God’s existence is most often called into question with the problem of evil: “If God exists, and he is good, then how can he allow all the terrible things to happen in the world that happen?” From this it is ultimately concluded that either God does not exist or God is not good. The arguments that we raise in defense of this attack then, all entail some of the following usually:
1. God created the best possible worldAll these positions further raise questions about the extent of God’s power, God’s freedom, God’s “sense” in creating Satan, what “grand” plan is God taking us towards that we can not see, etc. Wherein the end of that attack will simply result in someone raising the question of the seven-year-old child drowning or getting cancer and dying; where no explanation from God’s end or any end helps justify the need for such an event to ever happen. Silver linings is not going to suffice for the people who have been directly affected by the evil, attackers will gleefully spout.
2. Evil is not something inherently “bad” but simply the absence of good
3. God does not support the existence of evil, he simply allows it to exist
4. Satan is largely responsible for most evil etc.
In the midst of this, I want to consider perhaps a radically foolish position. One that I feel is necessary for us to be able to have the world that we do have and appreciate it; rather than advocating for better worlds that are well and good in theory but will always be impossible to achieve.
Evil is necessary. For human beings to understand the world as they currently do, with our un-quenching appreciation and hunt for the “good,” evil and suffering is unimaginably necessary. I fail to see how we can simply have or even recognize good, without an intimate knowledge of evil and suffering.
The appreciation of life stemmed from when the first insult to it was struck by it being taken in cold blood; the appreciation for one’s own freedom was realized when human dignity and honor was indelicately attacked. We assume that these things were present inherently within us from day one, which is an unwise assumption to make. Appreciation for the good was realized only when evil came into existence as stark contrast.
My position doesn’t call for evil to be allowed to run rampant, far from it. It is why we also have accountability, justice systems and moral responsibility as well. They are there to curb human evil, progressive technology to help against natural evil and so on. But my position at least explains why evil necessarily exists, must exist, and why we cannot possibly call on God to have made a world without it. For such a world to exist would not be as we see the world today, or even what we wager the many possible worlds will be, but a utopia difficult to live in.