Is it impossible to defend God when it comes to Moral Evil?

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The existence of evil in the world does not suggest or prove that there is no God or that God is unjust. It simply shows that God is allowing us to choose between good and evil. God wants us to come to him of our own free will and the...

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The existence of evil in the world does not suggest or prove that there is no God or that God is unjust. It simply shows that God is allowing us to choose between good and evil. God wants us to come to him of our own free will and the only way to do that is to create an existence in  which we have an actual choice. Otherwise, without evil, we would be merely meaningless automatons.

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There are so many different theological positions on this, even within particular religions.  However, if one's position is that an omniscient being has given us free will, surely free will is meaningless unless there are choices to be made between good and evil?  While I do not generally subscribe to any literal truth in the Old Testament, that seems to be the point of the "test" of Adam and Eve.  Perhaps this justifies the existence of evil in the universe. 

 

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The question presupposes omniscience: can the created question the creator -- the story of Job?  If a man were to question God with regard to what he himself has defined as a moral evil, he has made himself the judge of God.  How does one define Moral Evil?  Is it moral evil for God to ask Abraham to kill his son?  Is it moral evil for Elijah to kill the prophets of Baal?  Morality and evil are definitions of man, both of which originate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  The Tree of Life offers one necessary understanding of God: God is Good and that is all one needs to know. 

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This is a good question. The above answer which is from a Muslim point of view is an important perspective. However, there are many different points. In light of this, let me offer a few ideas that might help.

First, rather than saying that it is absurd to defend God, it is possible to have a conversation about moral evil within a theological framework. One point that we can make is that there are mysteries in our world and therefore, it is possible to say that God is not the author of evil, but still sovereign in some sense. Just because we cannot understand something does not make it false.

Second, it is also helpful to look at alternatives. Evil is a problem for all people, theists and atheists. So, if there is no viable alternative, then a theistic position might be the best.

Third, from a Christian perspective, the person, death and resurrection of Jesus offers another important perspective on the problem of evil. God in Christ knows this evil, experiences it, and overcomes it. A theology of hope emerges.

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