The problem of Evil

As a father, I want Basil, my son, to succeed. I try to give him everything he needs to do that. But sometimes my son surprises me by taking what I give him and doing something wonderfully unexpected. And sometimes he disappoints me by doing something bad, like hurting his little sister.

If my only concern was getting him to toe the line, then it would be possible for me to overpower him. I could make it impossible for him to do anything that would harm his sisters. I could take away his ability to do anything that would disappoint me.

However, if I did that, most people watching would say that I don’t love him. If I restrained him like this, they would say I was hurting him because I wasn’t allowing him to learn from his mistakes. And, I would never get to experience the surprise of the unexpectedly wonderful. I would loose anything resembling a relationship with him.

In relation to my son, I am all-powerful. Because I love him, I choose not to exercise all my power over him.

I value a relationship with him more than absolute perfection from him.

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