Can’t God Make Everything Bad Just Go Away?
The Problem of Evil is one of the thorniest philosophical and religious questions that has plagued the devout and the skeptical for centuries. The question asks, if God is all powerful, why is there evil in the world? Why can’t God unilaterally make everything better with a snap of his almighty fingers? It seems like an obvious question until you start digging into the practical answer. What would such an action even look like?
There are a few layers to this question. What methods could God use to eliminate evil? Would people even like how such a solution looked?
Why can’t God just eliminate evil? What even is evil? Many people’s actions are evil, but would you damn the entire person based on a handful of actions? How many bad actions make an entire person evil? These are questions that need to be asked before they can be answered.
There are a few ways that God could eliminate evil. In fact, I would say that God does have the power to eliminate all evil. He just chooses not to for our own sake.
Destroy All Evil
God has used this method in the past. One simple way to eliminate evil is to destroy it. Like cancer, evil can be rooted out with intense and extreme methods. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because the people inside were deemed to be evil. Fire and brimstone rained from the sky, and the cities were wiped off the map and burned into history. (In fact, there is evidence to suggest that this story actually took place via an asteroid or meteorite strike.)
God also took this path when He flooded the Earth in the time of Noah. The Bible says that humanity had consigned itself entirely to evil. All of their thoughts and ways were evil. So God sent a planetwide flood to kill all of the humans. Problem solved. Evil eliminated.
The problem is that this type of elimination is seen as heavy-handed. Abraham questioned God before he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. He wondered if everyone in the city was evil and deserved such a fate. God replied he would save the city if He found any number of righteous. Clearly, He didn’t, and the cities were scorched…