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This Paper shall discuss the ethereal question on the existence of evil despite the existence of God. In short, there is a paradox of an omnipotent and benevolent deity or Supreme Being allowing the existence of evil. Despite the fact that this Supreme Being is all-powerful and perfectly good, evil exists. Thus, it must be noted at this point that for the succeeding discussion, two things will already be assumed – first is the fact that God exists, and second is the fact that evil exists. The goal of this Paper then is to reconcile the two facts.
The answer to the ethereal question is freewill. Likewise, the key to the reconciliation is freewill.
Freewill is the capacity of rational agents to choose one course of action against another. My belief is that evil exists because there is free will; despite the fact that God or the Supreme Being is omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing) and omnipresent (all-present), and despite the fact that through all of these characteristics He/She could have prevented evil from existing.
There is actually another ethereal question that can help solve the ethereal question at hand. The question is whether or not or life is already set in stone. In simpler terms, is there a script that we all are already playing such that the Supreme Being is the writer or the playwright; that no matter what we do, what He/She has already willed shall be what we shall become? On the other hand, are we free to decide what we shall become such that He/She has no control over what we do with our lives? Let us already assume the conclusion that there is no script and that we are all free to chart our life maps.
The combinations are as follows: If indeed the Supreme Being is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, why will He/She allow evil to exist if it were in His/Her power to avoid it? In the same manner, if the Supreme Being were omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, why can we still decide whichever and whatever way we want? Does that mean that He/She is no longer omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent?
It really does not follow. Despite the fact the He/She is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent; He/She gave human beings freedom or freewill. It was His/Her choice to give such freedom to human beings. With this, human beings are free to choose their actions. Such actions have their consequences and these consequences may either be good or evil. This is where evil comes in. Evil came to existence because human beings were free to choose their actions. If they were not free, naturally the Supreme Being controlling them will always lead, guide or tow them towards His/Her essence, which is that of the good.
For a simpler explanation, take for instance the following. For example I am the Supreme Being. I am omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. I created a being; for the sake of imagery, imagine that my creation is a little wind-up doll. Its wind-up feature is its “life”; I wound it up and I let it go. As I do not control it anymore it can go any way or any direction that it would want. It may go towards a direction that is unfavorable or favorable.
This is the same way with human beings. As we are free, we are free to choose anything – even evil. Thus, evil exists because we are free and not because the Supreme Being is not omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient.
Obviously, there is a gap in the logic, if He/She were omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, why does He/She give human beings freedom, why not control them so that evil will likewise be curbed and eliminated? The answer of the Judeo-Christian tradition is He/She gives human beings freedom because of love. He/She loves his/her creations, that is why He/She lets them go. The last part of the paper is a reasoning that should be taken more with faith rather than logic.
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