How can a good God create evil? Evil is cause of all suffering in the world and so a good God cannot be its author. Hence, no God exists. This is a favourite argument with atheists and truth be told, I understand what they’re getting at. Try as I might to avoid seeing bad things, I just cannot. Sadly, I have a facebook account and try as I might, I cannot control its feed. Sometimes really depressing things pop up. Latest is the ‘dog festival’ in Yulin, China. I would love to be a cultural relativist and say that it’s ok for them to eat dogs and cats but I cannot. To me, this is something really bad although I would not use the word ‘evil’. I cannot accept this practice at all and would gladly contribute to any campaign to stop it to lawfully stop it from happening.
This raises the question – is evil relative? I do not believe that the eaters of dogs and cats are evil but the practice itself repulses me to the core. Every time I chance upon the pictures on the internet, it haunts me for the next few days. I have a strong affinity with dogs and never miss chance to pet or even cuddle one. My neighbours’ dogs all love me without exception and so seeing their cousins being treated in that manner is simply nauseating. The ‘dog festival’ folks may as well be eating humans.
However, I have no problem consuming my fellow earthlings such as cows, chickens, sheep and fish. Why do I value their life less? Are they lesser species than dogs or cats? Some may argue so but these creatures surely value their own life. They are not willingly coming to the abattoirs wanting to become our meals.
I wonder if my readers have actually seen pictures, or worse, videos of battery farming. The suffering these animals have to endure simply so we can consume them on a scale is simply unacceptable. They are literally born to die and the life they endure in between would put even a Nazi camp commandant to shame. Yet I still consume them although to be fair, I have drastically reduced my intake and try only to consume animals raised humanely.
The above example shows that evil is indeed relative. Something I cannot bear to see, let alone practice is a casual practice in some parts of the world. Did God set which practices are good and which are evil? I believe He did but I must remain humble in the understanding that my belief is subjective to me. I cannot expect my fellow human beings to agree with me. What I can do is to persuade them in as a peaceful manner as possible that their practice is inhumane. At the same time, I should do the same for battery farming. If all the consumers of meat from battery farming and indeed deep sea fishing can reduce their meat intake by even fifty percent, we can ensure the producers can treat the animals humanely.
So why is there evil in this world when God is good? Simple – because in the struggle to overcome evil that we dig deep within ourselves and ultimately become compassionate human beings.