IF GOD IS ALL GOOD…
Arthur C. Sippo
Why Is There Evil in the World?
he problem of evil has puzzled mankind from the to us in the Bible, and a quick perusal of the Scriptures
earliest of times. It is an apparently insoluble co- can answer these objections definitively.
nundrum: If God is both all-good and all-power- First of all, Genesis 1-3 makes it clear that the way
ful, He should have both the motive and the ability to the world is now is not how God intended it “in the be-
exclude evil from His creation. But evil is here — it is ginning.” God’s idea of ordinary, everyday human life was
pervasive and oppressive throughout our world. Not only two naked teenagers in a garden oasis with no shame.
do we have moral evil wrought by responsible agents such Let’s face it, even Hugh Hefner never imagined anything
as humans and angels, but also natural evils like earth- more appealing than that. That oasis had everything
quakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes that “just happen” and people needed. They walked and talked with God daily like
are often dismissed as “acts of God.” Why doesn’t God do children living in their father’s house. St. Thomas Aquinas
something to stop it all? in his Summa Theologiae opined that in the setting of
Some modern commentators have opined that the Eden, sexual pleasure would be greater than it ever could
solution to this dilemma is to change the way we think be in our fallen world because it would involve a true com-
about God. Maybe God is not powerful enough to extir- munion of persons and not the use of others as an object
pate evil. Maybe even He must battle against the dark side for one’s own pleasure.
of existence. Or perhaps God Himself has a “dark side” in The Church also teaches that our first parents were
His nature. made in the image and likeness of God as children are
Some infidels have used the existence of evil as an wrought in the image of their parents. They had under-
argument against the existence of God. Atheists gleefully standing and free will by which to comprehend the world
declare that in a world made by a morally upright God, and shape it to the glory of God. He gave them the preter-
evil could not possibly exist. They therefore feel justified natural gifts of immortality, impassibility, and dominion
in asserting that there is no God and no moral standards over the earth, along with freedom from concupiscence,
other than the ones we make for ourselves. ignorance, and sin — collectively known as integrity.
Frankly, all of this confusion, complaining, and spe- Power over creation, moral wholeness, no sickness, and
cious posturing is unnecessary. There is no “problem” of no death: This was God’s intention for mankind. All of
evil. The answer to this dilemma cannot come to us from this was crowned with sanctifying grace, which allowed
philosophy or pure reasoning — but it has been revealed our first parents to walk with God as children and as par-
takers of the divine nature itself. They were given a super-
natural knowledge of, trust in, and love for God greater
than any creature could hope to achieve with natural en-
dowments. These are the theological virtues of faith, hope,
Arthur C. Sippo is a physician and specialist in aero- and charity. In possession of these virtues, man most per-
space medicine who has written and lectured as a fectly mirrors God Himself.
Catholic apologist for over 30 years. He writes from So, what happened? How did we end up in this lousy