Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian | Jan 16, 2022
When we observe the material world we find order in it, while in the human world there is seeming disorder. But, this ‘disorder’ is not a negative but rather a positive phenomenon. The positive explanation for this disorder in the human world is response to challenge.
Due to this difference, we have to apply two separate criteria to make a proper assessment of these arenas. The cosmos has to be judged by the yardstick of determinism, while the human world has to be judged by the yardstick of freedom of choice. Thanks to its deterministic nature, the material world offered the possibility of creating technology. Without its predictability, we would not have been able to utilize the resources of the material world for industrial development. It follows that in the human world, because of the total freedom enjoyed by humankind, there are inevitably many problems or challenges, and it is in meeting these challenges that we develop and advance. At the same time, regrettably, this total freedom also gives rise to evil.
The problem of evil is not a feature of the material world. It is a phenomenon peculiar to the human world. This ineluctable evil is the price that we of necessity pay for all those developments which have culminated in what we proudly refer to as civilization.