Olson on Evil Necessitating God

From Roger Olson’s Evil As Signal of Transcendence:

The language and conceptuality of evil belongs within a theistic frame of reference. Atheists who use it are simply living off the leftovers of theism. Like my insightful atheist interlocutor here, they ought to discard it. But who can seriously refer to the Holocaust as a “mistake” or “harmful” or “pathological” without going further and calling it also evil? Sure, some will attempt it, but I dare them to have that conversation with a survivor of Auschwitz. And once you utter “evil” and mean it seriously, God is at least on the horizon. For without God (or something very much like God whatever you prefer to call him or it) evil falls back into being only a human value judgment which sucks the very power from it.

One comment

  1. I do not Olson is correct. An atheist can offer an argument from evil, not as a challenge to her worldview, but given theism was true. The problem of evil assumes existence of God and evil, and then proceed to show that it is impossible to have both God and evil coexisting.

    I do not think it is such a problem for theism since it is possible God allow or permit evil for certain reason unknown to us. If this is a possibility then there is no such problem of evil.

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