The Problem of Evil - By Enoch
The problem of evil is one of the most difficult of all challenges with which theologians and theological philosophers grapple.
Briefly, the sticking point appears to be formulated as follows;
G-d is all powerful.
G-d is all caring.
There is unnecessary evil in the world. It causes suffering and harm. Why does not G-d use His powers to eliminate evil from occurring?
Over my more than seven decades I have read and given a fair hearing to people on all sides of the fence on this one. To date no one set of dance steps wins the Dancing with the Stars award, in my view.
The following are the best ways I have seen. Not perfect but least worst of available options.
1. Tzimtzum (Contractions) Kabbalah (Zohar). G-d is perfect.
Why not make all in His creation perfect? Because that would be redundant and pointless. G-d doesn't do pointless. Rather G-d contracts himself to allow for spaces of imperfection. Free will is granted.
Revelation(s) provide guides for the use of free will to perfect (improve) things. When humans who have the intellectual capacity to choose between right and wrong elect, even at self-sacrifice to do right, they and G-d share in the credit.
In the case of a recent incident in India, the choice to hold manufacturers to high worker safety standards, and to pay them a fair days wage for a fair days work is up to regulators and commerce and industry.
In this instance case both failed. The error was lethal. This was a very wrong choice.
When our off spring were growing up, I could have done their homework for them. It would have turned out better, and been done faster. They also would have learned nothing from my doing it.
If they needed help, I was there for them. It is better they figure things out for themselves. That is where the potential for human growth and development resides.
This is a serious position. However, it does not help when humans suffer from normal acts of nature, like natural disasters and predatory animal attacks. . A good, not perfect theory.
2. "The best of all possible worlds". Read Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz, The Monadology. Pay attention to the concept of "infinite regress".
Of all the ways this world could be, this is the best possible option. If we can imagine a world that is better, how and why I am not convinced that this theory holds water.
3. Does the world have to be free of evil for us to have sufficient reason to want to live G-d centered lives?
Let's review our human family relationships for an insight. As children, did we always act perfectly, and always fulfill the hopes, wishes and desires of our loving parents for us?
As mothers and fathers, were we flawless in our parenting? Were there no times when as children and as parents we let those we love down by our errors?
Is that sufficient reason to never relate to them or they to us again? Are we looking in the wrong place for reason(s) to live with evil, and remain close to G-d in our lives (assuming we exercise our option to do so)?
Mrs. E. and I have been together from more than half a century. She had done far better at being my wife than I have at being her husband. Ours is an imperfect yet rock solid marriage for life. We work daily at making "us" stronger and closer than the day before.
We do this because we both know we are better off together than apart. We make this work, because we have a better life for the marriage's success. Can the same be true for leading a G-d centered life?
There are those of us who elect to live our lives most fully abundantly, humanely, ethically etc. In many cases we do so by having them be G-d centered. We can live with the presence of evil without fully comprehending why it exists.
Our relationship with G-d is a strong motivator for us to do our part to make things better than they are. There is a famous story (parable) about a seminarian.
As students of devotional texts and their application to addressing the problems and opportunities of life do, he or she prayed for understanding about why there is evil.
The Holy One, Blessed Be, could do something to prevent and rule it out for good and all. Why has not G-d done something?
A Seraph (that type of angel who communicates for G-d to us) advised the student as follows.
The L-rd of Hosts wants you to know He daily does something about evil. He sends people like you to address and prevail over it.
My life has been focused, among other activities, on serving G-d by trying my best to be there for those who need and want what I was given to apply for them on terms most meaningful to them. Not always, and quite frequently not because they deserve it. Rather because they need and want it.
The best answer I can provide for this vexing problem is that we can sit around and jawbone about it. The end result of that are a lot of theories from all sides which do nothing to advance the needs and goals of the human family.
For me and folks like me the best of all answers available isn't to be uncovered in doctrine or speculative philosophy. Rather in service to humanity.
Stand up to evil as you would to any bully. Do what you practically can to defeat, weaken and discourage it and its use for harm to others.
This is the best I can offer. It is where I place my chips on the gaming table of life. My bet is that there is no sure thing.
This is the best of all options I can find to deal with evil.......Don't speculate, subjugate.
Peace and Abundant Blessings to one and all.
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We look forward to your contributions from original thought(s) and the heritage culture or ideology which addresses the problem of evil.How to cope and overcome it.
Peace and Abundant Blessings Always.