The nature of evil
No matter what an optimist a person may be, the surrounding reality is not always the merriest place for living. No matter what religious beliefs an individual has, everyone during his life bears the burden of suffering and faces evil. It is useless to deny the realness of evil. Practically for all the people the existence of evil is indubitable.
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Sometimes evil seems to be the result of the wrong actions of other people, but not of ours. It is quite natural that a person wants to make himself safe from other peoples mistakes and to punish them for the incorrect actions. Nevertheless, we are all the members of one big family and we carry the burdens of each other. We do not realize in a full manner our connection with the whole humanity. Moreover, with the development of the society and the technologies there appear the more devious means of a suffering infliction.
The problem of evil and suffering
The nature of good and evil has been always a point of the special interest of thinkers and theologians. Since ancient times in the interpretation of these two notions, there were the materialistic and idealistic tendencies. According to the first approach, the nature of good and evil was associated with human desires and ambitions, with human needs and interests, with enjoinment and suffering and with fortune and misfortune. The second one identified the notion of good and evil from the point of view of the divine decree and the spirit, or from the point of view of the deviations from them. In both interpretations, good and evil are viewed in their relations with an individual. In the attempts to conceive the nature off evil, the philosophical thought dealt with the human nature.
The importance of the problem of evil and suffering is explained by its universal nature. Every person, no matter whether he is a righteous or a sinner, faces evil in his daily living. Moreover, the mere fact of the existing of suffering is often used by the atheists as the argument for the God denial.
Christian response to the problem
Is it possible for the Christians, who are convinced that God exists, to admit the existence of evil and suffering simultaneously with the existence of God?
On the one hand, it is said that everything in the world has been created by omnibenevolent God. It follows thence that God has been also the creator of evil. And it is God who is responsible for it. If God, having created evil, is responsible for it that means He is evil God. The supposition that evil has been created not by God, but by something else means the existence of another power that is mightier than God is. This statement contradicts the mere idea of God. It is rather difficult to answer all these questions. At the same time in the Bible, the questions of evil and suffering are not neglected, and these problems do not contravene the idea of omnibenevolent and almighty God.
Watching the injustice of the existing world, sometimes there is the question why God permits the suffering of the innocent people. This complicated question has no a simple answer. First of all we should always realize the fact that God has created human being as a perfect creature. Every individual was not designed as an evil person. At the same time He, having created a person after the image and likeness of God, has given us the ability to obey or not to obey His will (Cozzi, 1999).
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If a man had obeyed to God, the problem of evil and suffering would never exist. In such a case, a person would live in harmony with God enjoying the world created by Him. God has predetermined precisely this fortune for a human being. But a person disobeyed to the Gods wishes. Therefore, we should always remember that it is not a God, but a person who is responsible for a sin.
It is obvious that God was able to create such a human being who would be incapable to sin. But in such a case a person would lose his individuality. If He wanted God would eradicate the evil, but being the Perfect Creature he would do it in a perfect manner, destroying all the sinners in the world. Being the most merciful in His love to His children God cannot allow such a sacrifice (Tooley,2015).
The consolation for those who are at a loss
Sometimes a person, being distressed by the great personal loss, complains that God is too unfair to him or her. It is said that God gives us only those hardships that we are able to overcome.
It is the universal truth that the ways of God are inscrutable and it is impossible for us to understand His designs.
The existence of absolutes
According to Bible, right and wrong, evil and suffering are absolutes that are unreservedly defined by God (What does the Bible say about absolutes?, 2012). The recognition of the existence of evil and suffering leads to the recognition of absolutes. If there exists a recognized notion of evil then a standard of the measurement of this notion must exist. God has given us the understanding of good and evil and the ability to distinguish between them.
The importance of the Christian approach to evil and suffering is that it gives not only the theoretical justification of it, but it also teaches how to tussle with evil. The resolution of the problem of evil and suffering lies in the atonement.
Cozzi, L. (1999). The problem of evil – a Biblical Theodicy: if God is great and God is good, then why would He allow evil to exist? Web.
Tooley, M. (2015). The Problem of Evil. Web.
What does the Bible say about absolutes? (2012). Web.