Who Causes Evil?

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One of the greatest objections to the belief in God is the existence of evil.

Because it is assumed that if evil exists in less powerful beings, One who is more powerful than humans who isn’t evil cannot exist. But there is a big problem with that because this reasoning is based on the unfounded premise that the amount of power one has corresponds with the amount of control that one should exercise over others that have less. And this is a problematic assumption regarding the nature of God.

The main reason this is problematic is because conflating being powerful with overpowering others to conform to our personal standards of what is best is at the very root of the vast injustice and all human rights abuses people blame God for not preventing in the first place. Trying to defeat evil actions with evil methods is like trying to clean a floor with something dirty. It makes no sense and doesn’t remove the problem. A lack of choice - even the choice to do evil - is evil itself. How do I know? Because a perfect world is not complete without the possibility for it to become imperfect. The Torah says, “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31 Please note what “everything” included in the following passage.

“The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’” Genesis 2:8-17 .

It was not God’s plan for humans to experience suffering and death, which is the result of living in a world cursed by sin, yet the command of the most powerful being in the universe saying what not to do to avoid it didn’t prevent it because true goodness requires freedom to choose. God is all powerful, but not all controlling because the goodness of God’s nature requires freedom. And to be truly good humans must willingly yield to the right principles, not out of force or fear but love. Controlling the will of others to do good is not good. While God does not approve of evil and defines good for us and aids us in accomplishing it, we must understand the goodness of God is never defined by forcing us to do good. We are all responsible for our own actions and the impact our choices have on others and others are responsible for the choices they make that impact us.

Picture originally found here

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