The problem of evil has confounded philosophers since time immemorial. One would think that our age’s rationalistic bent and tendency to steer clear of moral judgments have finally led us to abandon this concept, shelving it together with everything else that our enlightened Western minds find hard to believe in, such as the virgin birth, the miracles of Christ, the resurrection and the tooth fairy.
Yet, unlike the above, the problem of evil stubbornly refuses to be denied. Kosovo, Cambodia and Nazi Germany serve as grim reminders, to name but a few.
One person who found that he could no longer deny the facts is noted psychiatrist and personality expert Dr. Michael H. Stone from Columbia University. Some time ago a New York Times article reported that Stone is now urging psychiatrists and forensic specialists “not to avoid thinking of the term evil when appraising certain offenders.” It is time, Stone said, to give their behaviour the “proper appellation.” According to the article Stone drew his conclusions after years of research and having examined hundreds of killers.
The same article quotes another scholar and professor of psychiatry, Dr. Robert Simon from Georgetown Medical School, as saying: “Evil is endemic, it’s constant, it is a potential in all of us. Just about everyone has committed evil acts.” Simon recently published his own findings in a book with the telling title “Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream.”
When we can no longer deny the reality of evil in our world, perhaps we shall find reason to reconsider the reality of the cross. The cross is God’s response to the problem of human evil and sin, and no less a myth or invention. When we come to terms with the problem, it should only follow naturally that we come to terms with the solution.