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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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The ‘evil god challenge’

4 minutes

What, if anything, makes an all-good god less absurd than an all-evil one?

For centuries, many Western theologians and philosophers have answered the ‘problem of evil’ – how a benevolent god could allow for pain and suffering – with the argument that, in order for humans to perform good deeds, they must be free to choose between good and evil. In this animation from the Centre for Inquiry UK, the British philosopher Stephen Law considers the inverse scenario: if there were a fully evil, omnipotent god, could we possibly imagine he would allow for good deeds to be performed in the name of freedom to choose evil?

Director: Steph Hope

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/Meaning & the Good Life
Natural-born existentialists

Ethics cannot be based on human nature because, as evolutionary biology tells us, there is no such thing

Ronnie de Sousa

Essay/History of Ideas
The African Enlightenment

The highest ideals of Locke, Hume and Kant were first proposed more than a century earlier by an Ethiopian in a cave

Dag Herbjørnsrud