Why doesn’t God lay down a marker so we know those who are evil from those who are good?
Now, because the issue of God’s lack of intervention in our world will be addressed in a future post, it will suffice at this point to consider one serious flaw in the proposal that God remove evil people from our world – with whom and where would God begin this process? A difficult question because surely every one of us is taken with the temptation to commit evil, albeit in some sort of lesser form. In fact, moral evil is perhaps better described as a problem that is endemic to society because it occurs in all human beings to one degree or another in that no one is exempt from losing their temper or thinking ill of another.
Just as a child takes another child’s toy and causes upset so a person gossips and brings misery to the other person who is spoken about. Or someone cheats on their tax return with the result that the government is denied revenue that would help others. Another person crashes their vehicle into a parked car and drives away, leaving the owner to meet the expense of repair.
From these examples, what we see is that if God were to oblige us in our request and remove people who do wrong in our world, a problem would immediately occur: what degree of evil is acceptable and at what point do we draw the line to determine who is in and who is out? Of course, if it were down to each human being to determine the position of the chalk line by which evil is measured, every one of us would locate the point at which we would qualify as being ‘not evil’. Indeed, in my life, I have come across several individuals who truly believe they have never done anything wrong in their life. Implausibility of this aside, it is worth noting that moral evil is not so easily determined. We will turn to in the next post.