How would a theist respond to Epicurus' God quote? 

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call call him God?" 

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Free will actually exacerbates the problem.
The question should be.. Does God have free will?

If God is all good without a shred of evil.....Then how did he fore-knowingly create billions of people that were going to make the 'wrong' choices? If God is purely good..then how did he create SOME people that would make wrong choices and some that would make the right ones?

Isn't He responsible for the eternal suffering and misery of billions that he KNOWINGLY created by his OWN FREE WILL to go to hell forever and ever? He KNOWINGLY did this by creating the kind of system this supposedly is.

Why did he create a system of eternal incarceration....instead of one of rehabilitation and growth?

Why couldn't God create an afterlife where people can learn from their mistakes and have the possibility to atone for them and then to continue to grow in wisdom and in stature?

How can anyone have peace in heaven knowing that a large portion of humanity, their fellow brothers and sisters, are DOOMED to eternal suffering?

Why did God create a system that demanded a blood sacrifice to save it?

Why?... Because 'God' comes from the minds of men...and not the other way around.
The free will argument does still work, I think. If God is truly 100% good with no evil, then he could not prevent a life from existing, even knowing that the life would cause evil. It's like how the cliche good guy will save the bad guy's life, even knowing that the bad guy will still go on to do more evil. Just because the bad guy does evil things, the good guy CAN'T just let him die OR not allow him to be created OR remove his freedom to do evil. Only a BAD guy would do that and God is a GOOD guy.

So, the free will argument does work, but only because it's the simplistic morality of an 80s childrens' cartoon, lol. Of course, we could just blow the whole thing out of the water by pointing out that if the Christian doctrine were true, then free will is an illusion (when your choices are to obey a dictator or burn forever, you don't ACTUALLY have any real "choice" at all).
(when your choices are to obey a dictator or burn forever, you don't ACTUALLY have any real "choice" at all).

That's what I've been trying to say. Free will is IMPOSSIBLE inside of religion. If free will is to exist, then you CAN'T have an "all-everything and everywhere" kind of god. He must be either neutral or non-existent. If God is neutral, then he may as well be as close to looking like the natural laws of the universe as possible. Such a creature can't interfere with our lives here on this planet.

OR you can have a god that is COMPLETELY good and helpful and actually involved with people's lives but has limits to his powers and isn't omniscient.

But this isn't what we see! We see people proclaiming a god who's all-knowing, and all-loving, and omnipotent, and who's personal and involved in the tiniest detail of your life(and that's actually pretty creepy) despite being invisible and mysterious. His worshipers claim that prayers work, despite evidence to the contrary. And if prayers ARE to work, that means God has to manipulate the chain of events and thus the people in them. Actually, prayers suggest that God screwed up somewhere or YOU don't trust the original plan enough and want things changed.

None of this crap makes sense and free will doesn't jive with any of it. If we have free will, then God has to be limited in what he can do. If God is a neutral god, then fine. Say he's a neutral god. Don't say he's kind. Don't say he's good. Don't say he's personal. Don't say he loves you. And don't say prayers work. Because I'm not seeing it.

Free will is worse in heaven. Are you happy because you're honestly happy? Is that your real dog that you lost as a kid? Or is only a facsimile? Or maybe God will go "screw your wants, this is about me"? Or maybe you're only happy because God has wiped your memory and everything that makes you who you are and wants you to forget about all the innocent people suffering in hell.

And that brings us to the original point. How are we to have free will if we can't even choose what we're to believe, especially since everybody is confused on what we're supposed to believe and none of the evidence adds up? Imagine living in a country where the government wants you to buy only their product when will raid your house and shoot you if you buy anybody else's. Would a good God who created free will create a crime for merely existing, remain invisible, and not give you a choice on what to do with your brain concerning belief systems and punish you if you choose wrong? Imagine a test in school that works this way where the kids are being asked what kind of job they'd be most suitable for, and the chairs of every kid is rigged to toss the child into a furnace below if they wind up with the wrong choice, which is every choice but one.
Not that he couldn't prevent a life from existing, merely that he *wouldn't* do so. I COULD grab my gun and go shoot my wife in the face right now, but I WOULDN'T do that and indeed have no desire to do so.
I wonder what Freud would say about that. ;-)
The deal is, if life originates from a perfectly good source with no evil in it and it comes into a system created by This perfectly good source with no evil in it,, Where does evil originate from?

How can this evil come from something that was only PURE and GOOD?

The system that was created is as responsible for the evil within it as those making the so-called 'free-will' choices within it.

All things being equal, what causes one perfectly created being to make the correct positive choice and another perfectly created being to make the wrong negative choice?

Remember, when looking at the creation we cannot ignore the source matter from which it sprung.

All Powerful and All knowing...he could have made a system in which beings could make mistakes and eventually learn from them...instead of making a system in which they make mistakes and never learn and never grow but only suffer forever and ever and ever.

Why did a perfect being in which dwelt no evil create such a limited and unfair horror of a system into which he placed people with 'Free will'.

Our will isn't truly FREE unless we have as many options and possibilities as the so-called creator.
But, alas, God is not perfectly and purely good.

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. -Isaiah 45:7, KJV

And there goes the "God is good" argument :)
Only the perfectly and purely good god can create evil. XD
"Free will!"

Cause God is pro-choice.
The one I hear the most often is that evil is the absence of god.
(Which sorta means he's NOT omnipresent, huh?)
God moves in mysterious ways. Duh.


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