What is Evil
Seeking to answer the question “What is evil?” provides a difficult challenge even to the most learned of scholars. This is because while the concept appears quite easy to explain overall, when one attempts to find the correct language to encompass every aspect of the term, the infinite nature of the concept becomes quite apparent. Evil, for all intents and purposes, is the antithesis of good. However, what one must realize when accepting this definition is that these definitions are bound by the constraints of culture and what is considered acceptable and unacceptable behavior. For instance, in the United States capital punishment is not considered evil because the federal government sanctions it. In other countries that renounce the use of the death penalty, the process may be seen as evil. What the above analysis indicates is that while a simple definition of evil may suffice, the true complexities of understanding the meaning of the term go much further than just a simple explication.
Now that a clear understanding of the complexity of evil has been developed it is now possible to consider how evil can exist in a world created by a good God. While it is indeed true that God created man in the image of Himself and intended for man to act in a specific way, he also gave man free will. By granting man free will, God gave man the power to choose his own destiny. Thus, although many individuals may choose to do “good” as opposed to “evil,” there are those who will invariably choose evil instead. What this effectively suggests is that the concept of free will was more important for God than the need for each individual to do good. God and Jesus teach man the pathway of good, but leave the decision of whether or not to follow this path up to the discretion of the individual.
With the realization that free will takes precedence over every individual doing good, when one looks carefully at the world it seems reasonable to argue that there appears to be more evil in the world than there is good. In fact, one only needs to pick up a newspaper to see that evil far outweighs good in the world.