Evil and Worldviews

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

When people use the word evil, it can have different meanings. Angry atheists can call Christians evil for exposing their bad logic. Sometimes, people are referred to as evil simply because they do not like someone else. If you think on it, such casual references take away from what can be considered as genuinely evil. Today we are going to look at two kinds of evil in California — one is moral, the other is natural.

Two stories from California prompt us to look at what we call "evil". One is the shooting in Thousand Oaks, the other is the series of wildfires.
Credit: NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory
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First, there is the murderous rampage in Thousand Oaks. As of this writing (you may want to search for updates as information is gathered), a shooter planned his murderous attack where he killed twelve people before killing himself. Most people will not have a problem referring to this as evil.

The next item to be referred to as evil is the abundance of fast-moving wildfires. News reports include words like "ruthless" and "furious". Those are inaccurate words to use, because they commit the fallacy of reification, where non-entities (the fires) are given human characteristics, such as volition. 

In an atheistic evolutionary worldview, to call such things evil is inconsistent. The murders are simply a human bundle of chemicals acting on its impulses, and there should be no judgment of right or wrong. In the second, this universe is here by accident anyway, and stuff happens. The world keeps on turning.

However, the biblical worldview is consistent and we are justified by responding with outrage at murder, and compassion. We care about people because we are created in God's image. Also, we care about wildlife and other aspects of God's creation in California. Only the Christian worldview has the necessary preconditions of intelligibility — beginning from the first verse of the Bible.

Now I'd like to turn you over to Dr. Albert Mohler, who inspired this post. To hear the podcast or read the transcript, click on "Two stories about death and evil—one moral evil, one natural evil—dominate weekend headlines out of California".