Premium Essay

What Is Good and Evil?

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By amyjo9972
Words 972
Pages 4
What is Good and what is Evil?
Recently while I was surfing Pinterest, I ran across an e-card that quoted Einstein: “God did not create evil. Just as darkness is the absence of light, evil is the absence of God.” This brings me to the question of what is good and what is evil. Good versus Evil is a very subjective topic. I believe what is good and what is evil are based on my beliefs as a Christian and the scriptures of the Bible. In my opinion, good is having the acts and characteristics of God and in contrast, evil is the opposite of good or as Einstein stated: “evil is the absence of God.”
To begin with, good is a characteristic of God. For instance, the Holy Bible describes God as love (John 4:8), great, powerful, glorified, victorious and majestic (1Chronicles 29:11 ); all of these can be synonymous with good. In the epistle to the Romans, chapter 8 explained that those who love God will have all things work together for good according to God’s purpose. When a person obtains the same characteristics and acts of God, they become endeavored with noble and righteous characteristics that are based on the unmerited favor of God’s grace. An example of this is the story of Joseph in Genesis. Joseph was greatly loved by his father and was given a coat of many colors as a gift of love. His brothers became envious of Joseph’s special treatment from their father. Joseph’s brothers sold Joseph as a slave. During his time in slavery, God blessed Joseph with ability to interpret the dreams of Pharaoh. The Pharaoh was pleased with the dream interpretations and promoted Joseph from slave to being second most powerful man of Egypt. Joseph’s brothers were starving due to famine in the land at the same time. They approached Joseph and not knowing he was the brother they sold into slavery, asking for assistance. Joseph eventually reunited with his family and...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Is God Evil?

...Is God Evil? Alan Gleisinger Walden University Is God Evil? “God either cannot or will not prevent evil. If God cannot prevent evil, then God is limited in power. If God will not prevent evil, then God is limited in benevolence. But if God is not limited in power or benevolence, why is there evil in the world?” Epicurus (Chaffee, 2013) Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t understand why people believe in God when there is so much pain and suffering in the world?” This question, and others similar in it’s message are becoming more and more reasonable things to be asked. If God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and if God is good as he is believed to be in the traditional Western conception of God, then why would he allow evil to be such a prominent force in the lives of all of mankind (Soloman & Higgins, 2014)? In this paper I will show how the various arguments regarding the existence of God relates to the problem of evil in our world today. I will also show how these arguments relate to the different theories that try to answer questions about the problem of evil. With any attempt to answer the question of how can God exist with so much evil in the world, one must first have a clear understanding of what the problem of evil is. Simply stated, the problem of evil is: God is omnipotent (all-poweful), God is good, and evil still exists. Evil has two general categories, natural evil and moral evil. (Chaffee, 2013). Natural evil consists human......

Words: 856 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Free Will

...The Problem Of Evil Free Will Defense In this essay I am presenting the Theodicy for the Free Will Defense as an answer to the problem of evil. I will attempt to present answers to the following questions: Why did a good God allow for the presence of evil in the world? What is “evil” and how can we recognize it in day to day life? What resources do we have for dealing with evil? Furthermore, how our ability and gift of free will applies in all areas both good and evil. We must understand that “evil” is a word with broad applications. Webster’s Dictionary defines it as: “morally bad or wrong; wicked. Harmful; injurious. Unlucky; disastrous. Wickedness; sin. And anything causing harm, pain, etc.” However, even this is truly difficult to use as a true definition. In the Bible, evil is anything that brings sorrow, distress, or calamity, including moral wrong doing, where human beings choose to do what hurts other human beings, or any part of creation. Generally, evil works against the life-giving God and to put anything in God's place. There was a time, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, when optimism in human achievement was so strong that evil's existence was associated with ignorance, and its disappearance with greater knowledge. If humankind only knew more; soon would come the end of all evil in the world. Since then, two world wars, and countless smaller ones, combined with growing problems of over-population, racism,......

Words: 1729 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Problem of Evil

...What is the “Problem of Evil”? What is the difference, if there is a difference, between so-called “moral evil” and “natural evil”? How exactly does John Hick, in his essay “Problem of Evil”, solve the problem of both “Moral evil” and “natural evil”? Do you think that either or both, of Hick’s solutions is really able to solve what appears to be a unique problem of evil in Arthur C. Clarke’s short story, “The Star”? Unhappiness, as a whole, is a challenge to the idea of good. When one hears or discovers about the disasters or the pain and suffering of wars, violence, earthquakes and killings it is safe to ask one’s self, what the problem of evil is. Investigating the short story “Problem of Evil” written by John Hick the author talks about the differences in “moral evil” and “natural evil” while defining the main question with god and evil. Furthermore in “moral evil” and “natural evil” John Hicks explanations are studied throughout the short story titled The Star by Arthur C. Clark. The problem that is most debated among believers and non-believers of God is the problem of evil. This debate is due to the belief of the omnipotence of God, saying how he is all loving, all powerful and all knowing. For all these meanings of God, there is a major defect, if the almighty is capable of revealing these abilities then how could he let evil enter into the world. If he is all- loving, then why is there so much hatred revolving around us and ultimately, If he is all-powerful, then......

Words: 1443 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Original Sin Theodicy

...An Essay about the Problem of Evil The problem of evil is a question that inevitably arises as people begin to argue the existence of a God, who is omniscient, omnipotent, and omni-benevolent when the world is filled with undesirable state of affairs (evil). Atheistic proponents, in particular, argue that a perfect God would not be able to withstand such existence of evil. Therefore, they contend that God could not possibly exist. The responses against the problem of evil are generally divided as theodicies or defenses. While defenses only aim to prove that it is logical for God and evil to exist together, theodicies have a higher intention of finding a plausible justification of the existence of evil to support the premise that God is ultimately...

Words: 1060 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Counter-Argument Towards J. L. Mackie’s Evil and Omnipotence

...Counter-Argument Towards J. L. Mackie’s Evil and Omnipotence In “Evil and Omnipotence” J. L. Mackie argues that God does not exist because of his idea of the 3-0-God which states that God has to be omniscient, omnipotent and omni-benevolent to fulfill the properties of a true God. Perhaps the strongest argument that Mackie gives is that God can only be two out of the three properties in order for evil to exist thus stating that god cannot exist because he does not fulfill all three properties. In this paper, I will argue that this argument fails because Mackie is basing his points on his own thoughts about God. Mackie starts out his argument by stating that the problem of evil proves that either no god exists or at least the god of Christianity, Judaism and Islamic does not exist since the problem of evil provokes the three properties of God. Mackie supports this claim by saying, “These additional principles are that good is opposed to evil, in such a way that a good thing always eliminates evil as far as it can, and that there are no limits to what an omnipotent thing can do.” (Abel p.91) and concludes this claim with, “…propositions that a good omnipotent thing exists, and that evil exists, are incompatible.” (Abel p.91) Adequate solutions are also what backs up his major point about the problem of evil and states that God cannot be all knowing while being all-powerful and all-good because evil exists and would mean that God is unaware of evil in the world. God can......

Words: 1136 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

God and Evil

...PHL 101 11 March 2012 A Summary of the problem of evil and a critical evaluation of how it is said to undermine the traditional characteristics of God. This paper will attempt to review the philosophical quandary of the existence of evil and if evil exists can God exist and if so can this God still be declared perfect? The epistemological issue that arises is One’s knowledge of God and the validity of God’s existence. What is good and what is evil? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines evil as: 1. a : morally reprehensible : sinful, wicked <an evil impulse> b : arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct <a person of evil reputation> 2 a: archaic : inferior b : causing discomfort or repulsion : offensive <an evil odor> c : disagreeable <woke late and in an evil temper> 3 a : causing harm : pernicious <the evil institution of slavery> b : marked by misfortune : unlucky For the purpose of this paper, we will use the first definition. Evil is a trait that we as human beings possess. Whether we choose to use it is up to the individual. But what is evil? Do we as humans consciously choose to be good or evil? What plays a role in bringing out that evil? We next need to look at what is God and does he exist? God as defined by Merriam-Webster is: 1. capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as......

Words: 1259 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

The Star

...just as quickly? What are the characteristics of this God? Is this God worthy of our worship? How does God allow for such evil? John Hicks: Father Tom, it seems like you have come across the problem of evil. Sarah: What do you mean of the problem of evil? Is evil not a consequence of the devil? A fallen angel who wants all of God’s followers to turn to him instead? The Devil: Yes, Sarah you are correct. I am the source of all evil; the one who causes the pain and suffering in the world today. JH: Sarah, do not listen to him. He is not as powerful as God. His power is not enough to cause all of the evil on the world. S: Then what is the “problem of evil”? JH: God is known as all powerful, all knowing, all good. If God exists, and if he is all powerful then he is able to change and eliminate evil. If God is all knowing then he has full knowledge of all evil that occurs in the world. If he is all good then he wants to create a freedom from evil. But, evil exists. So, if evil exists then God isn’t all powerful, all knowing and/or all good, or God does not exist. FT: Without God, there would be no problem of evil. God created all things, so God created evil; natural and moral. S: What do you mean by natural and moral evil? Are their different types of evil? JH: Moral evil is a wickedness that is one person inflicting evil onto another person or onto one self. FT: God created people so that means he indirectly is responsible for the creation of moral evil. How is......

Words: 994 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

East of Eden Analysis

...Qualities in East of Eden: The Relationship Between Good and Evil Torben Grodal talked of art film as possessing two basic elements, transient and permanent, but they are also seen in the novel East of Eden. Steinbeck creates scenes that at first have a transient quality, and then purposefully connects to a permanent nature. These permanent qualities, grappled with by the Trask’s and Lee, examine the never ending battle between good and evil. In the novel East of Eden, John Steinbeck constructs scenes that have an initial transient quality, but then persistently associates these with a permanent nature that examines the conflict between good and evil. Steinbeck portrays Cathy as a very evil character, someone who is just inexplicably evil and makes several allusions to her being a monster and devil. When first introducing the reader to Cathy, Steinbeck writes about the creation of monsters, an obvious parallel. He goes on to say that, “monsters are variations from the accepted normal to a greater or a less degree. As a child may be born without an arm, so one may be born without kindness or the potential of conscience” (72). He wastes no time in comparing a monster to Cathy. He believes that Cathy is not an ordinary evil either, but that she is a very abstract form of evil, the exact idea of evil and that she has no good in her body. Steinbeck does not only believe that Cathy is a monster, but also uses Cathy to show that evil can and will exist in the world without......

Words: 1320 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Response to Fallacious Solutions

... the problem of evil states that if God exists and he is omnibenevolent and omnipotent, he would eliminate all evil from the world. However, since evil obviously exists, as we see people suffering and bad things happening everyday, if God existed, and he was all-knowing and all-powerful there would be no evil in the world (Robbins, 2012). Mackie presents several solutions to the problem of evil that he deems fallacious. I will argue that "Good cannot exist without evil" and "Evil is due to human free will" are in fact adequate solutions to the problem of evil. Mackie (1955), defines God as an omnipotent and omnibenevolent being, meaning God is all-knowing and all-good, and should be able to eliminate all evil from the world, and yet evil exists all around us. Mackie (1955), defines evil as needless suffering. There is human evil, something done by people, to people and natural evil, like natural disasters. The first fallacious solution Mackie (1955), presents is "Good cannot exist without evil." 1. If God is omnipotent, he would be powerful enough to stop all evil. 2. Evil exists. Therefore, God is not omnipotent, or there are limits on God's omnipotence. The first premise states that if God were in fact omnipotent or all-powerful, then he should RESPONSE TO FALLACIOUS SOLUTIONS 2 be able to eliminate any evil in the world without any problem. The second premise simply states that evil exists, which we...

Words: 1223 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Response to Fallacious Solutions

... the problem of evil states that if God exists and he is omnibenevolent and omnipotent, he would eliminate all evil from the world. However, since evil obviously exists, as we see people suffering and bad things happening everyday, if God existed, and he was all-knowing and all-powerful there would be no evil in the world (Robbins, 2012). Mackie presents several solutions to the problem of evil that he deems fallacious. I will argue that "Good cannot exist without evil" and "Evil is due to human free will" are in fact adequate solutions to the problem of evil. Mackie (1955), defines God as an omnipotent and omnibenevolent being, meaning God is all-knowing and all-good, and should be able to eliminate all evil from the world, and yet evil exists all around us. Mackie (1955), defines evil as needless suffering. There is human evil, something done by people, to people and natural evil, like natural disasters. The first fallacious solution Mackie (1955), presents is "Good cannot exist without evil." 1. If God is omnipotent, he would be powerful enough to stop all evil. 2. Evil exists. Therefore, God is not omnipotent, or there are limits on God's omnipotence. The first premise states that if God were in fact omnipotent or all-powerful, then he should RESPONSE TO FALLACIOUS SOLUTIONS 2 be able to eliminate any evil in the world without any problem. The second premise simply states that evil exists, which we...

Words: 1223 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

God and the Problem of Evil

...problem of evil and analytically assess how it is that evil weakens the traditional characteristics of God. I will attempt to explain how the existence of evil challenges the traditional characteristics of God such as omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence and Omni benevolence using Hume’s famous quote, “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then is he impotent. Is he able but not willing? Then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?” (Hume) The theological and metaphysical problem of evil was formulated in 1779 by David Hume in his work “Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion” where he asked the question, if God is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent and omnibenevolent then why does evil exist (Sherry)? The problem of evil causes us to look at the traditional characteristics of God and to analytically assess our suppositions about evil itself. If our God is a good, all powerful and just God as many people believe, then why would such a God allow evil to exist? This problem also brings to light questions about what is considered to be evil, whether it is moral evil committed by man or natural evil such as earthquakes, hurricanes and famine (Sherry). There are several arguments that have developed in reaction to the problem of evil that was suggested by David Hume. One such argument which is known as the free will defense claims that evil is solely caused by human beings, who must have the opportunity to choose to do evil if......

Words: 2021 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

God's Plan for Suffering

...question asked by those surveyed was, without surprise, “Why is there suffering and pain in our world?” The occurrence of evil – demonstrated through suffering, pain, moral wickedness, and other similar things– signifies a challenging subject for anyone desiring to defend the existence of a true God. For non-believers, suffering and evil present an intimidating blockade to ever recognizing the reality of a God whom is both all-good and all-powerful. This is what William Lane Craig states as being “atheism’s killer argument” . For Christians, the issue of pain and evil has great prospective ability to upset the faith of the most proven saint, particularly when pain lands directly on them or their loved ones. How can a God who declares to be the epitome of love, all-good, and all-powerful allow pain and suffering to, ostensibly, have such power on this earth and affect those who seem innocent or those He calls His children? This issue, for the believer, becomes one of not if a God exists, but what type of God exists. While it is uncertain that an easy answer will ever be found that fulfill the human and emotional response to evil, Christian apologists must be prepared to offer responses to those who use the existence of evil to refute God’s existence. For these non-believers, assertively providing substantial evidence for the concomitance of God and evil on this earth will overcome a main barrier that disables them from believing in the One who died for them. For the...

Words: 4201 - Pages: 17

Free Essay

Lord of the Flies Position Paper

...Are humans by nature inherently evil  Lord of the Flies provides one with a clear understanding of Golding's view of human nature?  Whether this view is right or wrong is a point to be debated.  This image Golding paints for the reader that of humans being inherently bad, is a perspective not all people share.   Lord of the Flies is but an abstract tool of Golding's to construct the idea of the inherent evil of human nature in the minds of his readers.  To construct this idea of the inherent evil, Golding employs the symbolism of Simon, Ralph, the hunt and the island. Golding drives the point that the instinctual evil within man is inescapable.  At one point in the book, when the Lord of the Flies is representing all evil, this theory is stated as, "The Lord of the Flies was expanding like a balloon".  Along with this idea is the religious symbolism that is used for ineffectively confronting the evil.  At a point in the book, Golding has Simon, symbolic of Jesus Christ, confront the Lord of the Flies.  This is a pig's head on a stick that is imagined to talk and represent the evil in all humans.  Simon tries to act and spread the knowledge of this evil to others but is killed.  This is a direct reference to the death of Christ, alluding to the Holy Bible.  At many points throughout Lord of the Flies, Golding writes for the characters to become gradually more and more evil.  This attribute even reaches the symbols of goodness and order, such as Ralph.  Once, when Ralph and...

Words: 728 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

St Augustine's Problem of Evil + Free Will

...The existence of evil is one of the world’s most vexing challenges. Most Christians agree on the existence of an omnipotent God, however like Augustine, we struggle to understand how evil comes into being. Evil corrupts our free will and enables us to sin, but if God is all-powerful and all good, how can he allow this to happen? “Whence comes evil? Was there a certain evil matter out of which he made these things? Did he form and fashion it, but yet leave within it something that he would not convert into good? Why would he do it? Was he powerless to turn and change all this matter so that no evil would remain in it, even though he is all powerful?” As these questions found their way into Augustine’s mind, they also manage to exist and remain unanswered for most people today. However Augustine addresses these questions by justifying evil in this world with God’s creation of free will. By granting us free will God makes us responsible for our wrongdoings, as a result of this we can knowingly choose either right or wrong. In the infamous biblical passage on the creation of original sin, God accommodates men by giving Adam and Eve all the necessities of life: partnership, water, food and land. However, despite God’s warning Eve chose to eat the fruit from the tree of life. The serpent persuades Eve who later convinces Adam to eat from the tree. From this persuasion and act from men, original sin is born. Men are now born with a predisposition to sin; in other words, they can......

Words: 3329 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

Repsonse Paper to Mccloskey

...challenging, and he defends his ideas very well. While I can appreciate the theory that it is possible that the universe was a cluster of stars and then one day something exploded and miraculously the galaxies and solar systems were formed and, luckily for us there was one planet that was capable of sustaining life and microscopic organisms and bacteria evolved into all living things that we know today, there are still valid arguments to be made for God. McCloskey argues that the mere existence of the world constitutes no reason for believing in God. However, if we are to believe in something as far-fetched as creation without God, would it not also be feasible to believe that it is in fact possible that there is a God? In fact, He created what we know as Earth and all...

Words: 1684 - Pages: 7