The person who rejects God based on evil’s existence has an insurmountable dilemma: if evil exists, God must also exist. The problem of evil is not a challenge to God’s existence; rather, it is inevitable proof of it.
Belief in evil necessitates belief in God. If evil exists, the converse is also true: good must exist. And because both good and evil exist, a moral lawgiver must exist. The person who denies the existence of God erodes the premise for any code of right and wrong. Either God exists and we have the problem of evil, or there is no God and no ultimate right and wrong. There is no final basis for right and wrong, no scale for good and evil, without moral law. If it’s true that good and evil exist, the corollary truth is that God must exist. We can’t have it both ways—if there is a moral law, there must be a moral lawgiver.
Nature neither necessitates nor dictates morality. From amoebae to lions, there is lawless hunting and killing, which is neither right nor wrong. Mere animal instinct exists and reigns. But not so with humans. Man possesses an innate sense of justice, law, and moral conduct. This universal knowledge of right and wrong necessitates a lawgiver, else we would be mere animals. To argue that society alone instills a sense of right and wrong is absurd—culture may shape moral conscience, but it can neither create nor dispel the intrinsic sense of right and wrong man possesses.
To deny God exists because of evil in the world doesn’t solve the problem, it only creates a larger one. The very fact that man has the moral consciousness to postulate God’s nonexistence because of evil is proof that God is real—the atheist’s avid protestation that a “good God” cannot exist because of evil in the world is sufficient proof that He indeed does.
Ultimately, one does not need to defend belief in God against evil’s existence, but rather must defend belief in evil against God’s nonexistence. Instead of posing a predicament for Christianity, the problem of evil is one of the most universally recognizable proofs that a moral lawgiver exists.
The quandary of evil which prompted Epicurus to formulate his famous deduction of God’s nonexistence in 300 B.C. persists today, and drives many to the same faulty conclusion. It is good to be angered because evil exists. But consciousness of evil should catapult us toward, and not away from, the very Lawgiver Who must exist since the problem exists.
In the end, the problem of evil is not a problem for the Christian because he has the answer; the problem of evil belongs to the naturalist.