Adapted from my new book, On the Problem of Good.
The staggering amount and variety of evil in this world should not be the source of enormous confusion for believers in God.
The world has not gone spectacularly wrong. The machine has not malfunctioned. There has been no mistake, no misstep, no ineptitude or imbecilic blunder in the design. The evil which is amplifying through Creation is there for a purpose, there by design, growing, evolving, and it is evolving because the architect of this world—the Creator—not only draws some manner of critical pleasure from its existence, but more importantly, craves its augmentation over time.
This world inside which sentience has awoken, uninvited, is the stuff of all nightmares, a living daymare, a defiled experiment draped in ethical ugliness, but between those stubbornly long periods of anxiety and calamity, good exists. Between those repeated seasons of uncertainty and ruin, good pushes through. Between those ever-so faithful cycles of total war where even grass and livestock are considered the enemy, good can flourish, and the existence of this good presents what is arguably the only coherent and consistent argument which can be forwarded by sceptics challenging the existence of a being who for a million tiny sensible reasons cherishes His anonymity and may be identified as simply The Owner of All Infernal Names: The Problem of Good.
It is asked: If The Owner of All Infernal Names is omnipotent and omnimalevolent, why does He allow good in the world? Either He cannot prevent it, in which case He is not omnipotent, or He chooses to allow it, in which case He is not omnimalevolent.
To even the most casual observer the contradiction found in the Problem of Good appears valid and persuasively damning. Maximum evil, in possession of maximum power, could not possibly tolerate the presence of good. Even a little good—some pleasant smell or pleasing vista—seemingly negates the thesis of unblemished evil, and the proposition that good exists because the maximally-equipped Creator has somehow lost control over some (or all) of his creation is conspicuously absurd.
There are no mistakes. There can be no mistakes. There is neither room nor capacity for little rebellions, let alone the yielding of even the smallest fraction of Creation to some obnoxious insurgency, and if something is error-free then what exists exists for a reason, a purpose.
The problem though persists. It lingers in the mind like a weeping sore, and if one seeks an excuse-free explanation for this world (which must be the single-most important objective of any honest inquiry into the nature of existence; of why there is something rather than nothing) then the problem demands attention.
On the Problem of Good, print and eBook available through Amazon and CreateSpace. And do please pen a review. It’d be hugely appreciated. My apologies, but if you’re outside the U.S and can’t order the eBook through Amazon.com then please buy the print version (which contains an added, hidden treasure) through Amazon, or even better, at the Createspace store, and I’ll email you the eBook file (ePub or Mobi) free which you can upload directly to any e-reader, including Kindle. Sorry about that, but Amazon has a strange (unworkable) set-up for anyone publishing outside the U.S.