400.20 EVIL AND NECESSITY (pps.94-96)

hard cover page 95

I form the light, and create darkness;
I make peace, and create evil;
I am the Lord,
Who has made all these things.
-Isaiah 45:5

There is no possible source of evil except good.
-Aquinas357

Evil has its source in the good.
-Augustine358

Without evil goodness would not be possible either.
-Berkovits359

Man cannot quest for spiritual heights unless there is intense good to use as a “spiritual ladder.” The creation of good, however, mandates the existence of its polarity, evil.360

Good and evil form a duality. Creating potential for good, by definition, creates the inverse potential for evil along with it.361 Good only exists with its duality, evil. In order to create potential for good, potential for evil was, by definition, created.362 God’s omnipotence or non-omnipotence is not the issue. It is rather a question of definition. By definition, good comes packaged with concomitant evil.363

Existence of potential for good –> Existence of potential for evil.
God created potential for good.
Therefore: God created potential for evil.

Evil exists not (a la the Irenaean and Augustinian theodicies) because God necessarily had a productive need for evil to exist. Rather, it was in the Divine/cosmic interest for good to exist, and evil is the inevitable duality of good.364 Evil exists because

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——————- NOTES ——————-

357 Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 49, a. 1.

358 Augustine, “The Problem of Evil,” in Hick, Readings in the Philosophy of Religion, p. 21.

359 See Berkovits, God, Man and History, p. 78. “It is a commonplace by now to say that without evil goodness would not be possible either. In a world without temptation, man could never be holy. . .. Without the forever-lurking inclination to selfishness and discord, there can be no ethical ideal and practice.”

360 See Schulweis, Evil and the Morality of God, p. 47. “Without good, evil could not exist; without evil, goodness would be impoverished. Paradoxically, if there is evil, there is God. Leibniz echoes this logic in his declaration that to permit the evil, as God permits it, proves to be the greatest goodness” (Leibniz, Theodicy, pt. 11, par. 121).

361 See Hick, Evil and the God of Love, p. 368. “. . . not only may it not be possible for God to create a world including freedom but no evil, but it may also not be possible for him to create a world containing freedom and containing less evil than the existing world.”

362 See Heschel, God in Search of Man, p. 377. “If not for the will of God, there would be no goodness; if not for the freedom of man, goodness would be out of place in history.”

363 See also Teilhard de Chardin, The Future of Man, p. 93. “Evil . . .the inevitable reverse side-or better, the condition~or better still, the price-of an immense triumph.”

364 “Why has God created both wicked and good? So that the one should atone for the other.” Pesikta Rabbati 201 a ink., as cited in Montefiore and Loewe, A Rabbinic Anthology, p. 542. . Schulweis’s paraphrase of T. B. Yoma 6911 in Evil and The Morality of God, p. 137.

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