The Omnipotent God And The Problem Of Evil
Can We Rationalize Theology?
There are two basic statements that Christian theology puts forward that run into trouble in terms of a rational analysis of the creation of evil.
1) God is supreme (omnipotent) without equal.
2) God is holy or wholly and completely good.
Catholic theology teaches that God had created the angels. One of those angels Lucifer tried at one point to be God or to take God's position as ruler. As a result, Lucifer was banished from heaven and put into hell.
All that is evil is associated with Lucifer and all that is good is attributed to God. Which leads us to the questions - Who created evil? God or Lucifer? Was evil created or was it always there?
Going back to our first two statements - God is omnipotent and God is good, we run into the problem of evil. Most Catholics will tell you intuitively that God did not create evil since God is of only goodness. However, then what does that say about God's omnipotence?
When Lucifer was created, who presented the choice to do evil? Did Lucifer create evil out of nothing? If he did, again, this would go against the omnipotence and good will of God. Someone had to have presented that door of evil - which is part of free will. Most Christians will go along with God creating free will for us.
If God invented free will, then it goes to say that He invented the choice of evil. That free will must have been presented to Lucifer in order to do evil against God. Talk about your classic case of enabling!
By this rational thought, God must have created evil first before creating Lucifer to allow Lucifer to choose the evil course. Therefore we deduce that God cannot possibly be 2) wholly good. He must be more.
If we can agree by this logic that God had created evil, then what purpose did God have to send His only son Jesus Christ to die for us, when in fact our evil is a direct result of His own creation?
God not creating evil means that He does not possess the omnipotence and that Satan must at least share albeit in an inferior way, the power to create. Such a scenario would mean that God could not have created Satan (Lucifer) but shares power in which case He has no authority over the dark one. That scenario would entail that God will never extinguish evil because if He had not created evil, He would be incapable of destroying it.
God creating evil skewers the whole dynamic between God, Lucifer and Jesus. To send Jesus down to rescue us from evil (sin), is bizarre if God Himself created evil.
In conclusion, the Christian religion pits the Kingdom of God against the dark hell of Satan. However, an omnipotent God would be needed to have Satan's Hell to keep running. God is in fact rallying against something that He Himself has created and that it had originated from Him who is supposed to be wholesomely good. I have heard some Catholics say that evil is just the absence of good much like cold is the absence of heat. An interesting point, however an absence of God still precludes Him from being omnipotent and everywhere. Maybe I am wrong and there can be voids in omnipotence?
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