While the existence of evil is a serious problem, it is an even more serious problem for atheists because the existence of evil is only further evidence for God’s existence. For atheists evil is a problem because their worldview doesn’t really allow it exist. They don’t believe in God and they certainly do not believe in the devil. As one militant online atheist typed, “I don’t believe in your sky daddy or your hole hobbit.” But without God, the terms “good” and “evil” in the mouth of an atheist are subjective, relative terms, not moral absolutes.
For the atheist, there is only personal good, or societal good, or an action that is good for the species; but there is no objective foundation or standard for concepts of good and evil. Norman Geisler wrote, “Atheism cannot rationally offer a definition of evil without appealing to an ultimate standard of good.” C.S. Lewis wrote, “My argument against God was this universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”
Like Lewis, atheists know that good and evil exist; but they are not honest about what makes something good or evil. They point to evils—like the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the Salem Witch Trials—and pronounce a judgement of “guilty” upon “evil” Christians. Now, I acknowledge that Christians have made many terrible mistakes in the past, but I dispute the honesty of atheists to judge them. Lewis was an honest atheist who realized that evil, rather than being a problem for God’s existence, actually proved a good God is there.
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About the Author: Dr. Daniel King is a missionary evangelist who has traveled to over seventy nations in his quest for souls. His goal is to lead 1,000,000 people to Jesus every year through massive Gospel Festivals, distribution of literature, and leadership training. Because of his experience and research on evangelism, he is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts in mass evangelism. As an evangelist, he has a deep interest in using apologetics to convince skeptics that God is real.