The problem of evil is an old theological problem that has plagued God-conscious people for centuries. It’s the anthem of the atheists and a threat to many religious people, particularly to those that follow the Judeo–Christian tradition. In this tradition one of the attributes of God is the All-Good and All-Powerful and this leads to the following problem. If God is All-Good and All Powerful then he would not allow evil to exist. But since there is evil in our world, a God does not exist. This argument is probably one of the strongest philosophical arguments against the existence of God and with atheism and secularism on the rise it continues to be debated today.

The question that arises is, ‘What is Evil’? Proponents of this argument will tell you that it is something that causes harm to human beings. A tsunami, a famine, a flood, disease, poverty, rape, murder etc; the list is never ending. Here is where the irony arises. If you look at the atheist movements of recent times, you will notice that they have risen from industrialized Western nations. What is interesting is that none of the ‘evils’ that these people talk about have actually affected them. Poverty, famines and widespread disease is not something that has, for the most part, personally affected the people that are leading atheist movements in industrialized nations. Its something they see people, in Africa for example, suffer through and hence arrive at the conclusion that there isn’t a God.

One would think that this argument would be lead by people in poor developing nations where they experience ‘evil’ on a day to day basis. This, however, is not that case and in fact some of the poorest countries have the most devout believers. Also to be noted is the fact that most of the religious historical figures were generally poor as well. One would think that people deprived of the blessings of God would be the ones who turn against Him; and the blessed ones would be the ones who would be stronger in faith and would be thankful. But what I see is that the it is usually the wealthy ones that become arrogant and turn away from God while the poor bedouin is the one who turns to Him. I end with the following words from the Quran,

“Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere, who say, when afflicted with calamity: “To God We belong, and to Him is our return” – they are those on whom (Descend) blessings from God, and Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance” (Quran 2:155-157)