Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Evil and why God allows it

(Why must the sun be blocked by evil's shade and what causes the shadows to rise as the light fades away?)

This new round of inspiration occurred while i was watching a video of a christian scholar who was speaking about the inadequacies of the bible. You'll see more about him in a future post about the bible itself.

But when he was asked about how religious he was after having learned of the fallibility of the bible he mentioned he was an agnostic.

He also went on to mention he wasn't an agnostic because of finding these holes in the bible but because he couldn't understand how such a loving God could allow such evil and pain to occur on earth.

Just for reference an agnostic is:
1. One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.
2. One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.
2. One who is doubtful or noncommittal about something.

The popular version used vocally and probably referred to by the above christian scholar is someone who is skeptical or unsure if God exists or not.


What exactly is evil?

Before we actually get into the reasons of why evil should exist and what it has to do with free will it's best to define evil itself first.

This is a whole other discussion all together but in the interests of time evil is simply:
  • 1) The lack of good.
  • 2) It in and of itself is nothing. Just as there is no darkness but a lack of light and no cold but a lack of heat, there is essentially no evil but a lack of good.
To prove the above and assert that evil always hinges on some good, I propose the following sentences:

  • I always tell the truth
  • I always lie

The first statement is easy enough to understand and is believable. But the instant you try and rationalize(make sense of) the statement you find yourself in a never ending circle of confusion.

1) If your statement is true and you truly always lie, than you just told the truth making that statement false.
2) If your statement is false and you always tell the truth, well then you just lied, again confusing us with the second statement.

I propose that the above happens simply because one can not always lie.
There must be some shred of truth to build off upon, just as there must be some good for evil to take root in. Without that good, what is evil but nothing?

So why does God allow this lack of good especially if He is as loving as most of us say He is?


Purpose of Life

Christianity has a hard time answering this quesion because they have a hard time answering why we're on this earth to begin with and what our purpose in this life should be.

If you look at it from a slightly different perspective though it all seems to make sense as the pieces fall neatly in place.

From an Islamic perspective we're here to serve God and better ourselves through this service and through following his correct and well laid out path.

If then your purpose in life is simply to become better, how do you do so without evil?


A person's worth

Imagine two students. One struggled for 10 years to get his doctorate from Princeton and another didn't struggle at all and after 2 months got an online doctorate from an unknown college.

Just based off the above information which student would you say is better or probably more knowledgeable?

Of the two which is more useful to an employer? Of the two which would you want to be?

As you can probably tell the student who struggled more and earned his degree definitely deserves more credit and is the better student than another one who did the bare minimum to get a doctorate worth nothing.


Now imagine a human born in heaven, who never struggled and lived there all his life versus a human who came to earth, and through his choices ended up going to heaven. Which of the two have worth more?

It's simple to create a thousand humans in heaven and let them live in bliss and do nothing but it's hard to get the same number of people to all get to heaven through their choices and good deeds.

Through these struggles, trials, and tests man can become better and raise his status. Without such tests and tribulations a man can't better himself. Thus evil is needed in order for man to struggle against.


Evil's Source, Choice, and Free will

So then we naturally ask ourselves, where this evil comes from that we need to struggle against?

Is God it's source? Absolutely not our logic would tell us right away. That is probably the furthest from the truth. The real source of evil is ourselves and our choices.

By giving us free will God also gave us the ability to do great good and great evil.
We're given free will in the first place because without it we would never know who genuinely is good and who is being forced to be good.

If God were to interfere every time someone was being raped or murdered than people would lose that free will and you would never know who truly was evil and to what extent.


The Great Construct

By construct I mean the laws and inner workings that form our Universe.

Free will creates evil by allowing people to do whatever they want. Some following their passions to their extreme ends regardless of who they hurt. Others bloating their pride by increasing their wealth regardless of who they leave hungry. And still the few who sacrifice the temporary good for what is best in the long run; the truly patient ones.

This then allows people's choices to manifest themselves into good or a lack of good which then either makes them better or worse people.

Then once they die they see what they have earned and either suffer in hell or find bliss in heaven.

The only other option to the above construct is to either remove free will and create essentially robots who only follow commands or have all humans be born in Heaven in which case they are worth nothing.

This construct, our universe, our world, is simply created to better ourselves and that is our purpose on this earth.


Final Thoughts

It is because of our fellow man that people suffer, it is because of our fellow man that people die, and it is because of our fellow man that the world can not remain at peace.

God allows all this to better ourselves in the long run and not to create a bunch of robots or worthless humans living in heaven.

In the end we are the source of this strife and it is our internal lust and drive for power that creates evil. If we can overcome the bad and live our lives according to good moral principles and values then in the end we will have succeeded and we will have bettered ourselves.

We see evil because we have created it and we have created it because God has let us do what we want and He has let us do what we want in order to better ourselves.

Then as many religions say, on judgment day, justice will be served, all people who stole will have to give back, and divine retribution will take place as people are sorted into their proper homes where they will live for the rest of their lives; either in heaven or hell.

Again the only other choices are to be robots or worthless beings and God gave us free will to elevate us, it is up to us though to do the elevating, through our choices.

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