How can there be evil in the world if God is just and merciful

A COMMON man of rather uncultured, if not uneducated, type expresses his sense of convenience in ethics and, posing to be liberal in his philosophical views, sneers at religion and philosophy in such expressions as : “ How can there be evil in the world if God is just and merciful ? No father will subject his children to the horrors of plague, earthquake, volcanic eruptions and revolutions.” What shall we say to such a dogmatist ? The case is simple and may be categorically stated as follows :

(i)      Evil is a fractional view of incidents and events. Some 500 million years ago, if any creature could have seen this earth it would have found it an ugly destructive forbidding mass with no capacity to sustain organic life. Surely it would have to revise its view radically if it were to see the earth to-day dotted with green mountains, sparkling with tranquil lakes, usefully watered with clear rivers, and presenting the climatic changes conducive to the maintenance of life. At that time the earth was an evil ; now it is good.

(2)     It is an error to generalise on the state of a thing when it is in the course of being made. The great beauties of history like Aspasia, Laura, Madame Recamier, were once misshapen ugly entities in the wombs of their mothers. Socrates, Newton, Goethe, were all unruly children. Where is evil ?

(3)     At one time the fair land of Britain fell a victim to black plague, cholera and other pestilential diseases. It was an evil state, but Man, by employing his intelligence, has discovered the laws governing its behaviour and has rooted out all this evil. By modern hydraulic systems, floods are already arrested ; volcanic eruptions can be predicted, and earthquakes are on the way to being conquered. Why be hasty and call them evil ?

(4)    Life is not born with the birth of the body and surely it will not end with the death of the body. The all-wise Lord is making higher and higher species and it is for man to have faith in Providence. What appears as injustice may be the acme of justice in the course oftime. The lives which are supposed to perish by natural disaster are perhaps compensated for all their present loss in a future state of being.

Let these convenience-loving philosophers and sceptical thinkers consider these facts and learn to be wise.

A man went to a garden. He saw small mango fruits hanging on the branches of a tall tree. Further on he saw large pumpkins attached to a thread-like creeper. He was a sceptic and said : “ How stupid is the creative force ! Such a slender creeper and such enormous pumpkins ! What a tall strong mango tree and what tiny fruits ! ” He sat down under the tree to have his lunch. A small mango became detached and fell on the nose of the philosopher. He cried : “ Thou art wise, O Lord ! What would have happened if it had been a pumpkin ? ”

 

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