Archive for the 'Evil' Category

Why G-d Permits Evil


Michael the Archangel Casting Satan out of Heaven (Apoc. ch. XII)

Michael the Archangel Casting Satan out of Heaven (Apoc. ch. XII)

The fact that G-d permits evil to develop and grow is at first sight confusing and unconvincing. Why would an almighty G-d, who is the source of all goodness, permit evil? That’s the tempting question which often arises and which causes some even to doubt G-d’s existence. Why does G-d permit evil to exist at all? Why did He not destroy Satan in his first act of rebellion and prevent creation from being polluted by sin?

The position that if G-d didn’t want evil or Satan around, He could easily destroy them — or even prevent evil from coming into existence — fails to recognize the full responsibility of creatures. If a creature chooses evil, then G-d, according to the gist of the biblical story, wants to confront the creature with the full consequences of his choice, both individually as well as collectively and historically. It is as if G-d says: “Do what you want to do, follow your own way, and face the consequences”. The Jewish-Christian sense of history is that it gradually shows us all the possible ways man can err and make choices against G-d. All the wrong paths of ideological and moral destruction are explored and gradually becoming clear. And this makes deep sense. For if G-d had destroyed Satan in his first act of rebellion, or had prevented Adam & Eve from sinning, would such an act have fully revealed G-d’s wisdom and supremacy? Would the “debate” about the moral possibility of following one’s own ways, against G-d, which was opened by the rebellion of Satan, have been silenced effectively? No, because the full consequences of sin would not have been clearly revealed.

It was thus necessary for the creatures to be confronted with all the evil and impossible consequences of their wrong choices. By making all these consequences clear on the theatre of world history, G-d will be fully justified in the end, in establising that all deviations from his instructions naturally end in disaster.

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