Open Access Senior Thesis
© 2014 Marie Angeles
Within Judeo-Christianity there is a belief in an all perfect God who is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent. However, in this world evil and suffering exists, so how is it possible that an all perfect God can exist? This is called the problem of evil. This thesis examines the problem of evil and how philosophers like Alvin Plantinga, John Hick, and Richard Swinburne attempt to solve the problem of evil through different theodicies. In this paper I argue that all three philosophers and their theodicies fail to solve the problem of evil. I then turn to the writings of Herman Melville, specifically Mardi: and a Voyage Thither and Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, and consider how he, as an author, struggled with the problem of evil and religion. While Melville may have struggled I argue that within his works we can find part of the solution to the problem of evil. Through these two novels Melville demonstrates that God is not good. My final chapter considers this fact that God is not good and also considers how God is not evil. In the end I argue that God is neither good nor evil which allows us to no longer have to face the problem of evil.
Angeles, Marie, "On the Matter of God’s Goodness: An Examination of the Failure of Theodicies, Herman Melville, and an Alternative Approach to the Problem of Evil" (2014). Scripps Senior Theses. 475.