We ended the October series with the enigma of an innocent sufferer in spite of God’s authentic existence and undiluted goodness. Consequent upon his promise, as noted in the preceding edition that the righteous shall live, while the wicked shall die, we still observe the suffering of the righteous. This is quite an enigma because we believe that our God is good, some may even add; all the time!!! We also assume that with God all things are possible, but it seems as if the eradication of evil is an ontological impossibility, even for God himself. If that is the case, on what ground then, do we attribute goodness and possibilities of all things to God? Perhaps there is a mistake in our conception of God as omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. Well, let us not conclude yet.
It is against this backdrop therefore, I wish to pose a fundamental question; “What is the source of evil in the world? And if we discover the source of evil, what is the attendant cause of suffering undergone by human being, ultimately? The answer to these questions must first of all clarify exactly what evil is. Let us take a concrete example. A fair skinned lady of a perfect beautiful product that the almighty God made in fine definitions was unfortunate to have a wound on the face. The wound on this face is open and painfully a torture on her. In fact, it is considered as an evil. Is the wound a thing of it’s own or is it just a lack?. It must be the later because she was not created with it. Hence the traditional explanation is that the evil of the wound is not a thing out there on its own right as a being. Besides, before incurring this wound, there was no such evil on her beautiful face. So, the evil is simply an absence, a lack, a deformity of the real being of reality of a beautiful lady. Evil is therefore, a privation. St. Augustine uses the expression privation Boni (privation of good) to describe evil. That is, the absence or lack or privation of a good that is supposed to be there, but now is missing. When the good goes away, evil has occurred. And in fact, lending credence to pantaloon Iroegbu, the cases of evil abound; natural in the deformities of nature and the cosmos, ontological in the serious limitations of being in the world, moral in crimes and atrocities, wars and terrorism, misbehavior and outright grave sins of human beings. There is pain, tormenting pain everywhere. There is suffering and anguish in the faces and minds, in the hearts and souls, in the beings and lives of millions of peoples all over the world.
We are not unaware that most of these sufferings and evils are caused by human being while others are propel by demonic and satanic forces. But in the midst of the embarrassing multiplicity of evils and woes, and suffering in the universe, there is the finisher of the human race, called God, who after creating everything found that it was good. All He created were good because they were being coming from him, who is ever good and all powerful. For to deny any of these two qualities (good and powerful) means to deny God. This is predicated on the fact that the very conception of God brings to mind; the supremely absolute being who is author of creation and distinct from it, yet providing for it. Now if we conceive Him as the ultimately ultimate on whom all existence depends ultimately, I think our conception should also follow that he is the ultimate cause of evil as evil. Well, Next week edition shall tell! Please we don’t need to rush this sensitive issue. We have to be very critical about it, till November ends. Thanks for understanding!