This semester I took a seminar class on theodicy. Theodicy is the theological/philosophical discussion of justifying a "good" or "loving" God with the reality of evil that plagues the world. Our final assignment was to come up with our own theodicy, or our own personal way that we justify a the existence and belief in a good God with evil.
Here are some high lights. (that will come in parts)
Often scholars will stray away from defining evil and point to massive historical events of suffering as examples to define evil. No doubt Hiroshima, the Holocaust, and other horrific events are accurate examples of evil, but it is dangerous to avoid defining evil. If in defining evil the hope is to better understand evil so it can be avoided in the future than a clear definition of evil must be presented. What about Stalin’s reign and the Trail of Tears should never be repeated? In defining evil we must find the underlying root that is common in everything that would be deemed evil. Evil is the simple disregard of human life, a disregard of justice, and the valuing of one life over the other. From this comes the justification necessary to allow the suffering of one or many to persist.
The Holocaust could never have been possible if the Jews lives were valued as much as Germans. In order for the final solution to go forward Jews had to become less than humans, vermin that plagued the earth from reaching its potential. It is simply impossible to put a family member or friend that you know to be deserving of life just as mush as you on a train leading to Auschwitz.