I came across an interesting thought today: If God is all powerful and all good, then why does evil exist. For evil to exist means either God is not powerful enough to extinguish evil (therefore not all powerful) or God allows it to exist and therefore is not all good. I’ve been thinking about it and thinking I’ve come up with some sort of conclusion.
Beforehand, I should tell you I’m not really religious. I don’t follow any specific religion. Because, quite honestly, I don’t know who is right. However I do believe in God, at least the concept.
I’m not going to get detailed in this but for the sake of understanding, the idea I have of God is not a “person”; does not have limbs. God is merely an Idea/thought-form. Communication with said being would probably be incomprehensible. Definitely unlike talking. When I say “God”, think of when you say things like “nature”, “the universe”, or “fate”; a generalized being with absolutely no specific image attached to it. I think most concepts have been too corrupted by man. All religious texts are written though a human, who is inherently flawed. “Created in His image” may not (and probably does not) mean physically. We are the only species that has complex reasoning and has metacognition: we can think about our thoughts, as well as self-awareness. Those are the blueprints for which we are based off of.
To get to the point though, why does evil exist/ why do bad things happen? I have two answers:
Think about a videogame. You are playing and you are passing each level flawlessly. Then you get to a level that is really hard. You keep on dying and starting over. Eventually, you figure out that you were supposed to do some complex thing that you haven’t done before. What if you did not have that challenge? You would play that game and pass it within an hour and say “boy, what a waste of time” and I bet no one would be proud of your accomplishment. What if every day you just kept on taking soma and walked through your life easily without any challenges, and you always got what you wanted? It’d be a pretty boring life. But that’s not even it. Think back to the videogame. Normally when things got hard you learned some really cool technique or combo that helped you later in the game. That’s life exactly. You become homeless; you learn to appreciate what you have (not to envy others). You get hurt in a relationship, you learn to love better. A murderer tries to kill you and fails, you learn to appreciate existence. Adversity causes growth.
The other side (more dealing with God and religion): Why does god allow evil to exist? That must mean he is not all good, right? Not necessarily. We are Its creation, or at least part of It (depending on what you believe). It decided it wanted best for us. I guess we could argue free will is not necessarily best for us or why it is best for us, but that is what we have. Evil exists because of choice. If only good were to exist, would we really even have choice, or just the perception of it? You could also argue that this evil exists because a truly benevolent being would see the good in everything. And if there is good in everything, then there is no evil. Why would I say NO evil? Because evil is the absolute absence of good, and if there is good in everything than there is no such thing as evil.