Tuesday, August 7, 2007

What's Wrong with I.E.R. (2)

A main obstacle to faith in God (and an area of doubt for believers) is the "problem of evil." How is it possible (the question is generally posed) that there exists an all-powerful, all-loving God when we see so much pain, evil, and suffering in the world? It seems (to many) that either God is not all-powerful (cannot stop suffering), or He is not all-loving (doesn't care that there is so much suffering), or both, or that He simply doesn't exist.

This constitutes a serious and reasonable challenge to the Christian faith in particular, since the Bible does clearly characterize God as both omnipotent (all-powerful) and omni-benevolent (all-loving). I believe there are good (albeit complex) answers to this problem, and I feel it behooves every serious follower of Christ to have wrestled with the question and to be able to articulate those good answers. But my purpose here today is not to address the problem itself.

Whereas the "problem of evil" does represent a serious issue to be grappled with by believers and skeptics alike, there is one worldview whose adherents are not able to raise this question. And that worldview is moral relativism.

You see, if moral relativism is true, then the concept of 'evil' is nonsensical. To refer to something as evil is to affirm a standard of morality, and that's precisely what moral relativism denies. I believe that affirming the concept of evil is incoherent in other worldviews (like materialistic naturalism), but for the moral relativist, such incoherence entails the defining core of his worldview.

So the second thing that argues against moral relativism is this... it seems intuitively reasonable to affirm the existence of evil, and with it a moral standard against which to compare evil.


Anonymous said...

I know the problem of evil is certainly something I have grappled with and I know many people I talk to have as well. I would love for you to share some insight into this in some future blogs. Thanks and keep up the great work!

Rick Gerhardt said...

Will do.