Evil from a theologian's point of view

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 12th gradeA-, January 1996

download word file, 5 pages 3.0

Downloaded 91 times

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 exists because God allows it, and moral evil exists because God has given us freedom of choice.

Evil has been looked at in many different ways throughout the years.

Philosophers like Socrates and Plato believed evil was a matter of ignorance. Ancient Persians saw good and evil as two principles, 'engaged in a perpetual struggle.'(Collier) In reality, evil is merely the absence of good. 'The essence of all reality is good, evil is merely the faulty reflection of reality found in a world of particulars.'(Funk & Wagnalls) There can be many different types of evil. Two of such types are moral evil and natural evil. Natural evil consists of things like pain and suffering, while moral evil consists of making 'bad' decisions. 'Moral evil depends on the exercise of human will; natural evil is independent of this.' (MacGregor) The main difference between these two evils is that people are unable to control natural evil, while moral evil depends on their will. Some people even say physical evil is a human necessity; 'Without the evil of pain,