Argument Essay #2: The Problem of Evil
Many articles you read will have complicated dialectics where the author presents an argument, gives possible objections to the argument, and then gives a reply. When you read articles and you feel that the author is contradicting himself/herself, or is going back and forth, this is often an indication that the author is defending an argument against a possible objection.
It takes practice writing clearly so that your reader can follow this dialectic. This assignment will help you organize a dialectic so that you can understand and write sophisticated arguments that handle possible objections.
This paper also gives you practice in conversing with others, critiquing other’s arguments, or replying to their arguments against your position. Conversations usually have a dialectic where someone gives an argument and another person disagrees. It is important to be respectful and encourage the flow of ideas, so that each person can fully explain their position and learn from different perspectives. In writing essays, always write as if the reader has never heard of these arguments or terms.
Part One: Give a thesis statement and explain the argument for the Problem of Evil.
In this essay, I will examine the argument for the Problem of Evil, a possible theodicy against the argument, and reply to the theodicy.
The Problem of Evil is an argument that shows that God cannot be either all- powerful, all-knowing, and/or all good. [Outline an argument for the Problem of Evil. Explain why this argument shows that God cannot be all-powerful, and/or all-knowing, Write the following paragraphs and fill in the missing details. This activity is broken into three parts, but your paper should present one essay, with paragraphs that flow together. Include citation and bibliography. This is italicized here to indicate what you should write, but your final essay should not be in italics. and/or all- good. Be sure to define an all-PKG god, define evil/ suffering, and give examples of different kinds of evil/ suffering. This may take 2-3 paragraphs.]
Part Two: Explain one theodicy.
One might object to the Problem of Evil by giving a theodicy. A theodicy is ________ [give the definition of theodicy. Make sure to explain that a theodicy will defend the position that God is all-PKG].
One theodicy is _____________ [choose ONE theodicy that we talked about in class. Be sure to explain how this theodicy shows that God is all-PKG even though evil/ suffering exists. Think about God would allow evil to exist or why he wouldn’t prevent it or intervene. You may use thought experiments, examples, or scenarios to illustrate your argument].
Part Three: Explain a rejoinder to the theodicy.
The defender of the Problem of Evil argument can reply to this theodicy by saying ____________ [Explain a problem with the specific theodicy you explained above. This may require you to show how the theodicy fails in showing that God must be all- powerful, all-knowing, or all-good.]
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