Dialogue between an Atheist and a Theist on "The Problem of Evil" from Hick

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A Dialogue Concerning The Problem of Evil While quietly reading a book entitled “Why I am not a Christian,” by Bertrand Russell, on a bench on campus at the edge of the quad, Amy was approached and greeted by an old man. Annoyed, she placed her book down and responded…

Introduction

Amy: Uhh...I guess so. Why do you ask? John: Well, a retired old man doesn’t have much to do these days, and I want to see what these professors are teaching you kids these days. But let me ask, how come you are reading Russell? Are you an Atheist? Amy: Yes. John: May I ask why? Amy: See, my main problem with believing in God, is that when you look around the world, there are so many problems. Not just small problems, but real, serious, heartrending problems. There is world hunger and starvation. There is violence, hatred, war and genocide. There are natural disasters like earthquakes, floods and volcanoes, which wreak havoc and cause terror amongst fellow humans. There are egregious crimes we commit against each other, like rape, kidnapping and murder. If God really exists, how could he ever allow all of these terrible things? John: Ah, I as most other practicing Christians have ran into some of these existential type worries, which have caused me to doubt my faith. But in the end, after working hard and maintaining my relationship with God, the answers have been revealed to me, and my faith has in turn become stronger. Amy: That’s all well and good to the practicing Christian. However, I admit that I am not too familiar with the bible, many of your religious teachings, and your personal esoteric spiritual experiences, so before we can have this discussion, we are going to have to define God in purely ontological terms. ...
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