Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Existence of Evil

The problem of evil is the existence of evil. Many argue that if God is without sin and He was the creator of the Universe, how does evil exist? If God is perfect and the creator of the Universe, then He must have created evil, and that would make Him not perfect. Many use this argument as a theological argument to argue the non-existence of God. Another way to use this argument according to Walter Elwell in the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology: Second Edition is “there are those who argue specifically against the Judeo-Christian concept of God.” These people claim to not be atheists, but don’t believe in the God of Christians and Jews.

Moral evil is defined as those evils in the world caused by other free agents in the world. Examples of moral evils are the crimes against people such as murder, theft, rape, or even lying. These are the injustices of a person with free will and make the decision to commit an evil. Natural evil are the evils of things that just happen such as natural disasters including floods, tornados or earthquakes. Many ask why things are done to them because they are good people.

A theodicy according to Walter Elwell is “a term used to refer to attempts to justify the ways of God.” When you communicate a theodicy successfully, you should be able to prove the existence of an Almighty God. When communicating why moral evil exists in our world, you need to communicate that God is mankind’s creator, and He created us with free will. God created man with the option for man to do what he pleases. I am sure God created man wanting man to worship Him for all time, but He didn’t want man to have to do it and control us. Moral evils are the abuse of that free will that God has given us. The argument to this is that God created man and free will, so shouldn’t that make Him evil and the answer is absolutely not. It is the abuse of that free will that makes man evil. Say that I was given a guitar for my birthday. It is a beautiful guitar and one that I cherish; it is an amazing gift. But I use that guitar to smash over the head of a complete stranger. Is that the intended use of that guitar? God’s gift to us was beautiful but misused. As far as the theodicies of natural evil, there are a few that stand out to me; one example being that natural evils fulfill a larger purpose. While this may be true, it can be used by many non-Christians that why God can still let these things happen. While it may be hard for us to see a larger picture, God knows what He is doing.  He knows that an earthquake may harm few, but that he needed an evacuation of that area for a larger purpose. For example, I am late going to work because I can’t find my keys. If I did find my keys in time, I could have been in a fatal car accident. God has a purpose for everything that happens. Another theodicy of natural evil is that is was man created. I find this to be true. God created a perfect world for us to live in. God said that His creation was good and He was pleased. But man was kicked out of that perfect world and thrown into their punishment for the original sin. Throughout time we have abused the world that God made for us and now we are seeing consequences. While writing theodicies you have to be sure to remain Internally Consistent, which means that you cannot contradict yourself. Your argument for the existence of Natural evil cannot contradict the main fact that God is perfect and without sin.

I know many experience personal pains in their lives that may cause relationship problems with our God, but it is important to know that God has a purpose and a plan for everything that happens. My experience with a broken home and abuse has given me strength as a better husband and a better father. (And I love my father now very much.) I learned who I needed to be and I know that God has plans for my life. I don’t blame those problems on God. When I blame God for things that happen in my life, I am sinning against my Father and attacking who He is. 

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