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Do theodicies explain why God allows evil in the world?
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God didn’t create evil but we need evil to see God’s love

If we never experienced evil, we would not comprehend goodness. We experience the ultimate goodness through God’s love-but we must experience evil to value it. If we lived in a perfect world, we would not appreciate God's love. Though God did not create evil, he uses it to show Himself to the world.

The Argument

According to the Bible, God, in the book of Genesis, created a paradise on Earth where man was destined for eternal life. Darkness, evil and sin entered through Adam and Eve who disobeyed God and yielded to Satan disguised as a serpent. It was only after being removed from the garden of Eden did they truly appreciate its bounty and abundance; a manifestation of God’s love. Similar to the notion of darkness being the absence of light, evil too can be considered as the absence of goodness that is associated with God. Anything that deviates from the morality and tenets of God is evil. It is not a physical or a tangible object, nor is it, according to theodicies, an individual concept capable of analysis without being associated with its positive coefficient. It is a relative notion that effectively emphasizes God’s unconditional love.[1] Often the finer things of life are taken for granted. It is only when tragedy strikes that we truly appreciate their worth. It is not the evil per say that allows us to understand the place God holds in the world. It is the suffering that follows the evil which is unbearable. The disciple Peter had a heavy conscience that was riddled with guilt at disowning Jesus in his hour of need. The guilt arose because Peter realized just how much God loved him despite his sin; a fact that was further strengthened by Jesus’s forgiveness later on. Everything that God does is to ensure the safety and protect the comfort of His creation. As such, His allowing of evil to exist is to remind mankind of His immense heart that even sacrificed His only son for the sake of humanity.

Counter arguments

Requiring evil to understand goodness is, in fact, asking for pain to understand what it's like to not suffer. Adam and Eve were aware of just how good the garden of Eden was even before they were banished. If enduring evil is the only way of truly knowing God, then the first couple could not have known God without having eaten the forbidden fruit. In that sense, hasn’t indulging in evil actually benefited mankind? God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. As such, He is all-powerful and has the ability to destroy evil should He want to. But if God requires the assistance of his archenemy to help mankind be aware of His presence, how does that make Him omnipotent? Instead, it would show Satan having greater power than God as it would be only through him that human beings could know God.[2] This inconsistency shows that theodicies do not explain the reason that God allows evil to exist. If it did, then this paradox would not exist and neither would the debate.



[P1] We can only perceive something if we have perceived the absence of something. [P2] We can only perceive God's love if we can perceive an absence of love. This absence of God's love is our perception of evil. [P3] Theodicies explain why God allows evil in the world.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] This argument is a fallacy because it asks a person to experience pain in order to understand pleasure. which is unnecessary. [Rejecting P2] If God was all-powerful, He would have the power to make His presence known to mankind without the assistance of evil. [Rejecting P3] Theodicies do not explain why God allows evil to exist in the world.


This page was last edited on Wednesday, 12 Aug 2020 at 16:07 UTC

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