“Epicurus (c. fourth century BCE), the ancient Greek philosopher, who held that it was impossible to hold these three propositions together:
- God is all-powerful.
- God is all-good.
- Evil exists.
Epicurus’ argument was revived in the eighteenth century by the skeptical Scottish philosopher David Hume. In Hume’s own words: ‘Is [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able? then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil?'”
Richard J. Plantinga, Thomas R. Thompson, and Matthew D. Lundberg, An Introduction to Christian Theology.
Hume, David. Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.
Tissot, James. Cain leads Abel to death. 1902.
“Our prevailing modern Western worldview is no more ‘modern’ than the worldview of the first Christians. All that has happened is that many leading scientists in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, who were attracted to Epicureanism for quite other reasons (not least social, cultural, and political), have interpreted their perfectly proper scientific observations (for instance, concerning the origin and development of different species of plants and animals) within an Epicurean framework. It has then been assumed that ‘science’ actually supports this view of a detached ‘God’ and a world simply doing its own thing. But this is profoundly mistaken.” — N. T. Wright, The Case for the Psalms
Raphael. “Epicurus.” The School of Athens. 1511. Fresco.