- God created everything.
- Therefore God created evil.
- Therefore God is capable of evil.
In reality it is a ruse. It is a trick. And in a formal debate the idea is to get the pro-God debater to fall into the trap of proving that God didn't create evil, though he created everything.
The truth is that God did create everything. However, that doesn't include evil. On the surface that sounds like a contradiction. But it isn't a contradiction at all because evil is merely the absence of good. If that confuses you let me give you an analogy.
Genesis 1:1,2 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.If we look at the beginning, we see that God created the heaven and the earth. But notice what was upon the face of the deep: darkness. God did not create darkness. Darkness is the absence of light. God had not created light yet, he did that in verse 3. Evil is analogous to darkness. God didn't create evil, it is the absence of good. Good is God. Therefore evil is the absence of God.
Let's look at another passage:
I John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.We can substitute the words good for light, and evil for darkness. Therefore:
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is good, and in him is no evil at all.You cannot create something that is the absence of something else. However, you can cause it by removing the something else. For example, you can remove heat to make something cold. You can remove light to make something dark. Therefore, if you remove God you make something evil.
Just like heat and light are energy, and cold and dark are the absence of that energy, it works the same with good and evil. Good is the presence of God. Evil is the absence of God. God didn't create evil, evil is what exists when God is absent.
For example, a person is a good person when they are doing the will of God. Doing the will of God is to do what God would have you to do. IE, to do the will of God is to not sin, either by transgressing his law or by not doing things we know we should do. God is present in a person's life when they are doing his will. That person becomes evil only when they do something contrary to God's will, and therefore God is no longer present in their life.
I John explains this better than I ever could:
Going back to our earlier substitution we get:
I John 1:6,7 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in evil, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the good, as he is in the good, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.So next time an atheist busts out this argument, you can explain that evil is not created just like darkness and cold are not created. Evil is the absence of what is created by God: goodness.