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Evil From A Theologian's Point Of View

1330 words - 6 pages

By textbook definition, evil is 'What is morally wrong, what hinders the realization of good' (Webster). If that is evil, then what is good? It's 'what is morally excellent, virtuous, well behaved, dutiful.' (Webster) Philosophers have argued over what evil is and why it exists for thousands of years. They have raised questions like 'How can there be a God if there is evil?' These questions were raised due to God's nature: he is said to be all-powerful, all-knowing and all-good. If this is the case, why doesn't he stop evil? And, since people are supposed to be created in God's image, why are they capable of moral evil? If one believes that God exists, there can only be one answer: evil ...view middle of the document...

'The human family is as one, and its members help one another by their good actions as the also cause suffering to one another for their faults'(Collier). As an example, take what happened to Jesus. He suffered for all sins of mankind, and through this saved them all. But what of moral evil, which consists of things like murder, which people can control? Why does God permit it if the consequences are undesirable?To understand why moral evil exists, the concept of free will must be understood.Freedom of choice, or free will is 'the power and exercise of unhampered choice.' (Webster) Therefore humans are capable of making their own decisions and doing whatever they please. Freedom doesn't mean an absence of influences, rather that these influences do not force a person to decide in a certain way, and he/she can choose between these influences (e.g. A man thinks a walk outside would be a good idea because he needs fresh air. But, the man is tired and doesn't really feel like it. He must choose which 'path' to follow ) People don't always know the influences that act upon them all the time; some of these are subconscious. Certain people would say that if they knew these subconscious motivations, our behavior could be explained and free will would be nullified, since our behavior would always be predictable. 'Advocates of free will do not deny that these unconscious causes exist, simply that it is a positive casual influence added to the equation.' (Royce) Let's say, for example, a person wanted to hurt another. This person might not know why, but can still choose not to. Therefore if a person's moral character is well known, his decisions are most likely predictable and not random. Thus, free will is not random, not completely determined, but necessary for the development of moral character. That is why moral evil exists. It is a side-effect of free will. 'Christian philosophy has always attributed the presence of evil in the world to the actions of a man's free will.' (Collier) To understand, the situation must first be analyzed. Since God is all-good, 'doing' good would be doing something which God himself would do or approve to. Therefore doing evil would be the opposite; doing something which God wouldn't do or approve to. Going back to a previous question, why would God want us to be capable of moral evil?'if it is not a logical impossibility for man to choose good on one or evenseveral occasions, then there is...

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