(Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response entitled "Yes, Virginia, there Is A Santa Claus" was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.)
Many worldviews deny the reality of evil.
Nihilism is a philosophical doctrine that suggests the lack of belief in one or more reputedly meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Evil is nonexistent from the perspective of this worldview.
Christian Scientists are among those that teach that evil is an illusion. The movement’s founder, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote, “Sin, disease, whatever seems real to material sense, is unreal.” Suffering, on this view, may appear to surround us, but this only an appearance.
In the Patheos Library Benjamin E Zeller states “Groups and subcultures within the New Age exhibit the belief differently that evil exists only as an illusion propagated by unthinking minds. A Course in Miracles, one of the most popular channeled texts of the New Age, insists that the physical world itself represents merely a shadowy projection of the power of thought. Evil, good, suffering, and pleasure do not really exist in this worldview, at least not in the bodily physical way that most people assume.”
For the atheist, life is a cosmic accident, morality is an arbitrary game by which we order our lives, and meaning is non-existent. As Oxford University’s Professor Richard Dawkins explains, human life is nothing more than a way for selfish genes to multiply and reproduce. There is no meaning or dignity to humanity. Evil cannot exist.
Of course materialism (naturalism) cannot account for evil since nothing can be inherently wrong or right. Of course, the culture-at-large believes that man is inherently good, something Scripture explicitly denies. Evil denotes an absence of good. It is that which is depraved and immoral. But without transcendent good, evil is both subjective and relative. If we deny the existence of God, we lose an objective rule of good that applies everywhere, for all time, to everyone. "Good" becomes whatever one wishes, no matter how depraved.
In 2005, Al Mohler penned some thoughts worth reading here on the goodness of God and reality of evil.
I suspect that more than a few false worldviews were shattered by the Las Vegas shooting. Reality always has a way of rudely intruding into the fantasy worldviews concocted by a world in full-scale rebellion. Truth is ultimately inescapable.
Yes, Virginia, there is real evil.