It is suggested by many that there is a perfect benevolent deity who created the universe. A perfect benevolent deity is a God by whom is all good and is entirely perfect. Many use the idea of the existence of evil and suffering to suggest that there is no God. People who hold this viewpoint would argue that if there was a God which was all powerful and all good then surely evil and suffering would not exist simply because suffering is one of the main problems apparent in the world, especially due to the fact that it’s so unjust. On the other hand, other believers such as Ireaneas would argue that by creating evil and suffering this this world, it allows the good things in life to be appreciated more by everyone, simply because the good things can be compared with the bad things which enables life to be less straight forward and more interesting. As a result it can be argued that a perfectly benevolent deity choose not to prevent suffering for the benefit of humans.
Some would argue that a perfect benevolent deity could prevent suffering in this world as surely a benevolent deity would always desire the greatest pleasure for its creation, and suffering does not pleasure people, instead it devastates them. A perfect deity would be omnipotent, meaning having access to all power and capable of doing absolutely anything. If this deity had all power then he could prevent suffering from this world.
However, a perfect benevolent deity would have to ensure that free will is given to humanity. Free will is the ability to make one’s own decisions and choose freely between different possible courses of action. Free will is of the greatest importance to all humans, so a deity must ensure it’s accessible for everyone. However, free will can be argued as the root to evil as it allows us to commit to immoral choices. As a result it could be suggested that a perfect benevolent deity could not totally prevent suffering in this world because if he did it would mean that he would be taking away humans right to choice, which in many people eyes is the most important thing. Free will can almost be seen as a compulsory right in which a creator should give to its creation, therefore meaning that evil would always be present in a perfectly benevolent deity’s creation – it’s inevitable.
Despite this, a perfectly benevolent deity could totally prevent suffering within this world whilst allowing humanity to have a certain amount of free will. A benevolent deity would weigh up the amount of evil from each part of its creation. So, he could provide humanity with free will which is limited to ensure