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Omnibenevolence, literally meaning "all-goodness", is an attribute often applied to God. Omnibenevolence is often a feature of monotheism but raises the difficulties of the origin of evil and the problem of evil. In contrast, polytheistic religions often allow for Gods to do good and evil actions.

It is sometimes defined as "The quality of always choosing the most morally good option out of several different ones."

It is also difficult for apologists to demonstrate an infinite God from finite phenomena. An omnibenevolent God would presumably not make mistakes.


Problems with omnibenevolence

Problem of evil

If God is defined as being not only omnibenevolent but also omniscient (all-knowing) and omnipotent (all-powerful), then this is one of the foundations for the problem of evil. As David Hume wrote, (paraphrasing Epicurus):

"Is He willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then He is impotent. Is He able, but not willing? Then He is malevolent. Is He both able and willing? Whence then is evil?"

Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

Old Testament

Main Article: God commanded atrocities in the Old Testament
For more information, see the Skeptic's Annotated Bible article:
For more information, see the Skeptic's Annotated Bible article:
For more information, see the Skeptic's Annotated Bible article:

Furthermore, defining God as omnibenevolent contradicts the numerous Old Testament verses in which he orders genocide and murder, as well as

"in which God says, "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these.""

Isaiah 45:7 Bible-icon.png (emphasis added)

Out of the numbered deaths in the Bible, YHWH kills 2,391,421 people. [1] Satan only killed the 10 of Jobs family. YHWH considered destroying the tribe of Jacob but was talked out of it by Moses:

"And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people."

Exodus 32:14 Bible-icon.png

God also claims that he created unjust laws to punish the Israelites when they would not obey: [2]

"Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live; And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD."

Ezekial 20:25-26 Bible-icon.png

God also regretted his actions, which directly implies error:

"The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled."

Genesis 6:6 Bible-icon.png

Job, a faithful servant of God, has his life turned upside down and his family killed because of a bet that God makes with Satan.

New Testament

Jesus is supposedly omnibenevolence. He is responsible for the demonic possession of about 2000 pigs, causing their deaths. This seems like he caused unnecessary harm.


Skeptics Annotated Quran.jpg
For more information, see the Skeptic's Annotated Quran article:

According to the Qur'an, Allah is the best deceiver. Deceiver is often mistranslated as "planner". [3] See Surah 3:54 Bible-icon.png, Surah 8:30 Bible-icon.png and others. Allah can cause people to be disobedient:

"And when We intend to destroy a city, We command its affluent but they defiantly disobey therein; so the word comes into effect upon it, and We destroy it with [complete] destruction."

Surah 17:16 Bible-icon.png

He also causes people to disbelieve in Islam and selects those who do believe in him. This is not omnibenevolent. See also Surah 6:25 Bible-icon.png.

"In their hearts is a disease, and Allah increaseth their disease."

Surah 2:10 Bible-icon.png

"No soul can believe, except by the will of Allah, and He will place doubt (or obscurity) on those who will not understand."

Surah 10:100 Bible-icon.png


  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]

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