The problem of Evil Explained
There is only “one” argument that claims to prove that there is no God. The claim is that any evil disproves and all-good God.
There seems to be a contradiction in the following propositions:
- God exists
- God is all-good
- God is all-powerful
- Evil Exists
Affirming any three and you might deny the forth, it seems. Five Possible Solutions
- Atheism denies that God exists.
- Pantheism (The Universe/Nature and God are identical) denies that God is all-good
- Polytheism (Belief in multiple gods i.e. Hinduism) denies that God is all-powerful
- Idealism (Hinduism, Christian Science, New Age thinking) denies that evil is real
- Biblical theism (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) denies that there is a contradiction
There is no contradiction due to ambiguous terms. Let’s take a look at the meaning of the terms a little closer.
- Evil is not a being, thing, substance or entity. Evil is real but not a real thing.
Evil is a non-conformity between our will and God’s will.
A knife is not evil, but when a person, through their own will, uses it to kill another person. It is evil.
- There are two kinds of evil:
- Moral evil (sin): The origin of sin is human free will
- Physical evil: The origin of immediate suffering is nature, but suffering can be connected to sin. We are not ghosts or souls imprisoned in a body, but soul-bodies (psycho-somatic) unities. If the soul becomes alienated from God by sins, the body will become alienated too and experience pain and death as sins inevitable consequences.
- Since this is not an original idea (it is Genesis 3 in the Bible) we must look at some evidence of “The Fall” of mankind in order to understand evil.
- First, if there never was a time then God did not make all good.
- Second, if “The Fail” is only what each of us does, why have none of us ever resisted the forbidden fruit? 10 billion people have chosen evil over innocents.
- Nearly every tribe, nation, and religion throughout history has a similar story of paradise lost.
- Consider the human condition:
- All desire perfect happiness
- No one is perfectly happy.
- All desire complete certainty and perfect wisdom.
- No one is completely certain or perfectly wise.
- The two things we all want are the two things no one has. We behave as if we remember Eden and can’t recapture it.
- An illustration:
The flow of life was like a magnet (God) and three metallic rings. When they were all connected to God there was a flow of life and harmony between the rings. Once man broke the connection between God and the Soul by the first sin, the magnetic force stopped and the rings were separated. Death is the results of the Soul and Body separating. Suffering is the results of the Body and Nature separating.
Thus both suffering and sin are traced to man’s free will, not God.
We praise, blame counsel each other. Doing this to a robot is absurd. We do not hold machines morally responsible. If there is no free will all moral meaning disappears from life. Why did God give us free will and allow us to misuse it? God did not give it to us like a pony to a young school girl. It is part of our essence. There can be no human being without it. The alternative to free will is not being a human but an animal or a machine
If all things are possible with God, why didn’t God create the world without sin? The answer is He did. According to Genesis evils source is not God but mans freedom. Then why didn’t God create the world without human freedom? Because the world would have been a world without humans, a world without hate, but also without love.
Goodness means more than kindness. Kindness means the will to free a loved one from pain. Some time to be good is not to be kind. We are maybe kind to strangers, or animals. God allows suffering in order to help us toward the greater good of moral and spiritual education. He allows only the evil that can work for a greater good for us. Just like you do not do all of your children’s homework, God in His goodness does not prevent us from all evil.
The modern and shallow meaning of happiness is subjective. Happiness is this sense is a feeling. If you feel happy you are happy. Because feelings come and go it is only a temporary thing. It is an external thing and can come from “good luck” like winning the lottery. Its money, sex, and power. The older definition of happiness is an objective state, not just a feeling. Happiness is to the soul what health is to the body. It is a permanent state. It is under our control. It is our choice. Its source is wisdom and virtue created in ourselves by practice not a gift of fortune. It is internal, not external. It is a good soul, not a good bank account that makes you happy. Deep happiness is in the spirit, not in the body or a feeling
The Solution to the problems of Evil (dissolved)
- The nature of spiritual evil is sin, separating ourselves from God.
- The origin of spiritual evil is human free will.
- God allows spiritual evil to preserve human free will
- The nature of physical evil is suffering
- The origin of physical evil is spiritual evil.
- The end of physical evil is spiritual discipline training for our own perfection and eternal joy.
Overview from the Handbook of Christian Apologetics
by Peter Kreeft & Ronald K. Tacelli)
If you are convinced that God most likely exists then click here. to understand God Nature.
Otherwise, there are many other examples below. If you prefer a more logical set of arguments check out the “The Five Basic Proofs for the Existence of God”