Knowing Good Without Knowing Evil
Without a doubt it is possible to know good without having to know evil. Our first parents Adam and Eve were created perfect in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1:31). Their relationship with God was based on love. They had a perfect beautiful life free from pain, sorrow, suffering, sickness and death. The Lord gave them everything they needed to be fully satisfied and happy.
There was no trace of sin and its consequences in their lives. They lived blissful lives. And could have continued in that state of joy forever. The idea that, in order for Adam and Eve to really enjoy their good life, they had to experience suffering, pain, sorrow and death is totally irrational. For example:
- A happy person doesn’t need to experience sadness and pain to appreciate his happiness.
- A healthy person doesn’t need to have cancer, heart problems, diabetes, deformities to appreciate his health.
- A happily married couple doesn’t need to experience a broken relationship and divorce to appreciate their happy marriage.
- A successful individual doesn’t need to experience financial ruin, tragic loss and poverty to appreciate his material blessings.
- A joyful mother doesn’t have to lose her child to death in order to experience the joys of motherhood.
Goodness Is Appreciated for its Own Sake
Therefore, it is absolutely false to believe that humans can best appreciate God’s goodness and blessings if there is evil in the world. Goodness is lovely, beautiful and attractive (Psalm 119:1). And it can be appreciated regardless of the existence of evil. God’s love, mercy, grace, wisdom, and justice can be appreciated without the presence of evil (Psalm 144:15). A child doesn’t have to be treated harshly by unloving abusive parents in order for him to appreciate good parents. Goodness is appreciated for it is own good qualities (Psalm 34:8).
However, there are qualities in God’s character that humans would have never fully understood if evil had never existed. Humans would have never fully understood God’s total abhorrence of sin and also His righteous character (Proverbs 6:16-19). Our God is a holy God and can’t tolerate sin. He will finally eradicate sin and those that cling to it by fire at the end of time (2 Peter 3:10). Therefore, sin will never rise again (Nahum 1:9). In this sense, sin has revealed facets of who God is that humans would have never known otherwise.
Also, now that sin has appeared, we can see God’s infinite mercy in offering the plan of salvation and redemption to man. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). There is no greater love than this (John 15:13). The Creator dying for the sinful created beings! The innocent dying for the guilty!
Thus, “the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:11-14)
In His service,