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Chris Baglow speaking with Dan Kuebler about how a loving God can allow evil
Purposeful UniverseJanuary 31, 20242 min read

Purposeful Lab: How Can a Loving God Allow Evil?

In today’s episode, Dan and Dr. Baglow discuss the question of evil in relation to God. Dr. Baglow, an accomplished Theologian and educator, delves into the relationship between faith and science, how evolution and evil are related, how evil can create meaning, and why an all-loving God would allow evil.  

How To Approach Faith and Science

Dr. Baglow begins by explaining how the idea that faith and science are incompatible is a misconception. In fact, many questions about the relationship between faith and science have been answered long before the modern age. Many of the biggest scientific theories, like the Big Bang, were originally proposed by men of faith, like Fr. Georges Lemaitre. Although many people still believe science and faith are incompatible, Dr. Baglow claims that the conflict thesis is one that has not stood the test of time.

The Problem of Evil

When discussing how a loving God could allow evil, Dr. Baglow explains that suffering is omnipresent throughout creation. Evolution in particular, can show people how their own experience of suffering is something which is at large through the history of humanity.

The evolutionary process is full of natural evils. Whether it be massive storms, earthquakes, diseases, or predators, in order for the world to progress, there needs to be imperfection.

However, we can look at natural evils through the lens of an all-loving creator by recognizing that the deepest meaning of suffering and evil is only answerable from outside the universe.

The Meaning of Evil

The universe is a system. However, as Dr. Baglow explains, the meaning of any system lies outside of it. For instance, the rules of football are not contained in the meaning that football gives to fans. In the same way, the meaning of suffering is not contained within the natural causes of the earth. The meaning of the privation of goodness and beauty within the universe must be contained in something outside of the universe. However, we can only know this meaning through signs. What we can know is that our suffering points to the existence of a transcendent creator. In fact, when we look at the centerpiece of the Catholic faith, we see that God gave us His son so that He could become one of us and join in our suffering to the most substantial degree. In this way, all suffering has a cruciform nature to it.

Take a Listen

This episode answers the age-old question of “Why does God allow evil.” It explains that to understand the power of hope, love, and all other virtues, suffering must be present so we can strive toward perfection. Meaning, suffering is necessary for us to understand how meaningful the universe is and how purposeful our lives can be. We are all agents of perfection within the world, and it is through our suffering that we can grow in virtue and perfection. 



Purposeful Universe

The Purposeful Universe seeks to explore and present, through award winning videos, the abundant order in nature that funnels biological systems toward increasing levels of complexity and sophistication—suggesting that human life is the purposeful outcome of a complex, ordered system.