HomeLUMINAvol. 20 no. 2 (2009)

Evil and the Problem of Divine Benevolence: A Propaedeutic Reading of an Age-old Puzzle

Christopher Agulanna

Discipline: Philosophy, Religion, Theology



Evil exists in the world. This statement is poignant and incontrovertible. It is the least controversial claim anyone could ever make about the nature of reality or of the world itself. The other is that the problem of evil is perhaps one of the most confusing, troubling and difficult problems that confront human beings. All through the history of thought, there have been thinkers who tried to downplay the enormity of the problem, or otherwise try to wash it away. But try as they may, evil remains one of the most intricate problems that human beings have to deal with in their day-to-day existence in the world. In the genre of philosophy known as metaphysics evil is usually characterized as one of the perennial problems that philosophers have to grapple with. In the field of philosophy of religion, the reality of evil continues to be something of an intellectual dilemma for the major thinkers. Conceptually, the problem of evil revolves around the apparent contradiction of the evils that confront us in the world and the claim that such a benighted order of things is governed by Divine Intelligence.