Now that Craig has established his positive case for God, he pulls back and begins to attack some of the counter claims of atheists. One of the main issues opponents to God bring up is that of evil. If God were all powerful, certainly he would be able to stop evil. If God were all loving, certainly he would want to stop evil. And if God were all knowing, certainly he would know when evil would arise, by whom, etc. It seems, then, that an omnipotent, omniscent, omnibenevolent god would be incompatible with a world that contains evil.
Before countering the notion that a world where evil exists is incompatible with God, Craig puts
forward a very important distinction in the argument from evil. Since the issue is such an emotionally charged one, it is important to distinguish between the emotional problem of evil and the intellectual problem. Most of the time, individuals are dealing with the emotional problem. The pain of evil is so deep and so real, that loving God in that moment of suffering seems incomprehensible. Like the child who cries "I hate you" to her parents as she experiences punishment or disappointment, so it is with us. But just as disdain does not make parents non-existent entities, so it does not make a positive case against God.
There isn't really any such thing as evil, just events, actions, and feelings that a majority of individuals and culturesdislike enough to cause them to band together and suppress others who perform such acts. Morality on atheism is just majoritized preferences or observed patterns for bettering survival chances and/or pleasure of the species.
The Eastern religions and pantheism, on the other hand, tend to dismiss evil as a figment of our imaginations, or misguided ignorance - opposing our very strong intuitive notions of evil as malicious injustice that needs righted. Rather than making up a subjective fiction, like atheists, they acknowledge evil for what it logically is - nonexistent. In a world where everything is god, and everything is nature, what can possibly be "wrong?" Evil, then, is simply just a word used to describe a lack of understanding. Polytheists (if they exist anymore), like the ancient Greeks, end up clinging to a pantheon of gods that are just as tainted with evil as mortal man - leaving out any hope of resolution. Evil is just a natural truth that is a byproduct of an agent's choices and desires. And really, it's just a massive power struggle for the pantheon to fulfill their own desires, so evil ends up simply being fated inconvenience for those who are in the way of the more powerful. Evil is just the collateral damage of another's pursuit of fulfillment. We exist at the whims of gods, and maintain our existence by being of use to them or staying out of their way.
*The views and ideas on this site are in no way affiliated with any organization, business, or individuals we are a part of or work with. They're also not theological certainties. They're simply thinking out loud, on issues and difficulties as I process things.