How does our freedom of choice relate to the existence of evil
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|If God exists, why is there evil in the world? What is evil? Where did evil come from? Why doesn’t God intervene and stop all evil? How can physical evils such as earthquakes, tornadoes and cancer be explained? Is there a good reason for the existence of hell on which even some atheists would agree? What about those who have never heard the Gospel?
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 8, Cat. No. EVL
Keywords: Free Choice, Source of evil, free will,
- Ankerberg:But then, this deal called free choice, man made a choice and it affected him metaphysically, his being, by that choice. Now, let’s talk about that choice, because people mess up here. Talk about that choice a moment.
- Geisler: Well, freedom means that you could have done otherwise. You have the ability to love God or not love God. You have the ability to choose to go God’s way or go your way. If you’re not free, you’re a robot. You know, God wasn’t pulling puppet strings; we’re not puppets that He made, we’re persons. And persons are subjects – they’re “I’s,” they’re individuals. They can make choices of their own for which they are responsible. So, God made us like Himself in that He is a moral being, we’re moral beings. He is a free being, we’re free beings. And we made our free choice. Now, you can’t be free to love God if you’re not free to hate God. You can’t be free to worship God if you’re not free to blaspheme God. So, inherent in the very nature of making a free creature, which God did, is this possibility of evil. But the possibility of evil is not an evil; the possibility of evil is freedom and freedom is a good thing.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. I mean, you’re so good at just spouting these syllogisms but I had a non-Christian professor spring this same kind of syllogism on me, and I want to roll through it and I want you to unscramble it. okay? Same thing you said, just in other words. “God is absolutely perfect.” We all agree about that. “God cannot create anything imperfect.” We all agree with that one. “And a perfect creature,” he said, “cannot do evil.” We don’t agree with that and you’ve got to tell us why in a moment. “And therefore evil,” he said, “cannot arise in such a world. But evil did arise.” I mean, look around. It’s here, okay? “Evil did arise in the world, hence, either a.) God is not absolutely perfect; or b.) God did not create a perfect creature, okay? And those are false because, premise c.) a perfect creature cannot do evil, that’s not right. Why?
- Geisler: It’s not right because one of the perfections that God gave His creatures was free choice. Free choice is good. I’ve never seen anyone marching against freedom, you know, carrying a sign saying, “Down with freedom. Back to bondage. I want to do everything my mother ever told me.” Nobody ever marches against freedom. In fact, if you did march against freedom, you would be marching for it because you would be using your freedom to march against freedom. So, even an act against freedom is an act of freedom. So you can’t deny that freedom is good. Even the people who say, “I don’t think it’s good to be free,” ask them, “Do you think it was good that you could say that?” They believe it’s good to be free. So, freedom is a good, but freedom makes evil possible. A perfect being who has a perfect thing called free will can bring evil into the universe, and in fact, did. His name was Lucifer. And the next one was named Adam.