Can someone explain this to me in layman's terms without quoting from the bible?

God is a good, he is perfect and all knowing. I am assuming that no one will deny this?

1) He is all-knowing, then he must have known that evil would be born

2) He is all-powerful, then he is able to prevent evil from arising.

3) He is good, yet he allowed evil to arise.

Who can explain to me the contradiction of an all powerful (2), all knowing (2) god who has knowingly and willingly allowed evil to take form?

Please do not say that god has a plan. You don't need a plan if you already know all the outcomes.


I have noticed a few common responses:

1) Good cannot exist without evil. Why not? Are we saying that evil existed before creation?

2) Evil is abstract and so cannot be quantified. Yes, according to texts such as the bible, it can.

3) God allows us to choose evil (however you define it) because of free will. If no evil existed in the first place, we would still have free will but no evil to choose from. Example: If everything is free, would there be theft?

4) God knew we would choose evil and he allowed this so that we can learn, grow and appreciate the good things. We have to suffer to grow? There are many beautiful things in life that do not require suffering before being experienced. Love, appreciating the beauty of nature, commiting a truely selfless act.

39 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Your best source for these questions is, "The God Delusion", by Dawkins.

  • Ray G
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You don't need a plan if you already know all the outcomes? When you plan a trip, don't you already know where you're headed?

    Evil exists because of the creative act. Have you not noticed that every single thing in creation has an opposite? Light and dark, Male and female, land and water, good and evil. Before the creation, God was a unified field of energy called the Ain Sof in mysticism. He was all light. To create something new, He had to divide the light from the darkness, then divide space from earth, then land from sea, then fresh water from marine and so forth, until He finally ended it by dividing man from woman. Immediatly after separating man and woman, He made the first ever holy institution, marriage, to get them back together again. This indicates that the division is the evil, in a way, and the unity is good. The Bible tells us that God is good, and God is one, and God is love. Love unites people. Hate divides. So, the mechanism of creation is division, and evil is it's by product. God knew this from the start, but carried on, also knowing that it would all work out in the end.

  • 1 decade ago

    First of all, we all need to understand much more clearly what

    we are even talking about when we discuss good, evil, God,

    and satan. These things as so huge, more weighty than

    ANY scientific reasoning or argument could ever imagine - we

    are talking about things beyond space and beyond time.

    Evil is larger than all of the planets and stars, yet God is so much

    larger than evil. Evil ends up being so tiny compared to God and eternity yet it is such a big and emotional impact on us.

    It is like a fly compared to God and God's word (this goes for each and every evil and hardship we could experience). Now, though we are so very tiny, God cares about each day, night, and hour we experience as individuals because of God's great love.

    It is amazing how He created us so tiny compared to the universe.

    We are not mindless matter and have a different type of awareness of

    ourselves and our world than plants or animals have. The Bible describes this as God breathing life (spirit) into human beings and

    creating us as special, significant creatures who study our world

    and communicate with God in our spirit that was breathed from God


    This special relationship is God's purpose. It does not seem to be

    about God needing someone to talk to. Who knows why God chose

    to do all that He has apparently done? Who can really say? We have not come close to seeing all He has done anyway! How could we?

    We live very short lives and occupy a minute place with very small

    eyes, ears, nose, mouth, etc. How can we even come close to

    having great understanding of these things? This is what true

    humbleness as well as finding truth is about.

    The Bible speaks of mankind being tested. We are not sure of the

    origin of Satan or demons. They seem to be spiritual beings created

    by God who were also tested and failed the creator - thus bringing a curse onto themselves as mankind has done, only mankind has a

    separate destiny - one that has the possiblity of redemption for

    each soul.

    The basic sin and curse derives from the created wanting, in essence,

    to become the creator or like the creator, having the same power as the creator - envy and pride is the basic insane disease causing all other diseases and evil. It is about leaving Love behind - about leaving the source of life behind and loving beggerly things instead - thus bringing a curse, a disease, every single time.

    Yes, God knows all of this. He is a spirit that experiences emotions

    and becomes saddened at the turmoil and evil of His creation. However, time is like a bottle to Him - He sees all at once - the begining and end at one time - the good and bad at one time and constantly knows what prevails - which is the good. Love is truth.

    Love is what is behind the purpose and reason for everything.

    It is not an emotion, but is the creation life itself.

    Still, why does God allow any evil?

    So we can rejoice and prevail against it along with our creator.

    So that Joy comes after one dark night and the Joy

    lasts for eternity. So we can LEARN truth and love in a much

    profound way and reach to the stars - to the heavens!

    So we can fulfill our destiny as human beings.

    Why do some or most not make it to this glory

    and why do evil spirits end up in eternal greif?

    This is probably closer to the real question being asked.

    Why do I have to believe and change?

    Why does it all depend so much on that?

    On my belief?

    Why can't I just use my brain and body to it's best

    potential in this life and that would be good enough?

    Ok - why is all of this being asked?

    Simply because we do not want to repent or

    admit the truth we know deep down with

    our being - we just want to close ourselves

    off and are being taught many excuses

    to despise it more and more - yet these truths

    do not ever just go away, animosity

    towards God just increases - the disease gets

    worse as predicted in the Holy Scriptures

    that the love of many (the creation life)

    grows cold more and more as we become

    self sufficient with our technology as well

    yet the main disease continues.

    Then we say, well, it's not fair, the truth

    is clouded to us and we can't see the right way.

    It's not fair that so many will not make it!

    Then the answer to that is God knows each

    and every heart there is and will ever be.

    He is the supreme judge and we are in no

    place to determine what is fair and what is

    not - our view is very very tiny in that respect.

    Our responsibility is what it is - to simply

    be humble before the Creator of the Universe.

    Respond to the Creator in our spirit and not

    close our spirit off - so we CAN have a

    spiritual life and eternal life! The reward is

    much greater than the punishment could

    ever ever be. It is well worth it to put down

    our so-called reason that is not reason at

    all (not all reason is bad though) - some so-called

    reason has nothing to do with real and true

    reason - it is just a blockage, a worthless

    preoccupation with

    a worthless

    preoccupation with ourselves and constipation

    leading to death. Things are disguised as

    reason and block Love that we could

    have. There is no true reason without God -

    no true reason without humbleness

    before God - only moral and spiritual

    disease and decay without meaning.

    There is no meaning without God - only emptiness.

    Those who are humble hear and are glad.

    The truth sets free.

    This is a moral and not an intellectual argument!

    It had to do with refusal of God and society refusal

    of God - an ageless disease that increases whenever

    there is pseudo-self-sufficiency.

    Source(s): Christian for 30 years.
  • 1 decade ago

    I will not quote word for word, but God's word says that we are created for God's pleasure. My answers to 1, 2, and 3 is yes, yes and yes.

    How can you know good without knowing evil? How can you choose God over evil, if you don't know evil?

    Jesus said that He was slain from the foundation of the world. Jesus knew the end from the beginning. God is outside of time and He can fast forward where we can't. We are stuck in time. God tells us that He is the Alpha and Omega, The Beginning and The End, and The First and The Last. Who was, who is and who is to come, the Almighty.

    God, Jehovah, said "Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am He that lives and was dead; and, behold I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."

    I guess we can say the film reel has already been played out and we are living in the rerun which is approaching the final scene.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    God does have a plan for each of us although we stray causing all the crud in this world, but that answer does not suit this question....Being all powerful and all knowing does not contradict as you say "willingly allowing" evil to take form. This is not a contradiction. Why shouldn't God "allow" it? Why should life be easy? WE create all the "bad" things as humans, why should He automatically take it away just because He can? He gave us this world and our lives, why should He have to do anymore? Can we not clean up what we create? Can we not resist temptation to the degree you are talking (evil and wrong are very different)?

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If there was no evil then how would you be able to say anything was good? If there is light all the time, how would you know about were dark? How would you be able to say light is better than dark or vice versa? In order to have good you have to have evil, because one cant have existed without the other. God wasn't good until evil arose. Then he could be compared to the evil and be seen as good.

    If there were no laws for you to break, then there would be no good people or bad people in the world since there is nothing to judge them by. When laws came into existence then we could say that certain people were good and others are evil.

  • 1 decade ago

    You know what? I've asked myself that question for years. I have heard many scenarios. I know I maybe crucified for saying this....I came up with is that God created sin. if you are know all and created all how could sin come to be in a perfect creation? He had to have created it, if not then there was a glitch in the "plan". Making God not perfect or thee almighty.

    I know you don't want for anyone to say that this is a plan. But I think if there is a God, this was his whole plan to begin with. Why create heaven and earth just to give us freedom of choice but at the end of time the people who didn't choose him burns up in hell. So basically they made a choice and got killed for it. Does this make sense? I think if God really wanted to make a perfect world then he would of and there wouldn't be freedom of choice. He would have made heaven and everyone would live happily ever after.

    I'm not saying that God doesn't exist, I actually believe in God personally, but I think there are missing pieces to this puzzle and I don't feel like we know everything especially what Christianity tries to teach us.

    I hoped I helped and not make things more confusing for you. I just wanted to let you know that I feel the same way you do and just have many thoughts on this subject.

    Good luck to you!!!

  • Kobun
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Evil isn't like Godzilla or something. Its abstract. Its pride, arrogance, elitism, disregard for others, etc. So, what your question becomes is...why did God allow mankind free will?

    And its to choose right. Mankind is here to work and learn. He's responsible for his own actions and intentions. Otherwise, he could as easily have just been made an angel, without any fault or independent will.

  • 1 decade ago

    Depending on the belief structure, you would get any number of explanations for that. We don't all believe in the same things.

    Here's my version (and probably the version from most of my church):

    1) God is all knowing and knew that we - humans - would create evil behavior

    2) God gave us free will to experience, learn and grow - preventing our self created evil prevents us from learning the lessons we've chosen

    3) This life is temporal - existence is eternal - when we move on to the next level, there will be no evil there because it is man-made.

  • 1 decade ago

    Alright, let me put my cards on the table - i'm an atheist. However, the types of questions your asking have been thought about by our best philosophical minds for over a millenia. So in honor of their struggles...

    You have a number of inherent assumptions you'd have to clarify first.

    1.) Define Good. If standards for goodness can differ not only across cultures but also between two different people, how much so would it differ between a physical carbon-based/5 senses only person such as myself vs. a theoretical entity that can access all of reality?

    Is goodness inherent - as in there's an absolute characteristic to it that underpins all of reality (corollary: Think like Gravity)?

    Or is it based simply on the prerogative of the person/being?

    2.) Define All-Powerful? Many of the Abrahamic religions (and Buddhism as well) have an element of choice in their doctrines and beliefs. Determinism is something antithetical because it seems to them akin to a form of predestination.

    If the being in question is All-Powerful - how much level of choice do you believe that the being in question has allowed to humans?

    The more choice allowed, the more variation in our interactions are allowed, the more chances for umm.. non-ideal outcomes can occur.

    EDIT - As to the existence of a God, that's an ontological question, whereas the person here simply asked how if such a theoretical being existed how could it be good and all-powerful.

    Source(s): About 2,000 yrs worth of Western Philosophy and Theology.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    God doesn't prevent evil from arising? The world would be full of Hitlers if He wasn't in control! I think God does keep evil from rising up and swallowing us up.

    However, evil is the result of mans desire to sin against God - If God did eliminate evil - then that means He would have to take away our free will since evil is the result of sin - but He doesn't want us to worship and love Him because we're forced to - but because we choose to - even the angels have been given free will to worship or reject him -

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.