Evil is such a hard topic to cover with any concrete definition. None of us will ever agree on exactly what evil is. From a Christian standpoint, evil is basically anything outside of God. If God is a perfect being, He exists outside of evil. Remember that when the story is told of Christ’s death He yells “Father, why have you forsaken me?!”. In other words, Go left Christ’s body to avoid being present in the same place as evil and death.
Atheists have their reasons for saying there is no God when it comes to evil. They all vary and range from one end of the spectrum to the other. In the end, neither I nor you know why evil is so rampant. But I do know the following constants:
1 – God put the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. Seems like a set up for failure if you ask most. But remember how we discussed God a few weeks back and I had suggested that God operates within the Laws of Logic. God created man in His image (or further, evolve into His image). When He created man, He assumed that we would be faithful and loyal to His commands and decide as He decides. Obviously we were not. That brings an issue forward about the extent of God’s foreknowledge. I have stated before that he probably doesn’t know the exact decisions we are going to make. He does put situations in front of us, but it is our free will that allows us to act independently of His plan if we choose. Not that taking a choice to distance from God is the right one, rather this is free will in application.
2 – Free will must exist so that God can exist. If God were to ever intervene in our element of free will, He would become a contradiction and we would all have to concede that His existence is a farce. However, by not intervening in the choices and decisions we make, He stays consistent with His nature and adds validity to His existence. We are allowed to decide for ourselves what right or wrong is. However, we have been given the New Law to adhere to through Christ and living outside or against those laws is certainly the wrong path to take.
3 – Evil exists through us. Man’s ways, in comparison with a perfect God, are tainted and concluded to be evil. In the heart of the matter, the only thing we can do right is accept Christ or seek God for total forgiveness of the things we do. Some people have a problem accepting the idea of salvation because they do not want to admit that they may be doing the wrong things in their life. Ego is very much a barrier between us and accepting the existence of God.
Complete and total eradication of evil by God would force life’s existence to end. None of us, even we Christians, live a perfect life and we never seem to keep either the Mosaic or New Laws as a guiding point in our lives. Not keeping the commandments of a perfect being and ignoring His advice has its consequences. Examples include war, global warming, famine and the list goes on and on.
These things, by all accounts, are the work of the human mind and hand. They are consequences of the free will we have been given. On the same token, I could not believe in a God that does not allow free will and forces decisions to be made. Such an idea is absurd.
God allows evil to let man see the consequences for their decisions and make a choice to change or stay the course. These decisions, through free will, are by all accounts ours to make, but we must be ready to suffer the consequences of our own actions.