Explain how logic, coherence, and a sense of psychological satisfaction figure in to our assessment of potential solutions to the problem of evil.

“Title of Essay”
Question:  Explain how logic, coherence, and a sense of psychological satisfaction figure in to our assessment of potential solutions to the problem of evil.
Solutions to Evil
The problem of evil involves reconciling why an all-powerful, all-knowing and perfectly good God would let so many bad things happen (Cunningham & Kelsay, 2013, p. 102). This concept can be very difficult for people to comprehend and accept. However, logic, coherence, and a sense of psychological satisfaction can be used to examine the problem and assess possible solutions. So why do bad things happen to good people? The answer may not be evident, but since we all have free will, then some people will do good while others will do bad. God does not necessarily intervene in everything that people do or the concept of free will would be moot.
Craig (2012) stated that the problem of evil was the greatest obstacle to the belief that God exists, but that logic could be used to explain how God and evil can co-exist. Therefore, if it can be logically established that God and evil can co-exist, then believing in God can provide some reason as to why bad things happen. There may be a logical purpose for God allowing evil to exist, which also leads to the argument that God does exist. Logically, evil can be tied to morality and what is referred to as “situational evil”, which separates evil and relates it to distinct events and how people respond to those events (Csordas, 2013, p. 527). By breaking down evil actions into separate events, it may be easier to logically assess how to prevent evil in a similar situation in the future.
Establishing rationality between good and evil can be helpful when trying to understand why evil exists and how to deal with it. There are three possible defenses of the problem of evil provided by Patton (2011):  1. God is not ultimately responsible for evil because people have free will, 2. evil brings meaning to suffering even if we do not initially understand the purpose, and 3. evil actions cause equally good reactions. If these three assumptions are true, then they are part of a coherent theory that can provide logic and understanding when trying to solve the problem of evil.
Karma, which is related to Buddhism and Hinduism, might further help to bring logic and coherence in trying to solve the problem of evil as it connects our actions to our destiny (Cunningham & Kelsay, 2013, p. 106). Therefore, if we believe in karma, we believe that when we do good, we will be rewarded, and when we do bad, we will be punished. This idea connects the idea of free will and a possible explanation for why God does not intervene in everything that we do. If God intervened in every evil action, then other people would not have the opportunity to show how they can respond with good actions.
The Bible states, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18, New International Version). This Bible verse can be comforting to those who have suffered from evil actions, and can provide a sense of psychological satisfaction because they know that God will eventually punish the evil and reward the good. The suffering that people endure is for a reason, and we must try to have faith that God will be with us when we are in pain, but that in the end, he will also reward us so that we may live in a world without evil.
The problem of evil is a dilemma faced by anyone who believes in a deity, and the problem can be something that tears people from their faith. However, logic, coherence, and a sense of psychological satisfaction can help to understand and assess the problem of evil. It is true that we may never understand why an evil act occurs or why God allows it to occur, but we can attempt to appreciate that God has given us free will, which explains, to some degree, why evil exists. Understanding the problem of evil helps us to find solutions. The solutions are not ones that will stop evil; the solutions simply give us a better understanding of the problem of evil so that we can deal with it and still believe in God. Original sin, brought about by Adam and Eve, brought natural evil into the world, and God uses this evil to “bring about the greatest good that a fallen, sinful human being can experience:  a repaired will and external union with God” (Beebe, 2006).

References
Beebe, J. R. (2006). Logical problem of evil. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved
from, http://www.iep.utm.edu/evil-log/print
Craig, W. L. (2012). The problem of evil. Reasonable Faith. Retrieved from,
http://www.iep.utm.edu/evil-log/print
Csordas, T. J. (2013). Morality as a cultural system? Current Anthology, 54(5), 523-546.
Cunningham, L. & Kelsay, J. (2013). The Sacred Quest:  An Invitation to the Study of Religion
(6th ed.). Boston, MA:  Pearson Education.
Holy Bible:  New International Version, (2011). Grand Rapids:  Zondervan.
Patton, C. M. (2011). The problem of evil in a nutshell. Credo House Ministries. Retrieved from,
http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2011/06/the-problem-of-evil-in-a-nutshell/

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