Salam (Fancy way of saying Peace be upon you) and I’ve got a lot to tell you today. There was a recent debate (Feb 1st I think) between the famous Christian apologist and philosopher William Lane Craig and Dr. Alex Rosenberg of Notre Dame held at Perdue University. Now I was pumped (watched a full 20 minutes!) for this clash and I have to say I was expecting some awesome arguments from Dr.Rosenberg. But his opening remarks disappointed me, so I stopped watching and went on to do more productive things (not really). The topic was “Is belief in God Reasonable?”. Craig opens with a few of the classic arguments for the existence of God (which I don’t have the time or interest in discussing). Rosenberg hits back with a bazooka of witty and sharp punches! Wait…..no he doesn’t. His most poignant reason made me frown. Evil. Oh boy the old evil argument. Rosenberg argued that since God is Omnipotent and Benevolent, there should be less suffering or at least a alleviation of suffering in the world. But quite the contrary as we all know, trouble continues to brew in the world. Leaders play deadly games of power and the common folk and poor are left to rot.
[Insert starving children in Africa line here].
Ok, now this is actually a good argument if you’re talking to a person who believes God is ALL love. We Muslims don’t have this problem. God has 99 names and Incompetent ain’t one. Out of the 99, He calls himself “Rahim” (Benevolent, Merciful) and Wadud(Loving like a mothers love). Wait! He is also Al-Muntaqim(The Avenger)! Does God calling himself “Avenger” scare you or make Allah that much more awesome? Aha! Doesn’t Rosenberg’s objection still apply? I’m afraid not. Allah, Lord Creator of Man and his free will also goes by another name, Al-Hakim, The WISE. The Wise…. the wise…… I’ll let that sink in.
God is wise, he is wisdom. He knows, we do not. God is Al Adl (The Just) and it’s not coincidence Al-Hakim and Al-Adl go hand in hand. Those who whine about the problem of Evil on earth forget the existence of 1)Human freewill and 2)Allah’s Wisdom. Evil is the result of freewill. With no evil, there is no scale. With no bad decisions, no failures, no sickness, no disease, there is no growth, no ultimate good, no heroes, no villains, no humans. Just watch WALL-E for godsake! Emerson argued heroes would not exist without injustice in The Conservative. Emerson! The nature loving peaceful pacifist hippy of the 19th century! Geez!
If Allah wanted his creation to be lovely pacifists, he would have created another species of Angels(they take no interest in money or women or serial killings). If he wanted a paradise on earth, surely there would not be one in heaven. Humans screw up. Adam did, so can you. Humans are also insane as a result of the choices they make or made for them by….wait….other humans. Bad things happen and we can’t have nice things, but isn’t that the entire framework of nature? A tree does not grow without first being buried underground and the sun doesn’t shine without a billion cosmic explosions and fusion reactions in it’s core. Maybe evil is growth, or maybe it is there as a test of our faith to be judged later by God himself. Emerson in Compensation tells me every debt is repaid in full in this world. False. To me no amount of emotional suffering or a thousand suicides can compensate for the crimes of Adolf Hitler. His victims? Maybe they are blessed with God’s company, we find out once we wake up from our graves.
The question of why evil exists is a valid question and I seek not to undermine it. But to me, the question becomes serious if one does not believe in an Afterlife or in a wise God. Allah had created the good and the evil, get over it and stop sulking. Focus on ridding those evils with good deeds.In the Afterlife, that’s the only currency that matters.
Link to debate:
IS FAITH IN GOD REASONABLE