In this activity you’ll be asked a series of 17 questions about God and religion. In each case, apart from Question 1, you need to answer True or False. The aim of the activity is not to judge whether these answers are correct or not. This battleground is that of rational consistency. This means to get across without taking any hits, you’ll need to answer in a way which is rationally consistent. What this means is you need to avoid choosing answers which contradict each other. If you answer in a way which is rationally consistent but which has strange or unpalatable implications, you’ll be forced to bite a bullet.
If your God is omnipotent (all-powerful, able to do anything), omnibenevolent (all-loving), omniscient (all-knowing) and the creator of all that exists, then we have a problem.
When your God created the universe, being all-knowing, she must have known about all the suffering there would be in this world. Yet God still created it, as it is. She did not create a more benign version of the universe, or simply choose not to create the universe. Why is this?
It could be that God did not know about all the suffering which would occur. But that would make God not all-knowing. It could be that God doesn't mind all the suffering, but that would make her less than all-loving. It could be that God could not have created a more benign world than this one. But that would seem to make God less than all-powerful. The only way we can resolve this problem is to conclude that God can only do what is possible and that this really is the best of all possible worlds. The metaphysical engineers find it hard to model this resolution as they think they can make a better world quite easily. For example, they are able to make human brains more hardy and thus reduce the incidence of psychopathology, resulting in an immediate decline, in their model, of crimes of sadistic murder. Are they mistaken in some way?