400.20 EVIL AND NECESSITY (pps.94-96)

hard cover page 94

With the creation of potential for good, which is required for man to be able to reach his spiritual potential, potential for evil indirectly, but nevertheless, inexorably, came into existence as a consequence.355

He [God] creates evil only in so far as he produces the corporeal element [good and existence] such as it actually is; it is always connected with negatives, and is on that account the source of all destruction and all evil.

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355 See Stitskin, Eight Jewish Philosophers, pp. 77-78 (in his chapter on Abraham Bar Hiyya). “There is ample evidence in Scripture that God is the cause of evil as well as good. . . .Justice denotes the good and evil distributed in this world according to the law ofjustice. Thus. God is the author of both good and evil in the world.”

356 Maimonides, Guide 3:10 (Dover ed., p. 266). The development by Maimonides in chapter 10 of the Guide stresses that God directly creates only good, and only indirectly evil. It would seem to us that any differences between our position and Maimonides’ position on this point are primarily semantic ones. (We trust that the devotees of Maimonides now breathe easier.)


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