A great evil happens in the world and you’re involved. Say something like a holocaust with six million murders. Or say a Soviet Stalinist cleansing in the gulag with ten times the murders of the Holocaust. Say you’re involved in this and up until that moment you were blithely pursuing your worldly pleasures with scarcely thought about the living God. You had no serious belief in anything absolute except you at the center of your pleasures.
Evil and good — whatever you think they are, they are. You’re living your life in a dream world of relativism until you see something so evil, so horrible, so great that your soul screams out with an ultimate moral indignation, No! This is absolutely evil.
“The way I feel about evil is not meaningless. There is moral reality in the world.”
And you find for the first time coming out of your mouth a moral conviction. And it startled you. Where did that come from? “I don’t believe in absolutes. I’m enjoying relativism and how much freedom it gives me to do what I damn well please. Where did that come from — this profound absolute certainty that there is such a thing as evil? Where did that come from?”
And you’re confronted in your own soul with a witness of a reality. Either you can depart from it into absurdity or you can go with what it is telling you: “It exists and it has roots. It has ground.” Your own soul is screaming, “This is absolute evil. It exists. And if somebody were to tell me right now that it’s just the vagaries of the electrochemical synapses of my mammal, primate brain on the way to some higher evolutionary animality, I would swear them into nonexistence.
“That’s not what this is. My whole soul bears witness. That’s not what this is. It is not a meaningless non-evil called electricity. It is evil. There is moral reality in the world.”
Therefore, paradoxically, the moments of greatest evil have proved to be the moments of strongest need for God and strongest evidence that there’s got to be an absolute reality that is defining these inclinations and who has written them on my heart.
It’s got to be reality. This cannot be mere evolutionary materiality and energy and time all just making me say with absolute certainty, “Evil exists.”
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