Q: If God created all things, then why is he not responsible for both the substance (good) as well as the lack of substance (evil)?
A: I’ve always enjoyed building things. Whether it’s model cars, furniture or construction work, putting something physical together that I can touch and hold and smell has always brought me great joy. This joy comes from the fact that there is a substance to whatever it is that I am creating, be it a shed, cabinet or whatever. In other words, I am creating something real. Or, more specifically, I am creating something.
The word something is made up of two words: “some” and “thing”. Seems pretty obvious. Some thing exists that has substance. Likewise, the word nothing is also made up of two words: “no” and “thing”. Again, sounds obvious. No thing exists, but only an empty space. A lack of something—which is nothing—cannot be created because their is no thing to be created.
>As Greg points out in his video “Did God create evil?” a doughnut hole cannot be created. It is simply there by default due to a lack of dough. In the winter, to combat the cold, we turn up the heat, since cold is simply the absence of heat.
One of the great philosophers and political thinkers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Edmund Burke, said, “The only thing necessary for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing.” In other words, evil prospers only when there is an absence of good being done. God cannot create evil because isn’t a thing; thus there is no thing there to be created. The very act of creating means that some thing is being created. If no thing is being created, then there is no creating taking place.
The universe was good at creation because the God who created it was and still is good. And his goodness has substance since it all comes from him.