Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Why Does God Allow Evil in the World?

This is something that has puzzled me for some time. Why do we have wars, crime, and other forms of evil? So let’s consider some possible explanations.

Explanation #1: Evil is the result since God allows free will

God gives us the ability to think and do what we want. If we want to lie or steal, then God won’t supernaturally stop us. This brings up an interesting debate of whether we think humans are intrinsically good or bad. If we think humans are intrinsically sinful like Christianity teaches, then the result of free will would indeed be evil. But other religions do not share the original sin teaching. So God allowing free will wouldn’t lead to evil.

Explanation #2: Evil allows God to test us to see if we’re good

By this explanation, God allows evil so he can see whether individual humans are bad or good so he can judge them. Humans have to make a choice to be good or evil. But this explanation makes it seem like God is a mean High School teacher who relishes giving his students hard tests to see what grades they earn.

Explanation #3 God is punishing us for being sinful

Since humans sin, God sends evil like war and disease to punish them. But how does that jibe with the idea of a loving, merciful God?

So at the end of the day I’m still confused. Why do you think God allows evil in the world?

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