The logical problem of evil points out a contradiction in the traditional conceptions of the nature of God and the world.
As Epicurus pointed out:
"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"
There are many counter arguments to the problem of evil. Arguments that justify the existence of evil are known as theodicies, a term coined by Gottfried Leibniz. A theodicy can generally be divided into four categories, each typically rejecting one of the four premises used to make the argument. The argument is, after all, not an argument for the non-existence of God but an argument for the non-existence of God with all three of the characteristics of omniscience, omnipotence, and omnibenevolence in the presence of evil.
Many counter arguments rely on wild and unsubstantiated speculation:
"So how do theists respond to arguments like this? [The Argument from Evil] They say there is a reason for evil, but it is a mystery. Well, let me tell you this: I'm actually one hundred feet tall even though I only appear to be six feet tall. You ask me for proof of this. I have a simple answer: it's a mystery. Just accept my word for it on faith. And that's just the logic theists use in their discussions of evil. "
Most theodicies crumble in the face of easily prevented, extremely "evil" acts, such as the rape and murder of a child, or a gross atrocity like the holocaust, slavery or other genocides. Many theodicies have worse implications than the original problem.
Closely related problems include the problem of suffering, the Kalam cosmological problem of evil, the problem of non-God objects and the evidential problem of evil.