Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ruminations on Evil and Choice

From my wife's blog:
Note: As Easter approaches, I am going to spend some time exploring why evil is allowed in our world. How did we go from the Garden of Eden to the Garden of Gethsemane?

“Why Didn’t God Intervene in the Holocaust?” This question initiated my spiritual search as a young person. Upon watching a film about the Holocaust in the 8th grade, I was stunned that something like this had ever happened. I knew that horrible things happen; I lived in LA next door to an LA cop, whose children loved to show me black and white photographs of crime scenes. It was the time of the Zodiac killer and Charles Manson. Clearly bad people existed and did terrible things to good people.

But watching that film set the bar higher for what man was capable of in our world. I will never forget the photographs of the heads in buckets, the bodies laid out like grotesque sardines upon the ground and the skulls staring from amongst the ashes in the crematoria. I became an atheist. No god/God in my mind could possibly exist if such evil was allowed to happen. Done.
Or so I thought. I felt for a time quite superior in choosing such a stand: hideous images and a good God? No way. And yet…when I realized that most of the Nazi perpetrators literally got away with murder, I faced another choice: if man could commit such evil and avoid the courts of human justice, then how can justice as a concept even exist? If no afterlife exists and no presiding Justice exists, then evil wins. Pure and simple. That was unacceptable.

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