Evil Stories: Part 2, Truth and Consquences

I don't know if we have the ability to decide which of the three stories about evil are true. But I do think we can ponder through some of the consequences of the stories, how each story positions us in relation to evil.

For me, below are the major consequences and implications of the two non-Christian stories about evil.

A major implication of the story that Evil is eternal and exists alongside the Good, is that evil can't be defeated. Given that evil is eternal in this story, there's nothing we can do by way of resistance or struggle that can reduce or remove evil. In this story, evil will always be with us. Perhaps we can fight, but it won't make any lasting, eternal difference.

The major implication for the third story is that evil is an illusion. We might not like a child dying of cancer, but there's nothing "wrong," "broken" or "evil" about that suffering and death. E = mc2, particle physics, and the Periodic Table can't be evil. The feelings we have about pain and suffering might cause us to feel or think that something "evil" intruded upon our lives, attacking and hurting us, but that's just faulty, superstitious thinking. In this story, the cosmos is an indifferent machine, governed by materialistic and deterministic laws. There are things that hurt us, yes, but pain, death and suffering are not "evil" in the sense that something is "wrong" or "broken" with the cosmos. According to the secular story of evil, beyond meaning "I don't like this," evil doesn't exist.

As best as I can tell, these are the major implications of these two stories: Evil cannot be defeated or evil is an illusion.

And for my part, I find those two implications intolerable. I think evil is real, that it means more than "I don't like this," and I believe that resisting evil makes an eternal difference, that evil can, one day, be defeated.

And that's precisely what the Christian story of evil implies, that evil is real and can be defeated. This is the major reason I prefer the Christian story of evil over the other stories.

That said, the Christian story has it's own big consequence and implication. More on that in the next post.

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