The Problem of Evil
The Problem of Evil by Peter Kreeft is how we can take the most difficult temptation around us and turn it around towards God. We have to put our trust in God because He is the reason the good is greater than bad, He is the reason that every being on this planet is not full of anger. The Problem of Evil explains the importance of an embodied soul, how we can practice with God, why good things happen to us, reaching heaven over hell, and having free will. It is an article that asks the mind and soul how we answer this problem.
We are an embodied soul. We are a single creature that are both the body and the soul. Whenever one is affected so is the other and this is can be both a reward and a loss that God has given us. As Peter Kreeft explains that evil is not a being, but rather a wrong choice and when we make that wrong choice of choosing evil both our physical (body) and spiritual (soul) are now connected to evil. This can be enhanced by the idea of suicide. Once we are fully engaged in evil, this first goes to our spiritual self which becomes damaged due to the fact that God is unhappy with our free will. This then instantly damages the body becomes which is then physically gone. This is an example that when our embodied beings are punished, evil controls both our physical and spiritual persons. However, this gift that God gave us is also a great blessing because it is both with our soul and body that we are able to fight evil. When we physically attending mass or praying, we giving ourselves to God which is spiritual. God wants us to do this and so helps us reach the goal of choosing good over bad. This the one of the solutions of evil.
Another way that Peter Kreeft offers as a solution to the problem of evil is by practicing repenting, believing, and working with God. By practicing, we are focusing on Jesus Christ, who physically died because of evil rather than us just having a theory that evil may or may not actually exist. The cross is a part to God’s solution because by knowing that evil can destroy the Most Perfect Being, can we learn through practicing that it can be overcome as shown by Jesus going to heaven and forgiving all our sins. When we repent, we are confessing our sins to God which then creates a step in reaching to heaven and as said before, destroys some of that evil that lurks within us. By believing in God and Christ Jesus, we have truly put our lives dedicated towards His. And by working with God, we are able to understand and cooperate with Him. When we are upset with our lives, we ask God to help us or when God asks something of us, we respond by “building his church”. Like practicing for volleyball, practicing faith makes it so much easier in the end.
Kreeft explains another solution to the problem of evil and that is by asking the question that started the problem in the first place and that question is, why do bad things happen to good people? The answer to this question is by rearranging the words so that is becomes why to good things happen to bad people? We are all sinners and if we deny that we are sinners, then we have just sinned again. When we are our best selves is when we reluctant to say that we are good people. St. Francis of Assisi was rich, spoiled, and greedy when he was young. When you looked at him, never would you think that one day he would be a saint yet good things still happened to him and this a result of God not evil. As St. Francis got older did he start to realize his sins and notice all the “evil” that was inside of him. Kreeft says, Sinners think they are saints, but saints know they are Sinners. This is exactly what happened to St. Francis and by understanding that we are not God but people who make mistakes every day, is a deeper step into the solution of evil.
Do I hope hell is crowded or do I hope hell is empty? This question is the replacement for whether or not hell is crowded or is empty. Some of us hope that hell is very empty but all we can do is hope. Unlike God, we do not know what the people around us are involved in, only God knows for all we can do is ask ourselves, Will they be in hell or heaven? Many of us are optimistic and say we are all good and we all deserve to be in heaven but once we become pessimistic, that hope turns into the idea that maybe they don’t deserve to be there, maybe they want to be there. This is when we ask the question to ourselves the most simple and complex question known to mankind and that is, What would Jesus do? What would Jesus do if he’d hope that hell is empty. Jesus would help those struggling, help those that have let temptation take over their souls, and He does. In order for us to answer our hopes is do follow in Jesus’s footsteps, live our lives according to His Word. The bible does not mention once that there is a being in hell and that is proof of evil not indoctrinating the lives on Earth.
As children of God, we are given free will so when we take that free will and “flush it down the toilet”, we are contributing to evil. When choosing between good or bad, most of the time we want to choose good. But there are the cases when people freely choose hell for themselves. God is not the reason for anyone to be in hell (if there is anyone in hell) but rather hell is a result of how much God loves us all. He loves and trusts us so much that He gave us free will and choose the path in which we take at the end. It is a consequence that comes with many prices. This is also why hell is the worst aspect of the problem of evil because it is so easy for us to take something like free will and turn away from God. By practicing our faith and trusting in God, can we take this free will for the greater good and in the end reach for heaven.
By answering to the problem of evil through practice and free will, we can become so much closer to God. All of us face a time in our lives where we encounter evil, but with the help from God, evil can be overtaken with love and trust.