How does free choice result in 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, Free will, evil, suffering
- Ankerberg: “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, free 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.
- Ankerberg: All right, there’s a couple of questions right there. But let’s start with the statement you made in your book: “God made evil possible via free will,” which is good. Okay? “But free creatures made evil actual.” All right? The question is, if a free creature is perfect, okay? What’s even motivating him to choose evil because there’s nothing in him to start with that is evil because he was made perfect?
- Geisler: That’s a good question. It’s like asking who made God. No one made God. He was always there. What caused Lucifer to sin? No one caused him to sin. He was the cause of it. So you can’t ask, “What’s the cause of God?” since He’s the first cause; and you can’t ask, “What caused Lucifer to sin?” Because he was the first cause. So it’s what we call a category mistake. It’s like asking, “Where was the man when he jumped off the bridge?” You say, “He was in the air.” No. That was after he jumped. You say, “He was on the bridge.” No, that was before he jumped. Where was he when he jumped off the bridge? See, it’s a category mistake because jumping is a process. You see, you can’t ask a pinpoint location of a process activity, and you can’t ask, “Who made the one who made it?” because the one who made it is the one who caused it, and Lucifer caused the first sin; Adam caused the first sin among human beings, and so their free will was the first cause of sin, and there is no cause of the first cause.