Is “evil“ a Necessary and Constitutive Element of Created Beings?
On the Question of “malum” and “defectus naturae” in the Present Discussion and in Thomas Aquinas
(FKTh 2021-4, p. 273–285)
The paper touches on the theodicy question in contemporary debate, which is sometimes used as an occasion to reject theism or to consider evil as a ne- cessary moment of the created world. Some theologians seek with Leibniz a justification of God‘s action in terms of all the imperfections that occur in the world, relativizing evil as measured against the greatest possible perfection of the universe. Otherssee a structural necessity, due to the contingency of finite things, of evil as it is encountered by man. Certain distinctions made in Thomas Aquinas when he speaks of the finitude of things and the positivity of being as well as the defectibility of things may prove helpful in avoiding cognitional difficulties. For Thomas, the perfection of the divine creative action cannot be measured by an actual or possible created effect. Even in a contingent and defectible creation, God‘s goodness communicates itself in a perfect way.