Menu Close

The Problem of Evil2 min read

Listen to this article

The problem of evil is one of the top five, maybe even the top intellectual and practical objection to the goodness and existence of God.  I find the Christian answers incomplete and not really intellectually satisfying, but they are interesting to investigate.

Philosophical Answers to the Problem of Evil

A first argument is that evil does not need to be created, it is merely the absence of good.  Kind of like dark is not created, it is just the absence of light – i.e. it is a type of “nothing” that exists when light is taken away.

A second argument for evil comes out of the idea that God created us with free will, and as free moral agents because love would not make automatons, but independent beings.  That risk includes the ability to choose what is not good.  This argument, however, is a little weak – I mean, if there is no sin or evil in heaven, is that because we all BECOME automatons and therefore lose our free will or ability to choose wrong?

Also, the existence of evil challenges God’s omniscience and foreknowledge.  Why would God create Lucifer and man if He KNEW that things would get so screwed up.  Is it really a brilliant plan to have to create everything, including a redeemer from the beginning (so He knew from the start it would get screwed up)?

The fact that the bible says that God regretted making man (Genesis 6:6-7), and decided to wipe him out with the flood implies that God made a mistake in judgment, and regretted what essentially could be considered a mistake.  Interestingly, open theism has evolved to answer this question, saying that God doesn’t really know the future specifically, but this thesis is rejected by orthodox and evangelical scholars.