Wednesday, July 22, 2015

No Easy Answers

I remember once discussing the problem of evil with an atheist. He claimed his answer to why evil existed was the best one because it was the simplest, based on Occam's razor. (I am not so sure of Occam's razor, at least as the only test. What would it make of quantum mechanics?) His answer to the presence of evil was, "It just is." But "It just is" is not an answer. The real answer we want to the problem of evil and suffering is that it does not exist. But it does.

We can can try to minimize evil and pretend it does not exist. That people are basically good and the world is basically nice. But though there are good things in the world because God created it and good traits still in people because they are made in God's image, it is very hard to believe the evil in the world is superficial. Or we can believe things are getting better and better and evil will vanish. But two world  wars, the cold war, and global terrorism have made this seem fantastic. Or we can claim that evil is not really evil but is just the way things are. But then we have to ask how we have come to so totally reject it. Why is it almost everyone has a hard time embracing this idea?

Why is there evil in the world? There are no easy answers here for anyone, but I believe the Christian answer makes the most sense: that we are in a world in rebellion against its Maker. But removing God does not answer the question.

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