Thursday, July 25, 2013

Good God & Evil World by Paul Copan: MP3 / Video

In this 18-minute video (found here) Paul Copan discusses the issue of how a good God could allow a world containing evil. More Paul Copan resources here. Paul Copan books here.

Full MP3 Audio here. (18 minutes)

Video here.

Check it out.


  1. Darren Webb June 4, 2010

    This was a great video. I like finding stuff like this that can give a general overview of an issue which can leave a discussion open for people to talk about. This seems like something I would use.

  2. Davitor June 4, 2010

    Simple critical thinking: “if the Biblical God created while being aware of evil and its implication on an eternal condemnation then it implies a moral issue”.
    All our court systems and justice go in accordance with this. Simply put the Biblical God is an accomplice to evil.
    Unfortunately there is no way around this moral issue with apologetics.

  3. Ex N1hilo June 4, 2010


    Try arguing that at the judgement.

  4. Russell June 5, 2010

    Hi Davitor,

    If God created us, then our morals are given to us from God. So how do you justify questioning the author of Morality on Moral issues?

  5. Davitor June 7, 2010

    Ex N1hilo, if all you can say on your rebuttal is judgement day then i arrest my case.

  6. Davitor June 7, 2010

    Russell, if we can not hold God to the highest absolute moral standard then i am afraid we are stuck with a man made biblical God.

  7. Russell June 7, 2010


    In order for us to have free will, the possibility of evil had to be present. Therefore, I don't think it's fair to blame God for the evil in the world, if we chose to embrace it.

    Now if you don't believe in God, then you are going to have to justify how you morally judge something as evil or good.

  8. R Lidster July 26, 2013

    Russell, no he really doesn't. His charge is that, using what is putatively God's own standard, He is an immoral being. The argument is that the claim of a good God is *internally* inconsistent, not that God is evil judged by some external standard.

  9. MaryLou July 26, 2013

    I understand what you're saying, R. Lidster, but the real question is this: How do you know what is moral or immoral apart from God?

    I ask that for several reasons. First, without God, there is no external source of right and wrong. That leaves it up to the individual or the group to determine it. The Nazis had their idea of right and wrong. They were their own arbiters of morality. Indeed, without an outside, objective, universal standard of ethics, then we are left with subjective, relativistic ideas of what is good and what is evil.

    Second, if a person believes that we are all results of random chance, mere accidents in the evolutionary process, then what would make one accident's idea of right and wrong better than another's.

    Third, if we are all dancing to our DNA as Dawkins suggests, then we are doing what we are programmed to do. Therefore, why even bring the idea of right and wrong into the conversation. There is no "ought", just "is".

    Fourth, even an atheist like Nietzsche recognized that, if God is dead, then the world will devolve into something that gets nastier and uglier as time goes on. The 20th-century proved that. Atheist regimes brought more death and suffering than the world has ever seen. And why not? As Dostoevsky put it, without God, everything is permissible.

    Fifth, the problem with the kinds of theodicies that people come up with rests in the fact that their progenitors determine what is good and right according to their own standards and then ask God to live up to them. He doesn't have to do that.

    Sixth, the people who are most angry at God for not being the way they think he should be don't know him and they don't understand his Word. Goodness and holiness are part of God's character. That means that ALL sin is an affront to him. All human beings are sinners. Therefore, ALL human beings are an affront to him.

    However, in spite of that, he chose to send Christ to die in our place. He did that out of love. Until a person recognizes the depth of the depravity of all members of humanity, it is impossible for that person to understand why God has had to deal with sinners harshly.

    Look at it this way: If the man who raped and murdered your mother and your sister stood before a judge and the judge said, "I am a loving judge. Therefore, I will not punish you. You may go free", how would you feel about that? You would be angry, right? And you should be! Yet, when God administers justice and deals with sinners appropriately, there's always some atheist saying he's wrong to do so.

    Until a person recognizes that, with free will, we have always had a choice to either do what is right or do what is wrong, and that the blame rests with us, then that person will resent the way that God deals with sinners. Seventh, it does NOT logically follow that God cannot be good just because there is evil in the world. See Norman Geisler's If God, Why Evil?

    Eighth, I don't know of any worldview apart from Christianity that deals with the issues of suffering and evil adequately.

    Christ dealt with evil and suffering at the cross. He initiated the Kingdom of God (that kingdom being one in which all live according to his will) which means that we can live with some of his blessings in the here and now. But the Kingdom will not be fully implemented fully until Jesus' second coming when he will eradicate evil and suffering once and for all.