The existence of unnecessary suffering is entirely incompatible with any and all notions of the good, personal, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient Middle Eastern god of the Pentateuch. This is the heart of the argument from evil, and the only coherent response ever devised by the kingmakers of vaporous excuses – the Christian philosophers – to counter this monstrously disfigured theological problem is the free will defence.
Now, ignoring natural disasters and the misery caused by other-than-human choices (which theists cannot explain), the free will defence attempts to absolve the Middle Eastern Christian god of the Pentateuch from any responsibility for human suffering by claiming that since choices are made voluntarily, willingly and freely, then their particular deity cannot be considered culpable for the consequences of those choices. That is to say: it could intervene (omnipotent), but doesn’t (indolent); not because it’s sinister or malevolent, but because it respects human free will.
This excuse has three fatal flaws. First, if it is omniscient and knows the consequences of all choices in advance then the apologist must accept that the god of the Pentateuch favours, for example, the free will of the rapist over the free will of the victim. This contradicts any claim of benevolence. Second, in full knowledge of the consequences (the suffering), it, the god, has consciously made a choice to not act, which is both immoral and contradicts all claims of aseity. An aseitic being – a power incapable of change – cannot make a choice, for choice implies options, and options denote change. Third, being omnipresent means the personal Middle Eastern god of the Pentateuch watched the rape, heard the screams and smelt the blood, yet did nothing, and this is nothing short of wilful evil.
The only way the free will defence can work is if the Middle Eastern Christian god of the Pentateuch does not know what people’s choices will be. If it knows what any person will choose then all notions of independent free will collapse, and it, the omniscient deity, cannot be acquitted for not preventing the suffering it knew would unravel as a result. Not knowing is wholly compatible with the notion of free will and solves the initial problem of the existence of evil. Not knowing fails, however, to justify the deity’s inertness once suffering begins, and by conceding it wasn’t capable of knowing everything in the first instance the Christian apologist is admitting their god is temporal, and therefore incomplete. This contradicts professed definitions of the Middle Eastern Christian god of the Pentateuch as, “necessarily eternal, perfectly free, omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good.”
The conspicuous failure of the free will defence to solve the problem of evil proves beyond all measure that the tendered definitions for a mindful, personal god (as detailed in the Pentateuch) are, demonstrably, false.