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The Problem of Evil Continues

My last cartoon was about figuring out who has the control in the relationship: you or him? And what does that mean in the bedroom?

Today’s cartoon is about my favorite holiday, Halloween. (Until Christmas, and then it’s Christmas.) I did this cartoon for the Los Angeles Times; thus, the swimming pool used as a cauldron. Of course, the quotation is from the witches in Macbeth. And although some people don’t like witches, no one doesn’t like Shakespeare, am I right? “Double, double, toil and trouble…”

But Halloween is more than a bikini, a broom, and a black cat. It’s about death.

Whenever there’s a national tragedy, or especially a personal one (and this time it’s personal for me) we all wonder, Why? And those of us who believe in God say, Why, God?

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always felt awkward talking to a therapist about religion. I’m more the talky cognitive type, and it’s hard to talk about belief and faith – again, maybe that’s me.

I went searching for answers, and I’m a little embarrassed to say I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about a Wiki page, called, The Problem of Evil. This might sound like a typical wonky Wiki page, but it turns out this is the actual name of a philosophical and religious issue.

In philosophy of religion, the problem of evil refers to the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil with an omnibenevolent, omniscient and omnipotent God.

I like the way the page uses logic:

  1. If an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god exists, then evil does not.
  2. There is evil in the world.
  3. Therefore, an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent God does not exist.

Logic isn’t a complete answer, of course, or maybe even the right approach, because so much is based on belief, but it should certainly be considered. They also give some serious thought to animals, which are the most pure if we are considering life, and which the book, The Problem of Evil, (there are actually several with this title) describes as “innocent, helpless, amoral but sentient victims.” (Animals are victims of both people and natural events.)

I was flummoxed to discover that Charles Darwin himself had given thought to God while composing his scientific studies of evolution. He wrote:

The sufferings of millions of the lower animals throughout almost endless time are apparently irreconcilable with the existence of a Creator of ‘unbounded’ goodness.

Even while he was tallying all the animals big and small, he was not just observing how things work, he was concerned by the atrocity he saw. A scientist with a big heart! I really like you, Mr. Darwin. Very sadly, as it happens, his daughter died at the age of 9 :(, which would make anyone question religion. However, he was never an atheist, but sometimes an agnostic.

So if a committed scientist like Darwin ponders religion and God as he works on theories, I guess it’s okay if I bring it up in therapy session. I mean, how can anyone ignore it, right? There probably is a way to reconcile good and evil and wisdom when death pops up its ugly head, but I continue to ask Why?

Meanwhile, I’ll cheerfully celebrate Halloween, candy, and bikinis.

Your thoughts are very welcome.

All rights reserved, and content, especially and including cartoons is copyrighted. ©Donna Barstow 2016.  And you can Like me on Facebook to get notified of new cartoons as soon as I post them.

Next, an answer you may not have thought of for a job interview.

The Problem of Evil Continues

Donna Barstow

Cartoonist for LA Times, Parade, WSJ, Glamour, PsychCentral, Barron's, Weight Watchers, and textbooks & Chicken Soup books. Author and editor of 2 cartoon books and a Barnes & Noble calendar.

I both write and draw all my cartoons. You are warmly invited to share the link to this cartoon. The full-size cartoons are all copyrighted, so please email me at pen.drawing AT g mail (squish it) for rates for use in textbooks, prints, presentations, publications, or websites. Email me AT pen.drawing @ gmail. com. (Squish the address.)

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APA Reference
, . (2016). The Problem of Evil Continues. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 31 Oct 2016
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