19 Do not fret because of evildoers
or be envious of the wicked,
20 for the evildoer has no future hope,
and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.
Proverbs 24:19, 20 It Will End
A godless perspective has every reason for anxiety. If you are an atheist, there is no future hope. There is no real reason to believe that anything terrible in our present circumstances will come to an end. There is no real ‘good and evil’ for the atheist. Some things can feel bad, others can be unwanted, but wrong and right are ultimately matters of cultural or individual perspective and are just emotional words to express preferences. If there is no ‘evil’ for the true atheist, it can not be brought to an end by a moral agent like Gandhi, MLK, or Jesus.
For the agnostic, even if God exists, he or she is no ‘friend’. At best they are unknown or hidden by doubt or God’s own intent. There is uncertainty as to whether terrible things will happen. For the person who believes God exists, like demons do, but have no relationship with God, there is no real reason to hope that present suffering will end. For the Buddhist agnostic (Buddhism does not, in its nascent form, deal with the question of God), one can detach oneself from suffering emotionally but there is no freedom from real suffering. One changes one’s perception of reality, but psychologically this might be close to ‘denial’.
In classic theism (the belief in God through the ages), there is reason to believe in ‘evil’. Evil is that which twists things from God’s intent. Evil in marriage is when marriage is used for selfish or manipulative reasons. Evil in business is when transactions exploit people. These examples do not do marriage or business as God intended.
If God is essential in defining ‘evil’, God is also essential in its ending. In the end, all things will be made right. God has the ability and the will to end evil. He will end the hardships for Christians. It may come in a second life, but justice will be assured.
- What should not cause a person to fret?
- How do those who do evil cause anxiety?
- Why do people deny that evil exists?
- What evils do you have to endure?
- What evils do you long to see God take away?