The problem of evil, how an all-loving God can allow so much suffering and allow temptation to happen to draw us to do terrible things, is a hot topic in the religious philosophical world.

Atheists say that evil shows there is no God. Some say that evil justifies the choice not to believe in God and allows for that choice. So it is not a strict disproof of God. But it is enough to make you a sensible atheist.

Religion says that God and evil are not necessarily cancelling each other out. They are in tension not contradiction.

The term problem of evil is really a religious term. It is religion calls evil a problem and has led atheists into that language and tone.

Some atheists say we should not talk about the problem of evil but the problem of God. They say that if you talk about evil as a problem you have already ignored it as a possible disproof of God. They say that if you talk about the problem of evil you are saying God is real and evil must be reconciled with God's existence even if we don't know how. These atheists are not saying suffering cannot challenge the existence of God. Their concern is to protect the fact that it does.

It would be vile to ignore the suffering of a baby to say there is a God. It would mean that in some way you do not care. Those atheists say you must take evil seriously and not just as a problem and what you should have the problem with is not evil but God. If it is true that evil cannot fit the existence of God, then belief in God will be based on denial and a refusal to see that evil is so bad it is intolerable by God. A God who is good and who tolerates it cannot exist. He would be an oxymoron. If you believe in free will, the person who is in denial is still as much to blame as a person who is dishonest. Denial cannot exist without dishonesty.

Religion says that evil and suffering however cruel and unjust fit the existence of a loving God for God tolerates them and works against them with his grace and love. They are bad for he is good and rejects them.

But that is saying evil that is being dealt with fits God and evil that cannot be dealt with is against God. Evil is redefined not as evil but as that which is being fixed. That is a sneaky trick and contradicts even what religion tends to mean by evil.

Interestingly, if there is no God, then evil and suffering are proof that there is no God. Atheists and believers are united in agreement.

But then religion says that if there is a God then evil and suffering are proof that there is a God for they are not bad unless he exists to oppose them.

All that is incoherent. Evil is regarded as a disproof of God if there is no God and then we are told there is no evil unless there is a God to hate it and condemn it and call it out for what it is.

If evil and suffering only disprove God if there is no God then that is a circular argument.

I am right for I say so and I say this for I am right. That is what a circular argument is inferring and it is arrogant and illogical and nonsensical. It depends on itself and goes around in circles.

If evil cannot show if not prove if there is or is not a God then evil is irrelevant to our discussion. Wanting to believe in God so that you can be against evil and count on him would be foolish. It would not matter.

The problem of God is a fatal one.