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The Problem Of Evil Essay

2131 words - 9 pages

The presence of evil has been a conflicting view amidst various philosophers dating back thousands of years. With the belief in God across the world, an essential question arises: Since God is claimed to be omniscient, omnipotent, and all-loving, then how can there be evil in the world? Augustine of Hippo, a preeminent philosopher who was born in Algeria, North Africa in 354, had attempted to expound this significant contradiction. In 360, Augustine followed the religion of Manichaeism, which was founded by a Persian man named Mani. They believed that humankind, being a byproduct of the devil, was inherently evil and, therefore, not culpable for evil in the world. With the belief that humans ...view middle of the document...

We have been given free will and with that, we have the ability to commit wrongful acts upon ourselves, others, and in nature. God put humans on this Earth with everything in its proper order and absolute justice. When we reverse this justice, or, in other words, use our God-given free will in an evil aspect, we are depleting goodness in ourselves in the world around us. Because of this, there is no actual evil in the world. Everything that may seem evil is just an absence of goodness (Losoncy). For example, a person who is sick is not struck with the evil flu, they are just lacking the goodness of supreme health. If God is the epitome of goodness, all good things exist and evil does not exist, then God must exist. Why, then, did He give us free will if He knows that a lack of goodness could come from it? He wants us to be able to have a choice of things that make us happy. The only way we could achieve true happiness is by having the free will to do so and that lack of goodness that could occur because of our actions is God’s plan to make us stronger and more faithful individuals. He is aware that he may cause an absence of good by giving us free will; however, He is not responsible for those choices because then free will would no longer be free.
Born in 1937, Peter Kreeft is a modern philosopher who holds ideas homogeneous to Augustine (Wikipedia). He offers four points to essentially solve the problem of evil. First, we often picture evil in our minds as something that is dark, like a black cloud or grimacing storm. This actually deludes us to believe that evil is a thing. If God is the creator of all good things, then evil would be a thing. Similar to what Augustine believes, this can’t be true. God is only the creator of goodness and this evil that we mistake as a thing is just a lack of that goodness, just as blindness in a human being is just a lack of sight, rather than an evil entity that takes over the ability to see (Kreeft). He states that evil is not a thing or a being, it is rather a wrong choice that humans commit with the free will we are all born with. Second, the origin of evil is not God the creator, but the creature's, or human’s, freely choosing sin and selfishness. If we were able to delete the Earth of all spiritual sin and selfishness, then there would be Heaven on Earth. All physical evils, such as a girl’s lack of sight or a boy’s lack of health, would no longer vex or embitter us. Therefore, the cause of physical evil, suffering, is spiritual evil, sin. The Book of Genesis tells the story of the almighty, good God creating the heavenly, good Earth, but it follows up by answering the question of where evil must come from and how it is possible that sin can cause suffering and death. Like Augustine, Kreefe believes that the body and soul directly affect each other and are not considered separate entities. God represents life and joy, which we are all born with. When free will allows the human soul to rebel against...

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