Tag Archives: problem

Why Did God Create Evil?

“Since God is the highest good, He would not allow evil to exist in his works, unless His omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil. This is part of the infinite goodness of God that He should allow evil to exist, and out of it produce good.” Introduction to St. Thomas Aquinas pg27

Summary:

God allows evil to exist so he can demonstrate his supremacy and ultimate goodness by making good out of evil.

Interpretation:

The entire play of events that proceeds from Genesis to the end was a demonstration of Gods ultimate goodness and power to produce good from evil, before its final judgment.

Or

The entire play of events from Genesis to the end is God seeking to redeem good from evil rather than to simply judge evil. A lesser god in power and goodness could only judge evil, but a greater god in both goodness and power could redeem and transform evil and make good of it.

Problem:

If man has the ability to do both good and evil he can both work for and against God. Furthermore, if man can work for God of his own ability than he is equal in ability with God. Therefore, it must be understood that man can work evil in his own ability, but he can work good only by quickening of God’s Spirit in him. God as the prime mover is the only one to act in pure goodness in and of himself.

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Did God create evil?

It would seem that the highest good, God, is the cause of evil. Introduction to St. Thomas Aquinas, pg 274

Isaiah 14:5, 7 “I am the Lord, and there is no other God, forming light, and creating darkness, making peace, and creating evil.”

Amos 3:6 “Shall there be evil in a city, which the Lord hath not done?”

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The problem of God & the existence of evil.

evil and god

There seems to be a contradiction by the affirming of all four of these propositions:

•    God exists
•    God is all-good
•    God is all-powerful
•    Evil exists

Because is God is real, all good and all-powerful, then evil would not exist.
Or God is real, all good, but not all-powerful and this is why evil exist.
Or God is real but not all good, so in power he created evil.
Or lastly God is not real and evil therefore exists.

Or are they all right!?

The problem with this argument has to do with the arrangement of this argument. “Evil” is spoken of as a being, as a thing. But evil is not a thing or a being.

“Things are not evil in themselves. For instance, a sword is not evil. Even the stroke of the sword that chops off your head is not evil in it’s being—in fact, unless it is a “good” stroke, it will not chop off your head. Where is the evil? It is in the will, the choice, the intent, the movement of the soul, which puts a wrong order into the physical world of things and acts—the order between the sword and a neck… Augustine defines evil as disordered love, disordered will. It is a wrong relationship, a nonconformity between our will and God’s will. God did not make it we did.”
(this quote and the one above were taken from Pocket Handbook of Christian Apologetics, by Peter Kreeft & Ronald K. Tacelli, Pg 45,46.)

God cannot create evil, because in him there is not evil, there is no disunity in his persons. God is holy, united, perfect love. However, as created beings we are not perfectly united with our creator, we live in relationship with Him. In that relationship there is an ebb and flow. The further our relationship grows apart from God the more “evil” we become in our heart, minds, and actions. Likewise, the closer we draw to God, and unify ourselves with him, the less evil we become in our heart, mind, and actions, or the more holy our heart, mind, and actions become.

Evil will always exists until man becomes perfectly united with God.

This is why Jesus prayed, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:20-23

*So in one sense God did create evil, because he did create something different than himself, which opened Pandoras box for evil. However, looking at it from another direction God did not create evil. He created us and we created evil…  So can we really blame God?

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