The Problem of Evil

There are four parts to the problem of evil; evil is not a thing, an entity or a being, God did not create evil, how to resolve the problem of evil and the philosophical problem. In the article, Kreeft shares his take on the problem of evil and proposes a way it can be managed. Evil is a complicated topic that isn’t easily defined as one thing. It cannot be easily solved or it may never be solved. God suggests many way that can be put into actions to make moral decisions in order to help eliminate evil. God does not punish us for our sins or wrong doings, only advises us otherwise in indirect ways. Taking a leap to faith and embracing his teachings will then help us to steer our decisions to the more honourable one rather than giving into evil.

 

The first part to the problem of evil is the concept of evil being more of an abstruse idea rather than a thing, being or an entity. God being the creator of all things did not create one single evil thing for he is known as the creator of all things good. We often picture evil as an adverse event or spiritual being, but evil cannot be defined as one specific object, it is only an idea. The source of evil isn’t the devil, as many people believe it to be. Sometimes people use the devil as the main being who tempts you to do bad things, but in reality it’s just your darker inner thoughts or a temporary absence of conscience. Your morals control your thoughts into doing the right thing and following God’s teachings. Evil is simply the absence of good.

 

Evil is more specifically, one’s behaviour or wrong choices rather than the more general statement of evil being an idea. When one chooses to do something that is wrong it is that action that is evil and the outcomes and consequences that come after it. The outcomes of the wrong choices have the power to  create a ripple effect creating more evil as it progresses until it is terminated by . Fear plays a large roll in the choice of evil. It is one’s fear that pushes them to giving in. The choice of evil cannot be completely brought on by one thing it is one’s free choice that sacrifices themselves to evil. Often we blame another person or situation  and forget that free choice is always present. We have the potential to do good or evil with every choice we make using our free will. One will never lose their free choice even when temptation is weighing heavily on them therefore, we sacrifice ourselves and give into evil.

 

The most important part to the problem of evil is how we solve it. God teaches us to simply do good and love your neighbor. The concept of loving your neighbor ties in how to decrease the amount of hatred that brings about immoral actions that can be seen as evil. Our hopes are to prevent these waves of evil by living by God’s teachings. As more people embrace his teachings these actions will then counteract the waves of evil and has the ability to correct these wrong actions and make something good of it, therefore stopping the evil and creating good. In this case it is up to the person whether it progresses based on their willingness.  

 

The last part to the problem of evil is the philosophical problem. It includes the question, “why do bad things happen to good people?” But perhaps the question we should be asking is whose to say we are good people? Everyone who has ever walked this earth has sinned. The second part of the philosophical problem explores the idea of suffering being a part of life that makes us more knowledgeable. Peter kreeft says that, without suffering we would become spoiled brats and tyrants. Suffering is essential to learn in life without it we would never learn from our past experiences that initiated suffering. The third component to the philosophical problem is that we will never know God’s reasons as to why what happens, happens. This concept ties in taking a leap to faith, rather a leap of faith. Because we don’t know God’s reasoning we must take a leap to faith and trust that it will lead us in the right direction.

 

The problem of evil probably never will be completely solved because temptation will forever remain. God gave us free will in order to be in control of our choices. With these choices we become wiser as each one is made, learning from the wrong ones. It is our responsibility to choose good and take a leap to faith in order to spread good will in hopes of stopping evil.

Reasons to believe by Peter Kreeft

The four primary questions mentioned in the reading by Peter Kreeft inspire new ways of thinking about the world, ourselves and greater beings each of which have no black and white answer. Our faith in whether God exists or not will be determined by what we value personally and by our own free will. Our souls are a complicated idea that cannot be broken down like a molecule is broken down into elements, whereas the universe can be. The complexity of these concepts and ideas is so great it is hard to tell if  they ever will an answer. We don’t know for sure if an answer will ever be found, all we have for now is our instincts and beliefs.

 

The question of whether God exists or not is a complex argument between believers and non believers that doesn’t truly have an answer. In my opinion this particular primary question never will have an answer because God is not a concrete thing but an idea. When people choose to devote their lives to a higher power they hope to be guided by the perfect one. It gives people a purpose to their life knowing they are serving a God and will be rewarded with an afterlife in heaven even though there is no way of knowing this is really what happens after death. Christians take a leap to faith and trust that the promises of heaven mentioned in the bible will be rewarded to them if they continually strive to live by God’s teachings. To me it’s not about whether he really did exist or not it’s what we can take from God’s teachings to better ourselves and live our lives in an honourable way. There is no literal proof of God and it’s hard to say there ever will be.

 

The second primary question is whether humans have immortal souls or if they have a beginning and an end. In my opinion yes, we do have immortal souls. A soul is something we lose at death but that soul will forever remain on this earth and eventually find its way to a new being and is reborn again. You know when you get the feeling you have already been in a situation or have seen something previous to that moment? This is called deja vu, which in French literally means already seen. I believe that feeling of deja vu occurs because of experiences we have had in our past life. I think our souls carry the many pasts it has accumulated but we can never decipher what that feeling means or where it originates. Every soul that has ever been created will remain on this earth and will be reborn again and again.

 

The age old question that remains, “Can you create something from nothing?” has stood the test of time. In my opinion it is impossible to create something from nothing. The most obvious thing that some people may have thought came from nothing, the universe, could not have come from nothing. Every atom in this world now had to have been here trillions of years before that, they have just been composed and rearranged in different way to make up new things. I think there was an incredibly complex scientific way in how our universe came to be that no one has uncovered yet because of its complexity. In the history of our universe, to my knowledge, not one person has ever created something from nothing, so it is hard for me to believe that it could happen.

 

Do we have free will? In my opinion, yes everyone has free will to do what they choose. One who is able to conquer temptation and choose the more holy path that God has intended will be rewarded in one form or another like good karma. Free will is closely related to temptation, responsibility, guilt and sin. It is the choice of wrong or right that guides your life on the path to where it has brought you now. There are many factors that can alter your own free will but ultimately you are your own decision maker. These factors misleading your instinctive free will could be your parents influencing you, peer pressure or even your own conscience but part of our freedom is to be skeptical of the things that we are unsure of. With all of the factors influencing our decisions our free will should only be guided by ourselves and ultimately god’s teachings. Our life is made up of choices. One single choice could change our life completely. It’s hard to believe that a single decision can completely change where we will end up. Our free will is influenced by many things but we choose where are life is headed.  

 

These four primary questions are questions that come with a variety of different opinions. Whether god exists or not is something that we will decide on sooner or later in our life with our own free will. As we grow more comfortable with the world around us we explore these complex topics that lead us to knowledge and opinions that make up who we are. Pieces of our beliefs and values are brought from one lifetime to the next by our souls and with each lifetime lived more knowledge is discovered. Over time one will gather new knowledge and build on these opinions or shift our point of view.  

 

Sunrise on the Veld Figures of Speech

Paradox is a seemingly absurd or self contradictory statement. A complicated paradox is used in the story when it talks about being asleep but also being vigilant. there is always a part of  us that is vigilant when we are asleep.

Personification is used when “the bush stood trembling on the verge of color, waiting for the sun to paint the earth and grass afresh”. This line has two examples of personification including “the bush stood” and “waiting for the sun to paint”. In this situation I think the bush is like me because we wait for the sun to color the earth so we can start our day.

A Metaphor occurs when water is said to be diamonds. The comparison between the two I think is saying that in the African veld water is considered to be a luxury. It is valuable because there is less of it in that area.

Simile is mentioned in the story that says “he felt the years of is his life with his hands as if he were counting marbles”. This simile is a comparison between each year of his life and marbles. Every time a year in your life is finished you gain a new marble.

An Alliteration is used when the boy “smiled scornfully” at the thought of outsmarting his parents. He was able control the dogs to not make a noise until they reach the one hundred yard mark

 

Sunrise on the Veld Word Craft

Stoicism is the ability to express no emotion even in times of pain or hardship. In this story it is used when the boy watches the buck being eaten by the ants in the context of “suffering, sick and angry, but also grimly satisfied with is new stoicism”. Because he was so disturbed by what was happening to the buck he might have forgot or couldn’t put any emotion on his face, like he had a mask on. I believe the reason he was so disturbed is because he realized just how quickly things can change and go wrong without any control of it, though he thought he controlled everything.  I can relate to this word because I don’t show emotion like the boy even in times of hardship.

Frisking means to skip or leap playfully. In this story it reads “frisking his pretty white tail”. To the he boy it looked like the buck had not a care in the world though in reality he had a broken leg. It relates to me because sometimes I am careless like the boy when he was skipping and leaping playfully not knowing he could fall and break his ankle at any moment. As humans we all carelessly make mistakes like the boy did when he blindly shot into the trees not knowing the buck was hiding around a corner. I think this word has a sense of carelessness that we are not aware of.

Triumph is a great victory or achievement. The boy feels triumph because he is in control. He feels triumph when he wakes up before the alarm clock, when he can run a mile without loss of breath and how he can run on wet, uneven ground without his shoes. In the short story it says “shutting his teeth hard against a violent desire to shout his triumph”. We all take great pride in our victories and enjoy gloating about them. Often we find it hard to excuse the need to declare our achievements, keeping quiet to remain humble through it all. I can relate to this word because I know I am not always humble when I experience a victory.

Eternity means infinite, unending time or endless life after death. A simile is used in this story that includes the word eternity, it says “a vision came to him, as he stood there like when a child hears the word eternity and tries to understand it.” No one can fully understand eternity until they experience it themselves. The belief in a higher power brings light to the thought of life after death. Heaven is a promise of life after death that one can only dream about or create a perfect image of what they want it to be.

Vigilant means to be watchful and alert. The story talks about “remaining vigilant all night and counting the hours as he lay relaxed in sleep”. I think there is some irony in staying vigilant even when we sleep, because we are supposed to be resting but a part of us is always awake. I can relate to this word because I know I have a vigilant part of me that is awake while I am asleep.

First Line Auction Poem

Light faintly passed through the uncrossed border

A sign of hope is revealed

Leaving the bumps behind

Not stopping to look back

 

The road was long and rough

It twisted and winded through the darkness

There was no possible way to dodge the obstacles

Only a through lane

Ten Minute Spill Poem

 

My mother’s voice was soft

So quiet you could hear a needle drop

We laid by the small cliff watching the clouds

Licking our strawberry ice cream cones

Mother believed that the clouds tell stories

Whirring around each other, forming shapes

Every time we laid by the cliff they would tell me a new one

This time they taught me looks are often deceiving

I Didn’t Go On The Ski Trip Poem

Poem #1

My soul is scared and yelling for help

Help is something needed to maintain health

Help is the bottomless pit always calling for attention

But often no one hears

Is it just me?

Helping is something that most people lack

Like people’s souls are dark and black

Lifeless until love is shown and color is brought back

People that love are on the right track

They can trust their instincts or their heart

But if they don’t it will tear them apart

 

Poem #2

She was known as some kind of monstrosity

A different kind than the rest

Dangerous but misunderstood

May feel alone and misunderstood

Feeling discriminated

The true beauty isn’t just looks, it’s found in everyone

Being beautiful on the outside does not count

It is the beauty within that outshines everything else

The beauty inside is a beautiful thing

That will make you feel like a king

 

An Emotional Landscape Poem

The House That Built Me

 

Fear consumed me

It was tying me down

Growing relentlessly the scissors cut it

I was leaving

 

High expectations were all around me

But I continued on my way

It was almost like I left my body

Leaving my heart and soul

 

 

Holding onto the thought of someday

Picked me up when I was kicked down

The house that built me

Was setting me free

Five Easy Steps Poem

 

His hands were bony and small

They were covered in sand

He gathered the soft sand on the Maui Beach

Plowing it onto the mountain he had been working on 

 

The palm trees in Maui are towers

Casting shadows on the soft sand

I stayed in the shade provided from the palm trees

Avoiding the burning sand

 

The bright blue water washed up on shore

Sweeping away the boys pile of sand

Cupping his hands over his eyes

A tear ran down his cheek

 

I walked under the palm trees till I reached the boy

“Do you need help”? I asked

The boy looked up at me through his watery eyes

And stared blankly without an answer

 

The Terminal Found Poem

His smile started to fade

He was standing amidst a group of late night travellers

Only seeing the blur of the faces around him

In the multicolored sea of humanity he felt alone

 

The rain lit up like confetti from the city lights

He waited like something was holding him back

Waiting had become exhausting

Looking tired he walked past the gates

 

He watched people come and go

Families being reunited with their loved ones

A sad look came across his face

A single tear ran down his cheek

 

Taking a seat he waited

Wondering when he could leave

Someplace new was waiting for him

A place where the pain can’t be felt any longer