Grasping the universe is a stiff challenge

In order for humanity to realize love, our world must operate free from intervention.

The Argument from Natural Evil” discussed by Nick Woomer on Jan. 24 presents an understandable view of what constitutes goodness, power and love.

From our standpoint, it only makes sense that an all-powerful being should be able to stop natural disasters from causing pain and suffering in the humans it supposedly loves.

However, let’s step back and take a broader view of an all-knowing, powerful and loving God. Tease your intellect momentarily and imagine you are this God.

If you wanted to create individual beings with the ability to love (the mechanism with which to do so is not at issue here) and the need to experience love, how would that play out?

First, you’d need a neutral something for them to exist in, an environment – because without this, the individuals could not be distinguished. This environment would have to operate independently, because your intervention in it would nullify a second necessity: freedom from you. To truly be able to love and experience love, the beings would need freedom of choice, action and thought.

The consequences of these essential elements include both the possibility that the environment will not be amenable to all beings at all times, and the possibility for the beings to choose to harm instead of love or to not love you in return.

This begs the question – is the price for real love worth the cost of pain and hurt? Only an all-knowing God would really be able to answer that. These ideas summarize a much better articulated discussion in C.S. Lewis’ “The Problem of Pain.” Check it out.

A final thought from the book: “The spectacle of the universe as revealed by experience can never have been the ground of religion; it must always have been something in spite of which religion, acquired from a different source, was held.”

Sara Simmers is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]