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-Did God create evil?

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“Did God create evil?”

1.   Wrong Syllogism[1]. There have been many arguments used to indict God as the cause of evil. Here is one of them:

  • ·         God is the creator of everything that exists.
  • ·         Evil exists.
  • ·         Therefore, God is the creator of evil.

a.   Evil has no existence of its own. At first, it might seem that if God created all things, then evil must have been created by God. The conclusion follows logically from the premises. But does this syllogism demonstrate that God is the creator of evil? The problem with this argument is its second premise, that evil is something. However, evil is not a “thing” like a rock that is created. Evil has no existence of its own. It is only by consequence. You can have good without evil, but you cannot have evil without good.” When good is absent, then there is evil.

b.   Other Illustrations: It is like saying darkness does not exist; it is the absence of light. Similarly, cold does not exist; cold is the absence of heat. Similarly, evil does not exist by itself; is just the absence of good. The Lord did not have to create evil, but rather when and where good is absent, evil is there.

2.   Choice was not between good and evil but obedience and disobedience (evil). When the Lord created the world, it was very good, meaning there was no evil. One of the good things the Lord did in His creation is that He gave man the freedom to choose good by obeying Him or reject good by disobedience. So, the Lord allowed angels and humans to choose good or reject good (evil). The Lord did not create evil to choose from. It was just angels and humans will obey Him or disobey Him which is evil. If we choose to disobey, evil is our own making.

3.   Lord allows disobedience as choice or the possibility of evil. Because of the freedom given to us, the Lord does allow for the possibility of evil, not because He created it but because it is by our disobedience to a good God. If the Lord had not allowed for the possibility of evil, both mankind and angels would be serving God out of obligation, not choice. He did not want “robots” that simply did what He wanted them to do because they are “programmed.”

4.   To love and worship the Lord is by free will not an obligation. God allowed for the possibility of evil so that we could genuinely have a free will and choose whether or not we wanted to serve Him. God allowed for the possibility of evil in order to give us a true choice in regards to whether we worship Him. God did not create evil, but He allowed it. If He had not allowed evil, we would be worshipping Him out of obligation, not by a choice of our own will.


 

“What is the problem of good?”

How does a person ultimately resolve what is good or bad, what is moral or immoral? Where do these good moral laws come from?

A.        Problems if a person omits a transcendent source of objective moral values:

1.   Source of what is Good or the objective moral law (3 Options):

a.   The natural universe. It seems impossible that amoral matter could create beings obsessed with moral behavior.

b.   Culture or society. This hardly seems like a plausible possibility given the fact that many cultures and societies exist, and they can differ quite a lot where their moral framework is concerned. Which one is the right choice? For example, in some cultures they love their neighbors, and in others they eat them. The problem of even deciding what is moral within a culture becomes problematic as well. If the majority rules that rape is ‘good,’ does that make it morally good?

c.   The individual person. If two people disagree on what ‘good’ is, how is the dispute settled?

2.   Recognizing what is Good (4 Possible Ways to recognize what is good)

a.   Utilitarian – whatever produces the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people but a mob could vote for maximum evil.

b.   Pragmatic – whatever appears to ‘work’ where happiness (positive) or consequences (negative) are concerned. Are you going to kill sick and old people because they use up resources and they bring no return?

c.   Subjective – whatever is right for the particular person in the particular situation

d.   Emotive – whatever ‘feels’ right

B.        The Problem of Good – Good cannot be defined without purpose, and purpose cannot be defined without cause.

1.   Necessity of Positing the Existence of God. Without God, there can be nothing called ‘good,’ nor can there be anything called ‘evil.’ The logic works this way: if there’s such a thing as evil, you must assume there’s such a thing as good. If you assume there’s such a thing as good, you assume there’s such a thing as an absolute and unchanging moral law on the basis of which to differentiate between good and evil. If you assume there’s such a thing as an absolute moral law, you must posit an absolute moral law giver, but that would be God – the one whom the atheist is trying to disprove.

2.   So now rewind: if there’s not a moral law giver, there’s no moral law. If there’s no moral law, there’s no good. If there’s no good, there’s no evil. The simple fact is moral laws imply a moral law giver (a ‘giver’ that possesses meaning, morality, and purpose itself).

3.   C. S. Lewis said, “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.”

C.        The Conclusion

The Bible declares “No one is good but God alone” (Luke 18:19). Good is grounded in the very nature of God, and what He wills is good because He is good. And this good God invites everyone to “taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.” (Psalm 34:8).


[1] Syllogism – A form of deductive reasoning consisting of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion

 

“Did God create evil?” by Rev. Mario I. Quitoriano is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 

 

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