Why is there evil in the world?
Christians believe that God is
- omnipotent (all powerful)
- omniscient (all-knowing)
- omnibenevolent (all loving)
- omnipresent (god is everywhere)
- eternal (has no beginning or end and is beyond time)
- perfect (is without flaw or fault, can do no wrong)
So considering this how can a god of this nature allow evil and suffering to take place.
There are two types of evil-
-moral evil (caused by humans to other humans)
-natural evil (caused by natural phenomena)
Key Questions about Good and Evil
The nature of god causes a problem for xians because there are questions that need causes a problem about the nature of God and the natural of Evil. They are-
1) How can xians believe in and all-loving and omnipotent God if there are problems with the world?
2) Why does god do nothing to prevent cruelty?
3) If God made the world did he make Evil? If so, is He to Blame?
4) Did something else create evil that God cannot stop?
Christian Responses to the Problem of Evil
Xians say that evil exists as a result of the fall of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Evil (Genesis). However this brings further problems-
1) Why are we still suffering for thier mistake thousand of years after they made the mistake?
2) If God know in advance that Adam and Eve would sin as he is omniscient and why did he not stop it from happening?
Some xians say that evil and suffering is a test to help us become more mature. Even as humanity was created perfect we were given free will, which means we choose what we do and have the choice between right and wrong, so it is better to choose to be good than be forced into being good. While suffering is a test to see who will choose right from wrong, also we are taught about life from suffering because if we don't experience pain and suffering how can we ever know about happiness and goodness. But we also need to consider that there is a bad problem with this because bad things happen to people who cant learn from it like babies.
God and the Devil
SCS- there is evil in the world because of the Devil/Satan. Satan is the opponent of God who rules Hell and attempts to turn humans from the goodness of God. According to xian teachings and beliefs Satan was made good but rebelled against God due to his jealousy of Adam.
In Genesis, Satan in the guise of a serpent tempts Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowladge which then causes them to be expelled from the Garden of Eden. Also in Luke 4:8 Satan attempts and fails to tempt Jesus when he offers the 'Kingdom of the World' in return for Jesus to worship him.
OCS- the Devil/Satan is a poetic way to explain why people do wrong when they know that their actions will cause suffering to others.
Acceptance and Prayer
Xians believe that God cares that people suffer because after all he did send Jesus to die for our sins. when xians suffer they believe they are closer to God because they recognise they have a dependance on God with prayer. It enables them to trust in prayer for those who are suffering.
Ultimatly xians accept that suffering must be a part of Gods plan which we can't understand so we should not question God's omnipotence.
Right and Wrong
Xians have 3 things that they belive tells them about right and wrong they are-
-Conscience- an inner voice that makes us instictivly know right from wrong.
-The Bible- this is the book of God and is the word of God, it tell us how we should be living and how God wants us to live.
-Example of Christ- Jesus lived as a man and is therefore a role model who xians can follow, they want to follow his example because if we are good in the human life we will be rewarded in the afterlife.