Skip to main content

Evil, problem of

Evil, problem of. If God is both almighty and perfectly good, why is there evil in the world? This challenge, made by Epicurus (341–270 BCE), has been repeated over the centuries, either as a response to the Teleological Argument for God's existence or, more radically, to attack theism. The book of Job is one of the earliest treatments of the question. Attempts to show that evil in the world can be reconciled with God's power and goodness are known as theodicies (theodicy).

According to the Free Will Defence: moral evil is regarded as the result of human freedom, a price worth paying either because freedom is an intrinsic good or because its good effects outweigh its bad ones.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Evil, problem of." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Evil, problem of." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 15, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/evil-problem

"Evil, problem of." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved December 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/evil-problem

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.