Me ~ The problem of evil is always brought up by those who don't believe in God and want to or atheists who believe and don't want to. Why does evil exist and is it everybody's problem?
John ~ Yes on both counts. Evil exists because we let it in. Adam and Eve were tempted and they ate of the seed of evil; Genesis 2: 9 They ate of... "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.". Because of that, we live in a sinful 'evil' world. The only way out is death. God informed them 'Adam and Eve' that if they ate of that tree they would surely die - Gen. 3:3. The Lord said, "I will punish the world for its evil" Isaiah 13:11.
Me ~ People today think that evil is just the bad that man does and that man only needs the law to keep him from committing evil. Is evil just that which is really bad?
John ~If evil was just that which is really bad, then whose 'bad' are we talking about?
Me ~ You have a point. If evil were just what is thought of as 'really bad', then whose bad. What is bad for me may or may not be bad for you. Sorry. I mean evil as the absolute in terms of universal meaning of the opposite of perfectly good.
John ~ So, what is perfectly good? In order to discuss the problem of evil at all, you have to accept that there is an absoulte perfectly good and its perfect opposite is evil.
Me ~ Right!
John ~Then you have your answer. Evil exists because we say that we know what is good and not only just 'good' but that there is also something which we understand as the best good - perfection. Therefore, if we know or have an idea of what is perfectly good, we also know its opposite. This is what happened. Adam and Eve were perfectly good and thus they could not know evil. Once they received the knowledge of both, they could not be both because they were created with free will. With that in mind, we could also say that because we are now fallen human beings, we are not perfect and thus are inherently evil - making the problem of evil everyone's.
Me ~Could man not have sinned and never known evil?
John ~ Perhaps... But, given that God gave man free choice/will, He knew that man would eventually make a bad 'not perfect choice' and thus sin and fall from perfection coming into this situation where we are now. Yet, God had a plan to reboot the system, His Son. By accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are truly Saved and can leave this program to re enter into the Kingdom of God, into His perfection.
The problem of evil is much bigger... why does God allow it? People ask if God is really good why does he allow evil. Well, we make choices. When Adam and Eve did not trust God, they fell into the condition/nature of evil. They decided that they wanted to know evil, and by knowing it, they also made the decision to do evil. They did the opposite of what God told them not to do. Hence, they took on the condition/nature of evil. Being righteous is that you are perfectly good and the opposite of that is evil.
If you have not been born again of the spirit you will be forever in the condition/nature of evil. There are no shades of gray. There are no gradients of good and evil. You cannot be more or less evil or righteous. Even a little evil is perfect evil and only a little good is not perfectly good. You are either perfectly righteous or perfectly evil. You stated above in order to resolve the problem of evil in our nature, a condition that we chose, He sent His Son. Those washed by the blood of Christ are made perfectly righteous in God's eyes, we have been given a gift so that we cannot boast that we saved ourselves.
Remember this, choice is the key to understanding God's love for us. We had to have free will. God wanted us to freely choose to love Him! Evil was something that He knew would happen and it did. He had a plan. Death is a blessing for us. It prevents the world from being overtaken by evil.