The Problem of Evil Revisited: You Are A Loving, Knowing, Powerful Being, So Why Is There Evil?

Posted on January 23, 2012


Traditionally, the problem of evil has been a problem for people who believe in a certain kind of God. If God is all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful, so the problem goes, why is there evil?

There are a variety of reasonable responses to the problem of evil and they all — more or less — undercut the notion that God really is all-loving, all-knowing, or all-powerful. Evil exists, it is argued, because, contrary to our expectations, God can’t eliminate evil or he doesn’t want to eliminate it.

Thanks to our wealth and technology, I think, the problem of evil is now a problem for all of us and not just a certain breed of theist.

While I readily admit we are not all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful beings, I think, nevertheless, we are today sufficiently loving, knowing, and powerful to identify and eliminate most evil, especially when we work in concert with others.

And yet evil exists.

It may exist simply because we are not yet able to live up to our full potential as loving, knowing, powerful beings. Alternatively, evil may exist because we are insufficiently loving to regard all members of the species as worthy of our concern. Either evil exists because we haven’t quite figured out that is now within our grasp to eliminate it or it exists because we don’t want to eliminate it. I hope it is the former but, these days, I am more inclined than ever to think it is the latter.

What do you think? Why does evil exist? Do you think it will always exist?