Your regular columnist Ian McDonald peddled a canard last Sunday (‘Inhumankind’ Sunday Stabroek, Feb 18), which I and a few others have answered many years ago without further disputation from him. “Throughout history nobody has answered satisfactorily the eternal conundrum: either God could prevent evil but doesn’t hence He is not good, or God wants to prevent evil but can’t, in which case He is not all-powerful.”
So here I go again, because when something is repeated often enough people who do not enquire closely tend to believe it is true.
God has a different plan. He created time, space and matter, from some of which he made temporal sentient beings with certain powers and with a conditional promise of eternal life. He also gave them his rules and allowances for their times and the choice and enough ability to find and obey them. Obedience is deemed good and disobedience deemed evil. Yes, he actually created everything, including peace and evil.
He did not make these beings into robots or toys to do exactly as he ordained, but into humankind to exercise their franchise as children of God or children of their own or of something else. As a holy God he guarantees this freedom to choose for everyone for a (thankfully) limited time, the duration of which only he knows. The absolute end of time is called Judgement Day, which is feared by evil-doers and denied by those who want to think some brands of evil are good, just because they are purveyors of words in the sight of man.
Why did God create? For his good pleasure. And he began by putting man in a paradise of pleasure, putting him in charge of it, until man freely chose to lose it by following an alternative suggestion. And we still have lots of pleasure available to us. If Ian does not agree he must be prepared to reject all those wonderful experiences he often writes about, and which I enjoy reading.
So once again, why is there evil in the world? It is because other people are exercising their God-given choice to do evil. Would we deny others the exercise of their free will? Yes: when it interferes too much with enough people’s exercise of theirs they pay taxes to a government to maintain a police force and legal system that is supposed to deny the right of the more enthusiastic evil-doers to do evil.
But don’t any of us also want to try out this ability to do evil in private where we think no one will know? Sure, but the evil is going to be observed by any number of invisible beings, created by God for that very purpose. He has a plan for them too, but that is a long story in itself.
Therefore, for those who still claim not to know, the time created by God and the strength he still gives them are to be used to seek him out diligently. God himself is the best teacher, but if consulting a human source, beware of those official religionists who cover up their ignorance by claiming it is all a mystery.