Hi Bala, thank you for your reply to my question. I was wondering if you could expand a bit on which, in your opinion and experience, are the best arguments to use as positive reasons for the co-existence of God and evil. Thank you.
Thank you for your question. I have to confess that I have also personally struggle with this question. So let me look at this question from two different ways.
I think (from a philosophical point of view) what is at the heart of the ‘Biblical response’ to this issue of “the co-existence of God and evil” is to first understand the ‘nature’ and the ‘relationship’ between ‘God’ and ‘evil’. God by nature is ‘Holy’ and He has created the universe without evil and suffering. Furthermore, He also created man perfect and gave him the privilege of a ‘choice’. At this point, it is important to note that God’s plan in giving man ‘freedom’ or ‘free-choice’ had the potential for evil. Therefore, the actual origin of evil can be attributed to the misuse of this freedom or in other words man is responsible for directing his will away from God and toward his own selfish choices. Evil, is not a thing, but a corruption of a good thing created by God.
Secondly, I also realized that people very often raised this question more from the experiential point of view that the philosophical view. In essence the crux of the argument that the critic would very often put forward is that ‘If God is all-good & all-knowing, then He must know good purposes for all pain and suffering in this world.’ But just because we do not know all of the good purposes God has for all the pain and suffering that prevails in this world doesn’t mean that there are no good purposes. Our not knowing doesn’t mean that God (an infinite Being) doesn’t know! Ultimately it does not follow that evil proves that God is imperfect and limited; what follows is that we are imperfect and limited. When speaking of evil and suffering, one may not know all about God’s purposes, but we do know some of them at least from four sources i.e. from experience; from tradition, which is others’ experience; from reason, which is thinking about experience; and finally from faith. May I then propose to you four reasons why…?
- First and foremost is the issue of building one's Character
- Secondly, is the issue of imparting of moral lessons in our life
- Thirdly, God can even allow us to go through some pain in order to get our attention in life
- Last but not the least some pain in life serves as warnings of dangers ahead of us
Why put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden?