Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Problem of Evil

I have quite a lot I could say about "the problem of evil", but will give just a couple of points, as I see it. The problem of evil, for those who don't know what I'm talking about, is the logical problem of how a perfectly loving and omnipotent God can exist, yet there is evil in the world.

To me, one sort of "evil" is doing something with the intention of causing another's pain and suffering. The holocaust is one definite example. As my parents and I were discussing this, the point was brought up that those causing the suffering of others, even to death, thought they were doing a good and patriotic thing. They saw it as a duty to remove all "impurity" from Germany. The evil contained in that historical event was not limited to the killing of God's children, but in the way those conducting the work (also children of God), were viewing their own "power". They were claiming to know certain things without true conviction, and claiming one type of people to be better than another. The fact that they were able to put their brothers and sisters, these beautiful children of God, through that sort of pain and torture, is unthinkable. Is it not evil to view another person as "unclean" because of their race or religion? And then to put them through intense physical pain because of it? The thought that somebody could see that as true and good absolutely blows my mind.

Another evil, I believe, is the way such skewed beliefs are ingrained into people's minds at such a young age. This could branch out into several points, but I will limit the thought here. (I may have trouble putting this thought into writing, so bear with me.)

For one, different societies hold different things as priority, and apparently the natural man is drawn to particular "ways of life", usually for the sake of one's own self and/or to impress another. For instance: money/riches to buy useless things, makeup to heighten beauty, etc. I see it as so far from the truth to hold such beliefs as priority and to then pass those on, rather than to focus on what truth is and how beautiful and precious each soul is.

I see in my head the picture of several generations within society and within families. Along with these generations I see various thoughts that are passed on through both family and society, as well as heightened priority of particular things. I, at the same time, see another picture of the world as being empty--without homes, money, and all material things. In this world, all humans exist together merely as that...humans. In this world, there is still evil and good. Evil being one going against what they feel in their heart, and good being one acting on what they truly feel in their heart. Both evil and good based on feeling and action. Evil: judgement, abandonment, causing another pain in some way. (all going against what that person feels in their heart) Good: trying to understand both people and truth, seeing the good in others, humility. (all acting on what they feel in their heart.) Now when you take that picture of the world and incorporate reality into it, evil and good in the same sense can still be seen. However, there is much added, and the evil is not necessarily a person acting on something they in their heart know is not good and true, but the original thought that has been ingrained into their mind which has made them naively believe this thing to be good and true. Though they could feel in their heart these things to not be good and along the lines of truth, there would be confusion, due to what the natural man has convinced society to believe as good and true. something priority, but rather, the original thought that was passed on and prioritized.

Obviously, both good and evil exist. I also have a firm knowledge in the existence of God. My knowledge of his existence is something I cannot deny and is not something I was simply taught to believe. My knowledge has come from experience, question, and acting on faith. I know God to be omnipotent, absolutely and perfectly loving, and as allowing there to be evil in the world for our growth. This is something that does not need a precisely logical solution, as most people know. And I see our lack of knowledge about the details as a beautiful thing, for if we knew all of God's "mysteries" we would not need this life experience at all.


dramatic sporano said...

VERY thought provoking! Do you think there are any truly evil people?

Kaila said...

hmmm...are you by chance taking philosophy?

Julie Young said...

Why yes I am! And loving it.