Today, I had an extended back and forth with atheist video blogger (and actor) Scott Clifton. I wanted to post one bit of the exchange here because I address a very common type of question about the problem of evil.
Clifton: Can you name a good—any good—that can’t be brought about by an omnipotent being without millions of children being raped?
Rauser: That’s not how it works. Imagine that you start the first day of a five-year apprenticeship with a master of a trade. At noon, you call your wife and say “He had me sweeping the floor all morning. It’s a joke!” Your wife replies, “Maybe he has a reason for that.”
So you reply, “Can you name a reason that the master would have me sweep the floor on the first morning of a five-year apprenticeship?” The thing is, however, is that the onus isn’t on her to give a reason for the command. Rather, the onus is on you to argue that the master couldn’t have a reason. And frankly, three hours into a five-year apprenticeship, you’re not at all in a position to make that judgment. What makes you think you’re in a better position relative to the purposes of an omniscient being?