The Problem of Evil

The Problem of Evil




The Problem of Evil


In religion philosophy, the problem of evil refers to the reconciliation of the existence of evil with an omniscient being in form of God. The argument based on the problem of evil depicts that there is an unlikely co-existence between the two when absolute terms are placed. St. Augustine used the theodicy, which shows ambition in providing the plausible justification through philosophy towards the existence and rebuttal on the evil argument. The problem is contained in the existence of evil and general acceptance of it by the non-believers. The influence it bears on the believers facilitates the embracing of wrongdoing. Augustine then looks at the Manichean interpretation on the matter of evil and offers a Christian solution. St. Augustine’s Christian solution to the problem of evil is not sufficient and is not all-inclusive.


The Manichean religion had an absolute depiction in light of the difference between good and evil. They believed that the world was a ground of struggle between a perfect evil destroyer against a perfect good creator. St. Augustine was dissatisfied by the Manichean cult’s interpretation. In his view, he did not support the explanation as e pursued the Christian philosophy. It is worthy to note that he belonged to the same cult before focusing on the Christian explanation to the argument on problem of evil. Indeed, he is right to disparage the existence according to the Manichean explanation but it offers a different view. The two diverse distinctions on good and bad have to exist in any circumstance. One results from the other and vice versa.

According to St. Augustine, he states that, “All of nature, therefore, is good, since the Creator of all nature is supremely good. But nature is not supremely and immutably good as is the Creator of it (Kaye & Thompson, 2007).” To the believers, the creator is good at all times. This enhances Augustine’s reason that in humanity and existence, the uncorrupted surety of good stems from the existence of the creator who is good. However, by all accounts of the creator, he masterminded the creation and the occurrence of evil from the genesis of it all. It is true that he is good but question lies as to the essence of both good and bad originating from the same creator’s work. It does not justify that everything from him is good.

Augustine logically contradicts the source of evil. In a perfect creation as he explains, evil should not be implied to be self-deriving. He is on the right path when he states that nothing went wrong in the creator’s ways. He says. “There is good reason, therefore, to praise an uncorrupted thing, and if it were indeed an incorruptible thing which could not be destroyed, it would doubtless be all the more worthy of praise (Phillips, 2005).” The above statement offers a contradictory tone. From the commencement, it should then be stated that the world was not initially perfectly created or the creator himself made it wrong. He does not justify the existence of evil from the point of view. Further explanation is countered by the evolution theory, which shows the universe starting from chaos and develops without diminishing.

The Christian solution points out to the disobedience of Adam and Eve towards God. The consequence of their actions made evil become part of their existence. The strong basis of this assertion can be attributed to the conservative beliefs to the Christians. It bases the principle of creation from the bible. In the circumspect of other beliefs and non-religious view, the justification of creation is not satisfactory. The pagans, for example exemplify the disparity of believers and non-believers. Thus, the believers are rightly justified to accept the Christian solution on good and evil as compared to the non-believers. Salvation can be attributed to the few who believe in it, therefore leaving room for those with contrary views.

Man is entitled to the choice of between good and evil. One action is distanced from the other according to the essence it carries on actions and vice-versa. Augustine says, “Actually, then, in these two contraries we call evil and good, the rule of the logicians fails to apply. No weather is both dark and bright at the same time; no food or drink is both sweet and sour at the same time (Wilkinson & Campbell, 2010).” In these statements, Augustine rightfully justifies that there is absolute distinction on the existence of good and evil. The statements add more impetus to the logical view that if a thing is good, it only exists that way and cannot be determined as evil. However, this raises doubt on the justification of the Christian solution fronted.


The problem of evil offers a point of discussion in reconciliation between the existence of evil and that of an omniscient being. St. Augustine offers a Christian solution to the problem as he bases it from the creation story of Adam and Eve. According to the Christian belief, it justifies that humans brought evil upon themselves from the disobedience of perfect God. However, the solution fails to succeed in the justification, as it is limited to the believers only. In addition, there cannot be two states of the same thing; one has to be the direct opposite of the other, thus the existence of good and evil to depict right from wrong.



Kaye, S. M., & Thomson, P. (2007). On Augustine’s Theodicy. Australia: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

Phillips, D. Z. (2005). The problem of evil & the problem of God. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

Wilkinson, M. B., & Campbell, H. N. (2010). Philosophy of religion: An introduction. London: Continuum.




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