Final Reflection on the Problem of Evil. Vol.2, No.20

There is the doctrine of persons which holds that the problem of evil is not real. Rationalism for instance, denies entirely the existence of evil. Alongside rationalism in its denial of the existence of evil is pantheism. But from our discussion do far, such denial of the existence of evil is unfounded and illogical. Evil is an exitential reality, one that destroys innocent humans and causes unspeakable suffering as noted at the beginning of this monthly series. (VOL.2, NO. 17) click here for the detail;

Dualism and Manichaeism hold that goodness is generated by God while evil is generated by civil principles. Well, any school of thought is free to thrust severally their various fruit of reflection into the limelight. Besides, Augustine seems to be often associated with dualism. Without freedom, man cannot be held responsible for any evil in the world. Man’s responsibility as the cause of evil commences at the level of freedom. This seems to be our submission.

However, we ought to admit the fact that God created everything good and all things must go back to God, and so, the solution to the problem of evil is faith in God. Evil is basically considered as the opposite of good. Physical evil is pain, moral evil is sin, while metaphysical evil results from a mere finitude of created things, ie from the absence of perfection not required for the natural integrity of creatures. And the originating factor of evil can be traced to man’s loss of the beautiful state of original justice as a result of the sin of our first parents. Evil is something both subjective and objective. It is simply the antithesis of good. It exists in virtue of good and not vice versa. In evil, the negation of good becomes perspicuous. This is why we often say that evil is more than simply what is morally bad.

It is also worthy to mention at this juncture that evil is a contradiction in itself. There is an intrinsic emptiness in evil. This is why it is a negation of the will. That is to say, we cannot be evil without thinking that it is good to be evil. In a sense, it is a conflict of good with good inside good will. The real good is a tendency towards an objective good outside of me. The “bad goodness” which is evil is that I say, it is good because I want it (egoism). For instance, an armed robber is operating and denying others their right of ownership because he selfishly considered it good to make money, perhaps to alleviate his pitiable condition but objectively it is evil. Hence, we talk of “bad goodness”.

So, in the final analysis, what comes from God is the beauty of free will. Evil does not come from God. Rather it is our corrupted intellect and physical nature like the Anmianism would hold, as what man shares from Adam’s sin, that makes us unable to appropriate our good God-given will with the right knowledge. Besides, as Gottfried Leibniz rightly observes, the fact of evil does not in way refute theism. He contends that God permitted evil to exist in order to bring about greater good and that Adam’s fall was a “Felix Culpa” (happy sin) because it led to the incarnation of the Son of God, raising humanity to a higher destiny than would otherwise have been the case. Therefore, if man is able to to overcome his or her weaknesses and live according to the right principles, then there is a high tendency of enjoying the beatific vision won by the suffering and death of Christ. A state of life more glorious than the previous state of original justice corrupted by Adam’s sin. Thus, we maintain that since the disobedience of Adam brought about the pascal mystery of Christ, it is a happy sin. For next month series, we shall then discuss why the suffering of man in spite of the triumphant suffering and death of Christ?

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