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God and Evil - Bayle

In the 17th century, the French philosopher Pierre Bayle proposed that although natural evil is undeniable, that doesn’t challenge faith in God’s love, power and wisdom.

Pierre Bayle
Pierre Bayle

 

All that it challenges is the powers of human reason. We can’t fully understand how God’s attributes are compatible with one another, but that’s because we’re trying to think about matters beyond our comprehension.

But you might wonder, as you watch the disaster unfolding on your television screen, if this faith is a little too blind. You have faith in your family and friends, whom you know well. But you can’t just have faith in anyone you like - that seems reckless. And given the existence of natural evil, God might seem more like a hostile stranger than someone you know and can trust.

 

Do you agree that blind faith is reckless?

1. Perhaps you agree, and now want to say that we shouldn’t believe in God at all.

2. Or perhaps you agree, but think that we should reconsider the possibility of rational belief in God.

3. Finally, you might maintain that faith is reasonable even in the face of evidence - you’ve got to trust in God and take the leap.

Answer 1Answer 2Answer 3
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