he ought to be able to do something about it; and if benevolent then he should desire to eliminate evil. Given that evil exists, there cannot be an omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent God. The standard Christian response to such arguments is that God granted humans free will, and this entails that we are free to choose to do evil. The problem with the human free will defence, however, is that it doesn’t account for the existence of natural evils (floods, droughts, famines, plagues, tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.). The above clip highlights some films that explore the problem of evil and some of the classical solutions to it.