Originally posted by Suzianne
You cannot make a choice unless you have at least two options.
The alternative to the existence of evil is a world full of (figurative) robots with no free will.
This is the kind of thing inquisitive 15-year-olds think about sometimes. Not that I am 15.
Imagine a world that is over and done, where there were people who had free will. Is it not possible that, during the entire history of that world, none of them chose to do evil? Was this a world where they were (figurative) robots? I am guessing you'll say, no, they just were well-raised. So, robot-land is not the alternative to a world full of evil, it is the alternative to a world where evil CAN be done but not necessarily where it MUST happen. In fact, any evil act that MUST happen, wouldn't really be a freely chosen act, would it?
Now imagine a world in which God can make certain evil acts impossible to do -- the evil acts that would be the worst possible evil if freely chosen; in fact He even makes them impossible for people to imagine doing, much less, want to do. The people can imagine and choose to do all sorts of lesser acts, some of them pretty bad, and so, they are not moral robots. So this God goes ahead and makes those worst acts impossible. Less evil, but still enough.
So now there is a world where people can choose from a whole list of possible evil acts except the are some that didn't make it to the list.
But now, there are still some evil acts on the "possible" list that are the worst of the possible acts. God could also take them off the list and leave plenty of evil acts. So He does this.
You see where this is headed. The list of evil acts that are possible, eventually gets down to where the worst one is calling your sister a stupid-head. (Not that I would ever do THAT.)
But of course God made this world just right according to His plans for us.
So the amount of evil we can do must be just right. We are in a Goldilocks world, morally speaking.
Enough said. Thank you for listening.