Bismillahi ar-rahman ar-rahim
That’s probably not a common thing you’ll hear or read often: “The necessity of evil”. The faulty atheistic logic that gets trotted out a lot is that an Omnibenevolent and Omnipotent God wouldn’t allow evil to exist in the world. Evil exists in the world. Therefore there is no omnibenevolent or omnipotent God.
This is the thing about logic: any logical argument can be constructed that is coherent but it doesn’t have to be relevant to reality or truth. For example:
- Colourful things are pretty —> flowers are colourful —> therefore all flowers are pretty
These 3 statements follow each other logically, but that doesn’t mean each statement on its own are true or that it reflects reality. Basically, the strength of the logic itself does not make it any more true. However of course truth should make sense and fit with how things work, otherwise it looks like fantasy.
In each of the 3 statements there are associated assumptions which are just wrong. The first assumption is the omnibenevolence of God. What do we mean by Omnibenevolence? And where did we get this idea from? From the Bible? Can you cause a small evil for a greater good and still be Omnibenevolent?
The second assumption that atheists make is that if God exists and being perfect, his creations must be perfect. This means deformed babies can’t exist, death can’t exist, disease can’t exist because to the atheist mind deformity, disease and death are negative imperfections. Now, they are imperfections but they are not negative. The negativity is a feeling we project onto that phenomena. The deformed baby could grow and be the next Einstein and be very wise and fulfilled. The deformity was something on the outside to create situations that person would have to experience and would be his/her personal life test.
A Perfect Creator does not have to be limited to creating only Perfect things. In fact as a Perfect Creator and Omnipotence He has the power to create the whole spectrum from imperfect to perfect. That in actual fact is real perfection, to be complete without limitations.
The next assumption is that somehow this world was supposed to be forever, or a Paradise on Earth or whatever. Somehow God creating Earth and humans with their flaws and problems means He doesn’t exist? Like what faulty thinking is that?
“But how does He allow thousands of children to die from hunger every hour? Why doesn’t He save them?” This is a common feeling/thought many atheists have (and agnostics too). But here’s the thing: how does a person know they have a certain quality? How can someone measure if they are smart, courageous, generous, altruistic, kind, and selfless? Well all those are measured by actions in the world against the negative of those actions. Having knowledge means you aren’t ignorant, giving the hungry some bread shows you are kind and generous, facing the charging tanks of the tyrant shows you are brave. Notice how each quality requires the “bad” situation for the quality to shine? If there was abundance everywhere how can one practice generosity? If peace reigned everywhere how can one practice patience and bravery and tolerance?
So this life is test. Test for what? In arabic there is a word for temptation or strife called “fitna”. In actual fact every difficulty you find yourselves in can be referred to as a fitna. The root meaning of the word fitna is when purifying gold ore to become pure shiny gold.
This is what gold ore looks like:
There’s definitely gold in there, there’s a whole bunch of rock and valueless material. Then this has to go through a very rigorous process to purify them into shiny ingots.
Now imagine for a minute that you are that gold ore, alive and well with feelings. Now imagine being burnt alive, pummeled and smashed. It’s painful and terrifying. But somehow you live through it. And you are shiny and whole. New and unburdened.
All of life’s trials and tribulations, disasters and corruptions are there to refine us and as a contrast for us to see truth. To appreciate food, one must feel hunger. To be generous one must empathy with those without. To be good in the midst of the bad and in spite of the bad elevates the good to new levels which aren’t possible if everything was just roses and rainbows.
God had already created the angels who perfectly obey and glorify Him. They are a manifestation of his Perfection and Glory. Humans are a special manifestation, created with a material body but divine soul. In the land of animals but with the potential to have intimacy with God greater than even the angels share.
As a final point to make: Earth is not all good or all bad. It has both and neither are permanent. In our lives each good situation won’t last forever and equally each bad situation won’t last forever. Moreover each good situation lacks something, and each bad situation has some good or benefit in it. This is how our Earthly lives are and they are that way deliberately for the reasons discussed.
However God has indeed created an All-Bad place called Hell, and He has created an All-Good Place called Heaven. The fact that Earth has a lot of crap doesn’t mean God isn’t benelovent or omnipotent. It just means this is His Plan. If you want to understand His Plan then you need to read scripture to understand our purpose in life and then you work to fulfill that purpose. Hopefully by the end of your life you would have lived a meaningful and purposeful life fulfilling the purpose God made you for.