A Familiar Question Regarding Evil
by Jonathan Ruth
If you are a Christian, or even if you are not, you have probably heard some version of this question 1,000,000 times over, “How can God be good if He allows so much evil in the world?” There are other questions that are surely its sibling, “How can bad things happen to good people?” for example.
I must say – and I feel rather fortunate in this regard I suppose – that this question has never bothered me. I truly say that without any haughtiness or air of superiority. The this-is-not-heaven answer and all that it implies has really always sufficed for me. I understand that sin has consequences, and many of those consequences can be seen in Genesis immediately after Adam and Eve are confronted by God about their sin. It is obvious that a level of strife and struggle for humans entered the world “through one man” that was, up until that time, not present as far as we can discern. I believe that we are BORN into this world as sinners and I believe that sinners are capable of evil.
Nevertheless, I do recognize that this is a critical question for those who are not believers, and indeed even some of those that are. It can be a serious roadblock to belief in God (not “a” god, but the God of the Judeo-Christian worldview).
My dad has an amazing ability to see past a question or challenge and highlight its a priori assumptions, weaker logical points, philosophical fallacies, etc. One of the things I LOVE that he says on this very topic is this, “So many are willing to blame God for the evil in the world, but no one wants to give Him credit for the good that is done in the world.” That is a marvelous point, and it highlights a different way for us to debate our non-Christian friends on this very topic…
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