Evil

Evil is generally defined as the opposite of good and is commonly associated with harmful events (such as destructive acts of nature) or conscious wrongdoing (via individual or group behavior). Read articles about evil below.

Problem of Evil: Why Bad Things Happen

God the Father (from Altar of Philip the Bold) - Melchior Broederlam, 1399

Why do bad things happen? Or more specifically, if there is a God, and He is all-knowing, all-powerful and completely good, why does He allow evil to exist and for good people to suffer because of it? This is the crux of the "problem of evil," an intellectual and moral dilemma theologians and philosophers have grappled with and debated for millennia. … [Read more...]

Perceptions of Evil – What is Evil?

The Riot or Scene of Revolution, or Destruction of Sodome - Honore Daumier

One of humanity‚Äôs most common theological questions is how to answer the fundamental question, "What is evil?" How can you create a working definition of evil that accounts for (1) mass genocides, atrocities like the Holocaust, or a gunman walking into an elementary school and opening fire, and (2) natural occurrences that cause mass destruction like floods, tidal waves, … [Read more...]

Satan and the Testament of Job

Satan smiting Job with boils - William Blake

The Book of Job in the Hebrew bible was crafted to address human suffering and why bad things happen to good people. In it, Satan is a member of God's divine court who walks the earth looking for sin and reports back to God. When God brags about what a loyal servant Job is, Satan responds that is only so because God has blessed him with wealth, children, and health. If he did … [Read more...]

Evil and Urizen: William Blake’s Visions of a Demiurge

img-blake2

William Blake is justifiably considered to be among the greatest of England's poets and artists. His place in the books of art history is assured despite his general disengagement from any definable movement, except perhaps romanticism, to which he belonged in spirit more than in form. Blake was professionally an engraver and acquired little acclaim for his work in his … [Read more...]

Problems in Ethical Monotheism: Why Does Evil Exist?

God the Creator and Angels - Pietro Perugino

In Ethical Monotheist traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, there is a concept of an all-powerful, all-knowing, Creator who is morally good, just, kind, loving, and who has our best interests in mind. In the book, God, Timothy Robinson describes this God as a being who is all-powerful, all-knowing, perfectly good, and wholly benevolent; who is everlasting or … [Read more...]