Why Would a Good God Allow Moral Evil?
by J Warner Wallace
For many, the presence of moral evil is evidence against the existence of an all-powerful, all loving God. The problem of evil is perhaps the single most frequent objection I hear when speaking to unbelievers, and it has been uttered by thousands across the span of history. Epicurus (the ancient Greek philosopher, 341-270BC) expressed the problem clearly:
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing?”
There you have it: If a good, all-powerful, all loving God does exist, and we, as humans, are allegedly created in His “image”, why are people be so inclined to do immoral things? And why doesn’t this all-powerful God do something to stop evil, immoral behavior? A God such as this is either too impotent to stop evil, doesn’t care enough to act, or simply doesn’t exist in the first place.
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But think about it for a minute. Which is more loving: a God who creates a world in which love is possible, or a God who creates a world in which love is impossible? It seems reasonable that a loving God (if He exists at all), would create a world where love is possible. A good God would create a world where love can be experienced and expressed by creatures designed “in His image”. But this kind of “love-possible” a world is, by necessity, a dangerous place. Love requires freedom.
True love requires that humans have the ability to freely choose; love cannot be forced if it is to be heartfelt and real. I cannot force my children, for example, to love me. Instead, I must demonstrate my love for them, provide them with the knowledge and moral wisdom necessary to make safe and loving choices, and then allow them the personal freedom to love one another and do the right thing. Eventually, as a parent, I have to let go, and this process of letting go is dangerous…
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