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Quick Thoughts Regarding ďEvilĒ

Brian Morley, Ph.D.

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†††††††† Note from Donna Morley:†† Brian has written a book, God in the Shadows: Evil in Godís World. †It details how a loving and all powerful God could be behind a world, where evil prevails.† Itís a detailed book, for the deep thinker.† Heís currently writing on a more popular level, for the average layman.† Until that book comes out, here are some condensed thoughts from Brian on the subject of pain and evil.

(1) Freewill is a wonderful gift, but its misuse is the source of much, perhaps most, suffering,

(2) God does restrain suffering, though we cannot know how much, because it didnít happen (working through for example, conscience, police, and the mere fact that evil doers donít live forever, e.g. Hitler),

(3) no matter how much evil God prevents, we will always ask why he didnít prevent more,

(4) the point of this world is not to make everyone as happy as can be every minute, but to help people become mature, part of which is to become less self-centered,

(5) certain types of goods exist only if there are certain types of evils, such as forgiveness where there is harm, compassion where there is suffering, sacrifice where there is need, patience where there is frustration, courage where there is danger, and so on (Leibniz believed that this world has just enough bad to allow the maximum amount of good),

(6) if the highest good is not pleasure every minute but maturity (think of the goal of a responsible parent) where there is a conflict and both cannot be achieved, a morally good being will chose the better goal (maturity) over the lesser goal (pleasure), hence some suffering (a child who is given everything they want does not become mature, they become a brat),

(7) for humans to be rational and moral the environment must be predictable, which can bring its own suffering (gravity makes life possible, but we can fall off a ladder if weíre not careful),

(8) no individual experiences the ďsum totalĒ of suffering, but each experiences only their small portion (the closest to experiencing it all is God himself),

(9) God has been good to each of us,

(10) whatever good things we get are by the grace of God, and by definition grace is not owed (we are not owed 75 years of life, etc., and those who get less have not been wronged),

(11) if this life is not all there is then death is a necessary and unavoidable transition,

(12) despite the very serious problems, this is still a beautiful world, and has great possibilities for us to do good, part of which is to help those who suffer and have needs--so God has worked it so that we can have a part in the solution. Itís good to ponder pain and suffering, but itís also good to be Godís instrument to relieve it.

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© 2014,† Brian Morley