[quote=AnAtheist]Even if I assume an omnipotent, omniscient (or nearly so) god for a minute, who created the whole universe, then the universe is completely predetermined, as it is fashioned in the way it is. That contradicts Free Will, and then the PoE kicks in, see above.
Furthermore it is not necessary to claim a god to explain the universe. Granted we are far from knowing everything yet, but in former times, we couldn’t explain lightnings, so we assumed a divine influence. We can’t fully explain the origins of life yet (though we have some insights), well, we will in time.
Well, you have more faith in science than I do, to be sure. Putting that discussion aside, though, I want to ask you something. I gather that, by your argument you are implying that God, as you understand us Catholics to understand him, would have to by definition be guilty of evil, because He would have predetermined *everything, *which tells me you probably have a very strong sense of justice (many atheists I have gotten to know typically do). How then do you explain the origin of this sense of justice within you? Where could it have come from, if we live in a merely materialistic universe?
The main concern I have with your explanation of the necessary consequences of an omnipotent God is that you seem to leave no room whatsoever for the possibility that there might be some aspect of His actions that are beyond human understanding, including yours. It seems to me that if God truly exists, as we hold, then this would have to be an inescapable conclusion; otherwise, He cannot be omnipotent. Even if He reveals Himself to us (which we claim He does), still much mystery would remain simply because of the vast gulf between the nature of an omnipotent God and a mere human being, leaving much still shrouded in mystery. Would it not then stand to reason that no human being could ever really be in a position to definitively judge God of evil, by virtue of our finite nature?
The only logical way a human could judge God successfully and rightly, as I see it, would be if God were truly not omnipotent – and yet the moment this happens He is no longer truly God. You said that an omnipotent God is logically impossible, but you seem to be predicating your belief in the non-existence of a truly omnipotent God upon your dissatisfaction with the logical consequences of the existence of a “god” who, according to your explanation must be a god who can be completely understood by a human being, and is therefore less than omnipotent.