Does evil exist?
The university professor challenged his students with this question: Did God create everything that exists?
A student bravely replied, “Yes, he did!”
“God created everything? The professor asked.
“Yes sir,” the student replied.
The professor answered, “If God created everything, then God created evil since evil exists and, according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.”
The student became quiet before such an answer. The professor was quite pleased with himself and boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.
Another student raised his hand and said, “Can I ask you a question professor?”
“Of course,” replied the professor.
This student stood up and asked, “Professor, does cold exist?”
“What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?” The students snickered at the young man’s question.
The young man replied, “In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is a measure of this energy transfer. Absolute zero (-460 degrees F) is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat.”
The student continued, “Professor, does darkness exist?”
The professor responded, “Of course it does.”
The student replied, “Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light can be studied and measured, but not darkness. We can use Newton’s prism to break light into many colours and study the various wavelengths of each colour. You cannot measure darkness. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn’t this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present.”
Finally the young man asked the professor, “Sir, does evil exist?”
Now uncertain, the professor responded, “Of course, as I have already said. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.”
To this the student replied, “Evil does not exist sir, anymore than darkness or cold exist. Evil is simply the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of the creation turning away from God. When God is absent in man, the angels, or any part of the creation, then we describe the absence of all that is good in God with the word evil. Evil is like the cold that comes when there is no heat, or the darkness that comes when there is no light. Evil comes when there is no presence of God.”
The professor sat down.
I’m not sure whom I should credit with this excellent explanation of a very tricky question.
I thank my partner Nick for blogging it. If you wish to read Nick’s other blogs