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There is the proposition that if evil exists in the world then how could an omnipotent, omnipresent God allow that evil to happen.

The Abrahamic faiths propose that God created the garden of Eden which was a place free from evil and was a paradise for Adam and Eve.

Bad happens in the world. I can verify that as an observer of it.

A world without evil would negate the argument from evil.

Did god first create a world without evil according to the Abrahamic faiths?

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    The question at the end of the body seems more like a religion question. I'd say that given a specification of what the Abrahamic faiths assert about good/evil pre-fall, the title question should be on topic here.
    – Dave
    Commented Jan 24 at 14:25
  • @gs That's like the "If God is omnicient, why do we need to pray, since he knows what we wish for?" paradox. Religion isn't rational, practically anything can be subsumed under "God works in mysterious ways."
    – Barmar
    Commented Jan 25 at 15:54
  • @Barmar Well that is easy. As with sacrifices, or temples or rituals - it is never God that needs it, it is for the benefit of the person doing it.
    – kutschkem
    Commented Jan 26 at 9:25

9 Answers 9

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That doesn't really "solve" the problem, so much as displace it, since the Garden of Eden is NOT the world we currently live in (unless we're much deceived).

  • I'm not a student of Islamic theology, but to my knowledge, one orthodox Islamic solution to the problem is that what we view as "evil" is just a result of our limited understanding of God's plan. Accordingly, Satan, in Islamic theology, is often viewed as a "misguided" servant of God--jealous and a sworn enemy to humanity, but ultimately subordinate to God. Like everything else, Satan, and the apparent evil he causes, are NOT outside the sphere of God's control, which is all things. As in the Platonic tradition, evil is ultimately just an illusion.

  • The Christian church, under the guidance of Augustine, went a different direction, to the effect that evil is a result of human beings' misuse of the divine gift of free will. In other words, God is capable of preventing evil, but that would come at the cost of the elimination of free will. In this conception, Adam's (and Eve's) choice to eat the apple in the Garden is equated (either metaphorically or not) to the birth of free will, and the consequent evil of not being in accordance with God's will.

  • He certainly wasn't an orthodox Jewish theologian, but Leibniz, with roots in the Jewish tradition, proposed a third solution (with some aspects of the other two), which is that this world is the "best of all possible worlds," meaning that the all the apparent defects of the world, including the appearance of evil, are necessary to the world's existence. We might not be able to explain why God created the world at all, but given that the world exists, it must be as it is, in the same fundamental sense as 2 + 2 must equal 4.

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  • In the Sufi tradition, when the Almighty told the angels to bow before Adam, the Satan (the Accuser) disobeyed. She told the Almighty that her loyalty is to him alone and she is not going to bow before anyone else. Their relationship reminds me that of Zeus and Hera. Commented Jan 25 at 6:56
  • What analyses like these seem to usually omit re. Christianity's stance, is a mayor part of Christianity's teaching foresees a time when God will conquer evil and have everything return under his authority. In other words, the evil we see now is a temporary state and not God's final design. The argument from evil is thus pretty moot for a christian living in forward-looking faith.
    – frIT
    Commented Jan 25 at 10:28
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The problem of evil certainly isn't "solved", but there are attempts to address it, and responses to those attempts.

Note that the problem of evil relates to the existence of evil and/or (unnecessary) suffering.

I'll focus on Christianity, as that's what I'm most familiar with and that's the predominant religion in the western English-speaking world.

Most Christians seem to accept that God is all-loving and all-powerful, but if someone doesn't, the problem of evil would not apply (but it may create other problems).

Within Christianity, there are some who believe in a literal garden of Eden with a literal Adam and Eve (typically as part of a literal interpretation of the Bible involving a belief in a young Earth, contrary to significant evidence from many scientific fields). Others may consider God to have triggered the Big Bang and/or guided evolution, among other views.

There are various responses to the problem of evil, that each have their own problems. Here are the most common ones I've seen:

  • "Evil" is not defined without God, and therefore someone who rejects God's existence cannot make the argument.

    I'd consider this to be somewhat of a low-hanging fruit, rather than an argument that's taken seriously, as it's addressed by the basics of logic. It's perfectly valid to point out internal inconsistency in a worldview, or to present a proof by contradiction by assuming something you don't accept in order to disprove it.

    If we go with suffering instead of evil, this is also not a problem.

  • All suffering serves some greater good.

    This is unfalsifiable, as we don't know everything. But it doesn't seem very compelling, given the excessive amounts of suffering in the world.

    If God is all-powerful, note that God has access to any and every means to achieve some goal, which includes having just created the world differently originally, inducing hallucinations, freely and instantly manipulating any amount of matter or even just breaking causality for a while. The power of an all-powerful being can't be understated.

    The problem of evil just needs there to be 1 single instance of suffering which doesn't serve some greater good, or for which the greater good could've been achieved with less suffering. Just one second of suffering that isn't strictly necessary in the years of suffering that one of the children with cancer would experience, or in the suffering experienced by people who've had a worm burrow underneath their skin, which needed to be painfully extracted over months, or in the suffering of those with chronic health conditions, who might experience severe pain every day for decades. It would be bold to claim that there are zero such instances, and it seems reasonable to say that such a claim is not derived from any available evidence linking suffering to greater goods, but rather is just based on a presupposition of God's existence.

    A common theist response is that "God is beyond understanding", so we can't know whether suffering leads to a greater good, but as far as we can tell, it certainly seems that suffering doesn't lead to a greater good. One can also say that God is actually evil, all the good in the world leads to some greater evil, and it's merely beyond our understanding how that happens. "Beyond understanding" can be used to defend anything, therefore it can be used to defend nothing.

  • You need to suffer for spiritual grow.

    This is very similar to the point on "greater good" and "beyond understanding", in that you can merely claim this, even though many instances of suffering doesn't appear to lead to any sort of growth. The burden of proof here would be on the theist.

    One can also posit that God could've created a person with that growth already having happened, which would eliminate the need for the suffering, or find a way to have them grow in that way without said suffering (which could include creating them so as to be able to grow in that way).

  • Evil is a necessary result of people having free will.

    Imagine a parent sitting idly by and watching their one child physically beating their other child. When challenged on this, they defend their inaction by saying it's important for their children to have freedom.

    Most people would consider this to be absurd and disgusting, yet the same argument is being used to defend God's inaction. We're supposed to accept that our freedom to inflict any amount of harm on others is more important than our right to not have such harm inflicted on us.

    Let's just reiterate that God is claimed to be all-powerful. So they can stop a punch or a bullet in mid air, but they often choose not to.

    Putting that aside, this doesn't explain natural disasters and disease. At best you can say that man's actions "brought evil into the world", but while one might defend that theologically, I don't see how that makes sense within the context of the laws of physics, and it doesn't really explain why God allows that to keep existing in the world.

    If one accepts evolution, yet another issue is that there is billions of years of animal suffering prior to the first humans. For this, one would kind of need to take the position that animals can't experience suffering, but it certainly seems like they can. Then again, people are very selective about how much they care about animal suffering (given the egregious suffering animals experience in factory farms) - this is not to say much about the validity of the pre-humanity animal suffering objection, but it does mean that people may not find it to be that compelling.

  • Suffering on Earth is irrelevant on an eternal timescale.

    The issue is that we don't live on an eternal timescale, and any suffering we experience forms a significant part of everything we've ever known. So even if we'd look back on today in a billion years and see it as irrelevant, that still doesn't make it irrelevant to us now.

    I'm also not convinced that it is actually irrelevant on an eternal timescale. Following this logic, you should be perfectly fine with extreme suffering for like a second, because that's a negligible part of the average lifespan of the average person of 80-or-so years. Maybe N units for suffering for 1 second in an 80-year life is too much, but for the argument to work for eternity, there necessarily needs to be a point where you'd be perfectly fine with any amount of suffering, as long as your finite life continues for long enough after that (and rest of your life would be the same with or without that suffering - you're not trading one for the other, because the premise is that it should be irrelevant).

    One could potentially say that suffering is less severe on an eternal timescale, and combine this with the other arguments, but this doesn't solve the problem, as even a miniscule amount of unnecessary suffering would not be compatible with an all-loving and all-powerful god.


If you want to know more about whether, when and how religions say evil came into the world, I'd suggest asking that on a site dedicated to theology, hermeneutics, etc. rather than philosophy.

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I think it might make more sense to say that the story of the Garden of Eden explains the problem of evil. Even to a child's curious mind, the question seems to present itself. If there is all powerful and benevolent God, why does he allow evil to continue? The answer to such a question is thus given by placing the blame squarely on Adam and Eve in such a myth. Following that, the Abrahamic faiths prescribe on behalf of God rules of behavior, and the latter two feature myths of reward in the afterlife.

Thus, what the Abrahamic religions solve is the problem of meta-narrative borrowing heavily from, perhaps, Zoroaster, a number of myths including the Flood narrative and an eschatology in 2 of the 3 cases. In this way, these religions and their myths fulfill their roll of providing a simple epistemological tool box to answer these and other questions such as: Why would a good God allow bad things to happen? How did the universe come to be? What is right and wrong? And so on.

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My answer is about Islamic theology because it does not seem like other answers understand or mention it.

Firstly, Islam does not propose the notion that evil (or us being in this world) is Adam (AS)'s fault nor does it propose that the Garden was free from "evil" in the sense we understand it. That seems to be particularly Christian theology (I don't know about Judaism).

But, Islam does respond to the problem of evil within the story of Adam (AS) in a different way.

The following is the first part of story of Adam (AS) from the Quran paraphrased (verses 2:30-39):

God told the angels: I will make a caretaker for earth [who has free will to do good or evil].

The angels asked: Will you make on earth someone who will spread corruption and spill blood? Even though we're already here and do nothing but worship and praise you?

God said: I know what you don't know.

God created Adam (AS) and taught him the names of every human that would ever be from his descendants.

Then, he presented those humans to the angels and said: Tell me their names if you think you know.

The angels responded: We only know what you have taught us.

God told Adam to tell them the names, then He said: Didn't I tell you I know what you don't know?

This first part of the story essentially responds to the problem of evil in the following two (related) way:

  • You might perceive something as evil but God knows it is not actually evil. God knows what you do not know.

  • You might perceive XYZ suffering as useless, but God knows it is worth it. Essentially, his response to the angels is: You do not know how many great humans will exist because of this decision to allow suffering and give them free will. Their ability to choose evil but still choosing good and their patience is what will make them so morally excellent, and just their existence is worth it.

It is important to note here that Islam breaks away from Christianity's interpretation of the story of Adam, that he was created to be perfect and be in an environment without suffering but caused himself to get there due to his own mistake.

According to Islam, humans were always meant to end up as caretakers of earth, with all its good and evil. Adam (AS) being in Paradise was always temporary.

The second part of the story of Adam (AS) is almost the story of the Iblis (satan). The following is paraphrased from the Quran (verses 7:12-18 and verses 15:28-44):

After God finished creating Adam (AS), he said to the angels (and everyone else in heaven): When I blow a soul into him, prostrate to him.

All the angels prostrated, but Iblis did not prostrate. He was one of species of the Jinn, not an angel, so he did have the ability to disobey. [He had gained a lot of rank due to his previous piety to the point of living among the angels.]

God asked him: What stopped you from prostrating when I commanded you to do it?

Iblis said: How can I prostrate to something you created from mud and clay?

God said: Are you arrogant now? I created him with my own hands.

Iblis said: I am better than him! You created him from clay and me from fire.

God said: Get out of here, you are expelled and dishonored. It is not for you to be arrogant in heaven.

Iblis said: Is this really the one you honor over me? If you let me live until the day they are resurrected, I will definitely be able to destroy most of his descendants!

God said: You will live until a specified day I decide.

Iblis said: Because you put me into error, I will wait for them on the straight path. I will attack them from the right and the left and from the front and the back and make sins attractive to them. You will not find most of them to be grateful.

God said: Get out of here, cursed and rejected. Whoever follows you from them, I will put all of you in Hell together. Try whatever you want to misguide them and promise them all the lies you want. As for my servants, you will not be able to control them.

The second part of the story talks about the problem of evil in the following two ways:

  • It discusses one of the reasons we are tempted to do evil. The first sin, according to Islam, was arrogance and jealousy.

  • It also emphasizes that something might seem incorrect to us but it is correct in God's wisdom, and in that case, we should trust God's wisdom over our personal view.

  • It gives the first archetype of how to respond to being punished for an evil you've done. The first archetype is to be like Iblis and double down on your mistake and harden your stance.

The third part of the story, which is the fall of Adam (AS) and the only part mentioned in the Bible as well, is paraphrased as the following (verses 7:19-25 and 20:115):

God said to Adam (AS) after expelling Iblis: O Adam, live in Paradise with your wife. You will neither be hungry nor thirsty in Paradise. You will also neither be unclothed nor feel hot. Eat whatever you want in Paradise except this tree. If you eat this tree, you will have done wrong.

And God said: O Adam, this Iblis is an enemy for you and your wife, so don't let him get you expelled from Paradise.

Iblis whispered to Adam's mind and sent him things to tempt him: O Adam, what if I could show you a tree of eternal life and power.

He said to him: Your Lord only forbade you from eating this tree because he did not want you to become like angels and become immortal.

So, Adam (AS) forgot the warning and the two of them ate from the tree, and their clothes fell off of them. They started frantically covering themselves with the leaves of Paradise.

God called out to them: Didn't I forbid you from this tree and tell you Satan is a clear enemy to you? Descend from here all of you as enemies to each other. And you will have provision and a place to live on earth for some time.

Adam and his wife regretted what they did and sought repentance, so God taught them what to say.

They both said: Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if you do not forgive us and have mercy on us, we will surely be among the losers.

So, God accepted their repentance. He is always willing to accept repentance.

God said: Still, descend from here all of you, some of you are enemies to each other. On earth you will live, and in it you will die, and from it you will return.

And God said: Whenever guidance comes to you from me, whoever follows that guidance will be safe. But, whoever disbelieves in our revelation, those will be the people of the fire.

Then, God said in the Quran:

O children of Adam, let not Satan tempt you as he removed your parents from Paradise, stripping them of their clothing to show them their private parts. Indeed, he sees you, he and his tribe, from where you do not see them. Indeed, We have made the devils allies to those who do not believe. (7:27)

Some corrections (in our view) to the Bible are apparent in this story. But, the main ideas about the problem of evil that can be derived are:

  • Adam was always meant for earth, but God let him stay in Paradise for a specific purpose: a test. A purpose of this test was to give people an archetype of what to follow when you inevitably make a mistake. So, the evil and suffering of this world is likewise a test, both the pleasure and the pain. That is related to one of the Islamic responses to the problem of evil: this life is a test between good and evil, and suffering is a part of that test.

  • Adam's test in Paradise portrays the second archetype for how to respond to a mistake you made. Unlike Iblis, Adam (AS) did not double down. He regretted and wanted to repent, and God accepted His repentance. This is an elaboration of one of the benefits of evil and suffering. They make good people portray qualities of excellence, like regret and repentance, thus raising their moral status. So, the existence of suffering in fact can lead to such good that is not found elsewhere.

  • Then, God sent Adam down to earth as part of the original plan, not as a punishment for him. That is where he was always meant to live and die before the Day of Judgement.

As for whether this solves the problem of evil, I would say it does. There is no absolute evil in the world, only things that seem evil seen from a certain context. But, in reality, all suffering and the ability for humans to do evil has greater benefit in the wisdom of God that we may not always understand.

As for the original question:

A world without evil would negate the argument from evil.

This is false. A single world without evil doesn't negate the problem of evil. Only everything that was created being without evil negates it.

Did god first create a world without evil according to the Abrahamic faiths?

Paradise, according to Islam, was without suffering, but Adam (AS) specifically still had the ability to choose evil actions in Paradise.

That being said, a single world without evil, even if were created first, doesn't solve the problem of evil as mentioned.

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    Thanks for the answer I have little to no knowledge of Islam so its been an education reading your answer thanks again :-).
    – 8Mad0Manc8
    Commented Jan 25 at 18:59
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At the risk of introducing a novel philosophy which to my knowledge is not a part of any religious tradition, I note that in Genesis 3, what brings evil into the world is that mankind gains the knowledge of good and evil rather than any real change in circumstances. After Adam and Eve eat of the tree, they start to understand lust and the dangers that poses for the woman, and perhaps they begin to understand fatherhood and the man's interest in keeping a woman for himself, so they wear clothing. They start to fear starvation and death, so they start tilling the fields in an effort to gain more food security. They start to fear pain and to fear the death of their children, so childbirth becomes a time of pain and suffering.

Before eating of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, mankind was like an animal, living in the present, fearing neither pain, nor loss, nor death. They felt pain and loss and death, but they did not fear those things or dwell on them; they were not driven by that fear. They just dealt with life as it came. Knowledge of good and evil made them aware of how things could be good, and made them recognize the opposite, that things could be evil. Before that happened, before they began to understand that there was an alternative, they couldn't suffer, they could only experience life in one aspect or another.

This account of Genesis 3 suggests another alternative to the problem of good and evil, and one that some Christians have put forward: that suffering is, in some sense, a result of our rejection of reality rather than a part of reality itself.

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  • Gen 2,4-24 does not say: "They felt pain and loss and death [...]" Neither of the three is an issue in this chapter. Instead the chapter tells us that God creates a companion for Adam. God needs two attempts ...
    – Jo Wehler
    Commented Jan 24 at 19:08
  • @JoWehler, Genesis 3 does. Commented Jan 24 at 19:20
  • Gen 3 deals with taking the fruit and the consequences. That's a new episode, dealing no longer with the original status of the garden in Eden. You consider - also in your general answer - the whole narration Gen 2, 4 - Gen 3,24. But the OP's question in his last sentence is definitely about the primordial status of the garden in Eden.
    – Jo Wehler
    Commented Jan 24 at 19:40
  • @JoWehler, and to know what the primordial status was, you have to read the rest of the story to see what changed. Commented Jan 24 at 19:43
  • @What changed? The intervention of the serpent, Eva's reflection and the action of the two humans. Crucial actions, but not actions of the creator of the garden in Eden.
    – Jo Wehler
    Commented Jan 24 at 19:50
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Perhaps that's the main reason why we have three major iterations of Abrahamic faith, none of which managed to convince everyone -- they don't solve the problem of evil. They all insist on God being omnipotent, and there is simply no way for an omnipotent God to be also benevolent. Sure we were given the free will, but why we were also given the desire to sin? Why we are not born with the knowledge of the truth, leaving each of us traumatized and stumbling for it in the darkness?

It makes more sense to accept that there is something out there, and that's why many people feel its presence.1 But whatever it might be, it is not omnipotent, and it cannot change human nature.

1 This same feeling might also be responsible for many conspiracy theories out there. I don't remember who said that we stopped believing in God and now we wonder what's in his place.

UPDATE: But then I asked ChatGPT -- it's from To Kill a Mockingbird.
UPDATE 2: ChatGPT lied :/

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  • Are you sure it's from To Kill a Mockingbird?
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Jan 25 at 23:08
  • You're right, I should have known better than to trust ChatGPT... I actually asked it for the context, and it hallucinated me a whole page ending with this quote, allegedly by Miss Maudie :/ Commented Jan 25 at 23:53
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There is the proposition that if evil exists in the world then how could an omnipotent, omnipresent God allow that evil to happen.

This is not a proposition, but a question with premises embedded in it. Omnipotence is often misunderstood to be self-contrary, but that is a misframing. Omnipresence is a creed; God's physical presence is not everywhere, although influences emanating from Him and pointing to Him may be felt everywhere. I will simplify this and eliminate unscriptural credal influences by rephrasing it as, "How could a loving God allow evil?"

The Abrahamic faiths propose that God created the garden of Eden which was a place free from evil and was a paradise for Adam and Eve.

Correct. See Genesis 1-3.

Bad happens in the world. I can verify that as an observer of it.

Correct.

A world without evil would negate the argument from evil.

No contest.

Did God first create a world without evil according to the Abrahamic faiths?

Yes, of course. Genesis 1:31: "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good"; therefore nothing that God created was evil.

Do the Abrahamic faiths solve the argument from evil?

The Abrahamic faith, in other words, the religion of Jesus Christ, does solve the argument from evil because God did not create evil, and He also provided the means of overcoming it.

The notion that God created evil stems from an egregious mistranslation of the term used in Genesis 1:1, which has very unfortunately been parroted by exceedingly many denominations professing Christianity (and perhaps other groups claiming Abrahamic origin).

Joseph Smith, the translator and prophet of restoration of true Christianity, said:

The word create came from "baurau" which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship. Hence, we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos -- chaotic matter, which is element, and in which dwells all the glory. Element had an existence from the time he had. The pure principles of element are principles which can never be destroyed; they may be organized and reorganized, but not destroyed. They had no beginning, and can have no end." Source: King Follett Discourse

Creation was not some ex nihilo event. All the matter that exists now has always existed, and will always exist. God's organization of that matter did not poof evil out of nowhere or any such thing. Rather, all of the organization of matter that God performed resulted in products that were wholly good and without defects.

Importantly, in addition to matter, there are other active elements in the universe that God did not "create" or cause to poof into being:

I am dwelling on the immortality of the spirit of man. Is it logical to say that the intelligence of spirits is immortal, and yet that it had a beginning? The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end. That is good logic. That which has a beginning may have an end. There never was a time when there were not spirits; for they are [co-eternal] with our Father in heaven. King Follett Discourse

The will of man is not a product of the Creation. Every entity, spirit or intelligence that inhabits and directs each of the bodies of each man, woman and child has always existed; it never had a beginning and it will not and cannot have an end. When men sin, they cannot blame God for their evil actions, because they produced the evil of their own selves. This is inherent in the observation that God gave to man the prerogative to act within the environment and in the body that God created for each of us. Your individual spirit always was and still is a distinct thinking and acting entity. The spirit or intelligence of man is not fungible, nor is it transferable. Each of us will stand to account before God for what we did with the opportunities we were given in this life.

Once we eliminate the false doctrine of ex nihilo, it becomes apparent that God is not responsible for evil.

men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression. Article of Faith 2

Life is a test. Our fate is not yet certain. We are capacitated to act. This is inherent and evident beginning from Genesis chapter 2, in which God commands Adam and Eve not to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Thus God gave them choice but He never did and never could create evil. God will judge us for our deeds and for our desires, and assign each of us a permanent abode corresponding to the degree of fidelity and earnestness we exhibited for good or evil.

We are agents unto ourselves and we can choose to do good or evil.

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God does not change. Truth does not change. Sin is a class of behaviors that hasten death, one's own and/or that of others. I stress hastens rather than causes, because the penalties for sin are almost never realized immediately.

Righteousness preserves life, one's own and/or that of others. God is like One Who can see. He created the Universe in a certain way, a way that pleased himself, as His greatest act of love.

He imparted to mankind a way to avoid difficult life and subsequent death--don't eat from the forbidden tree. Man disobeyed God, and became blind to the Truth. Man's will diverged from God's will, because of the man's consequent loss of understanding.

God remained the same. He provided a way for man to live with his blindness (distance from God), and avoid the harm that naturally occurs when people act in conflict to the way God created the Universe.

No men existed when creation occurred. So, the way God formed creation is without bias or judgment on any human. It's just the way He wanted to do it, because it pleased Himself.

However, there is no way for man to understand how God created creation, and then derive a code of conduct to live by. So, God imparted to Moses, The Ten Commandments.

Imagine a blind man crossing the road in front of a truck, while a seeing person at the curb shouts, "Stop! You're walking in front a truck!"

The blind man replies, "You can't put you're judgments on my body! If I want to cross the road, I'll do so any time I please!"

The blind man is killed. His wife and children are thrust into poverty. And God stands on the curb watching the man die.

This is what is meant by God's judgment. Consequences of sin have nothing to do with God except that He instructed man how to avoid the predictable results of acting in conflict to the way He created the Universe.

If the blind man was not blind, he could see for himself, and would have acted differently. That's true of all mankind. If anyone knew the right thing to do, and why, he would do it.

God has been sending to mankind the means to thrive and prosper, and even to achieve immortality and absolute power over physical reality. Although, the one who knows that last part probably isn't going to explain it to anyone, because he is perfectly content with the human race ending.

Some observe God's instructions, and some don't. Pain and suffering are caused by failure to observe what is required to avoid them; not because God refuses to prevent it. God cannot seize physical control over every person, because everyone would struggle to break free, even to the point of death.

But if anyone knows Truth, free will is the casualty, because Truth comes only through full communion with God. Full communion with God makes everything visible. Then it is obvious that everything mankind has no hand in is predestined. And there are two possible end conditions for each person.

In the end, you and I will be in Heaven or Hell, period.

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The Jewish bible narrates the story about the original state of the garden of Eden in Genesis 2,4-24. The story mentions neither the concept of evil nor any specific evil, neither in the moral sense nor in the sense of natural disasters. I conclude that the issue was not relevant.

Later theologians - Jewish, Christian, Islamic - developed different theories of evil, but that’s not the subject of Genesis 2.

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    If you continue with the story, it is clearly a story of how evil entered into the world. Why would you stop halfway through the story and then claim that the story is not about it's main point because the main point doesn't occur in the first half? Commented Jan 24 at 18:18
  • @DavidGudeman Because the OP's question asks in its last sentence "Did god first create a world without evil according to the Abrahamic faiths?" The emphasis is on "first". The story with the fruit is later, here God is not involved as a creator like in Gen 2,4-24..
    – Jo Wehler
    Commented Jan 24 at 18:37
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    To know what the story is about you have to read the whole story. The chapter divisions are arbitrary divisions added much later by people who were not the original author. Commented Jan 24 at 19:21
  • @DavidGudeman However, many scholars believe that Genesis was aggregated from multiple stories. Not that this reconstruction lines up with the division Jo Wehler made: I've never heard anyone suggest that Genesis 2 and 3 were originally separate, before now.
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Jan 25 at 23:14
  • Yes, Genesis was aggregated from separate stories, but as you note, there is no motivation for dividing it between 2 and 3. Commented Jan 26 at 1:17

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