I took this from a magazine article that I found in my attic, as I was going through my Evel Knievel memorabilia, which was amazing because I just tweeted how I was wondering what Evel Knievel’s thoughts were on the Argument from Evil!
From Daredevil Magazine Issue 777:
As many of you know, Evel Knievel (born Robert Craig Knievel) is perhaps the world’s most famous motorcycle daredevil. With such stunts as jumping 13 buses at Wembley Stadium in front of 90000 people, or the Snake River Canyon attempt which almost cost him his life, Evel Knievel became a household name during the sixties and on into the early nineties. With millions of fans and risking both life and limb to put food on his families table, Knievel paid dearly for his daredevil ways, amassing 37 broken bones, 14 major surgeries (including screws, pins and bone replacement surgery) and spent more than half of the years 1966- 1973 either in a hospital, in a wheelchair, or on crutches. This gave Evel a lot of time to think and ponder the biggest questions in life and it was here that he would find his true calling, not jumping vehicles, but jumping premises and argumentation.
In the summer of 1968, Knievel hospitalized after attempting to jump 6 Ford Pintos and a cow went horribly wrong; the cow moved. Having part of his spleen removed, Evel now found he had a lot of time on his hands while he recovered. “I was bored silly!” he tells Daredevil Magazine, “One day I asked Frank, a long-time friend of mine, if he could bring me something to read. Not being one with a penchant for remembering things, my request had slipped Frank’s mind entirely until he was on his way to visit me. Now in a rush to find something I could read, he opened his son’s book-bag (who was in college at the time) and grabbed the first book he found, it was from his “Introductory to Philosophy” course. Not wanting to disappoint me Frank figured it was better than nothing, and when he handed it to me I didn’t know what to say. I was expecting a magazine or something; what the heck was I going to do with a philosophy textbook?!” laughing as he shook his head, “After Frank left I kind of stared at it with one eyebrow cocked towards the ceiling, but wouldn’t you know it? Curiosity got the best of me and I began to thumb through it. That was it for me. I was hooked!”
Knievel would spend all his down time buried in the books, thumbing through philosophy journals until the wee hours of the morning, and sneaking into university classes in whatever city he happened to be in at that time; philosophy was consuming his life. “I started getting in accidents on purpose just so I could spend more time philosophizing. I couldn’t stop!” With a name like Evel, one shouldn’t be surprised that he had come to form of atheism, “yeah after reading guys like Bertrand Russell and Nietzsche I decided that naturalism was the life for me! Plus, it totally went with the name. Philosophy of Religion had become my drink of choice and let me tell you the most modest of ways, I was the best.”
In 1972 Evel published a philosophical masterpiece under the pseudonym Ken Evel where he formulated perhaps the most daring version of the Logical Problem of Evil ever witnessed in the history of philosophy. Not only was it logically air tight, but the premises would actually defend themselves when you tried to refute them. Evel grinning in reflection, “Jumping all those buses, cars and whatnot paled in comparison to the adrenaline I got when I first penned this argument. It was so strong that my pencil literally exploded when I finished placing the last period. Thankfully I wasn’t on a typewriter or that really could have been messy!” (I would type the argument out for you but I am on a computer and I’m no Evel Knievel, so I am not willing to take the risk). Theists didn’t know what to do, or what to make of it, Evel Knievel thought he had won Philosophy of Religion.
But then in 1975, a philosopher out of Calvin College by the name of Alvin Plantinga dared to take the challenge, “Yeah, Plantinga man, I thought I had it, but here comes this guy with his “possible worlds” and “feasible worlds” and the whole “Free Will Defence“. Pssh. I really didn’t like him very much.” What he is talking about is Plantinga’s Free Will Defence against the Logical Problem of Evil which rendered it not so much a problem, logically speaking. Sure evil existed, but it didn’t mean that God couldn’t exist along with it. Keneviel was crushed, “He really challenged my worldview once I started to really think about it. My atheism was centred around my belief that God and Evil couldn’t logically exist together. Even once I reformulated it to the more difficult Probabilistic Problem of Evil, I still couldn’t get it so that God and evil couldn’t logically co-exist. I was frustrated.”
Ken evil (the philosopher) retreated into a philosophical closet, “I went back to jumping motorcycles, what else was I going to do? It was the only life I figured I knew how to live. Sure lot’s of guys still defend the Problem of Evil, but it’s really no use. Scientists have even figured out that only highly evolved primates experience pain like we do. The problem just keeps getting smaller and smaller.”
Years went by and the fame, fortune, surgeries and addiction had taken it’s toll on Evel Knievel; he begun to soften on his atheist stance, “I began to feel like there was something more out there, like I knew there was something more to life than this, like I always knew it, something bigger than me; bigger than you; bigger than all of us. I couldn’t explain it, I still can’t, but I just knew it in my heart.” Knievel began to search out this feeling he had, he even began to pray asking for guidance in his search, hoping that Something or Someone was listening. After years of searching, his prayers were finally answered, “it just all made sense one day, just kind of clicked. I realized that arguments weren’t the way to go and that subjective evidence was evidence, and if I could experience God, then I would know He was real, even if I couldn’t explain it in a way that everyone else could understand. I looked into the major religions and found that Christianity fit this mold and so I followed what it said, you know, about searching and BAM, beofer I knew it I had gave my heart to Jesus Christ. It consumed me to the point where I was all like, ‘give me that plow, I have some seeds to sow!'”
On 2007 Evel Knievel appeared on Hour of Power and was baptised in front of millions. His testimony went on to cause a mass of baptisms in the name of Christ.
To everyone’s shock in the philosophical realm, the once infamous Ken Evil came out of his seclusion to give the Problem of Evil one last formulation, but this time with a twist, “I realized that the problem of evil wasn’t just a problem for the theists, but for the atheists as well. If there was no absolute basis for good and evil then evil is just relative and therefore doesn’t actually exist, but it does exist! My pen didn’t explode this time, because I using a computer, luckily that didn’t explode either, but still, I have high hopes for this argument.” Shortly after this interview Robert Craig “Evel” Knievel passed away, one can only think that his life, which would eventually serve to bring thousands to Christ, was meant just for that. God Bless you Mr. Knievel, may you rest in Christ.