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C.S. Lewis : The Problem of Pain

Some time ago, I randomly determined that C.S. Lewis would make good family devotional reading. After all, Lewis is regarded as one of many great Christian philosophers. The book selected was The Problem of Pain; not exactly the most endearing warm fuzzy I've encountered.

This article takes a few moments to summarize the core thoughts of this weighty tome and put it into layman's terms.

Although it doesn't appear so at first glance, The Problem of Pain answers one of the questions skeptics will ask of the Christian: How could an omnipotent, omniscient, all-benevolent God permit evil in the world? This is by no means a trivial question, and neither is it unanswerable. Here is my interpretation of Lewis' explanation.

Random Notes, In progress...

Assume that God created man with a free will; that is, man has the ability to choose his actions.

In order for any entity to know the existance of another entity, the entities must have a common communication media: that is, thoughts not from yourself must be conveyed through some means.

If the thoughts of one entity are indistinguishable from the thoughts of another entity, it would be easily concluded that the entities are the same entity.

If any entity deems certain thoughts, actions, or events acceptible and other unacceptible, and if another entity exists, it is therefore possible that the multiple entities will disagree on the acceptibility of thoughts, actions, or events; it is possible that the communication medium will be configured in a manner that thoughts, actions, or events considered unacceptible will be encountered.

In other words, if more than one entity exists, it is possible that one entity may cause unacceptible circumstances to arise.

Distilling further: If God created man truly seperate and free to choose his own actions, then that very creative act permitted the possibility of circumstances which God deems unacceptable.

These cirsumstances deemed unacceptible by God are called evil.

Hence, if anything other than God exists, then the possibility of evil must also exist.