A little later during the second episode of season 4 (if you want the background to this post, you should check out part I here), Dean, who has obviously been mulling all of this over, can’t keep his thoughts to himself.
Dean: See, this is why I can’t get behind God.
Sam: What are you talking about?
Dean: If He doesn’t exist, fine. Bad crap happens to good people. That’s how it is. There’s no rhyme or reason, just random, horrible, evil… I get it, I can roll with that. But if He is out there, what’s wrong with Him? Where the hell is He while all these decent people are getting torn to shreds? How does He live with Himself, you know? Why doesn’t He help?
Bobby: I ain’t touching this one with a ten feet pole.
Gotta love Bobby.
Dean’s argument is one I have heard before from many, many people; I have also read it on many, many blogs. And it’s an excellent question: if God is so loving, how can He allow for evil things to happen? If we compare God to an all-loving parent, then the argument seems even more solid; after all, a mother would do anything to protect her child from harm, even step into harms way to protect her child. Why wouldn’t God do that for us, His creation?
Then again, how do we not know God isn’t already doing that, i.e. helping us as much as He can? And if so, why isn’t He just making evil ‘disappear’ – after all, according to the lore, He would have the power to do so!
To be fair, doing so would counter the free will that He gave us. If you believe that God gave us free will when He created us, then that pretty much ties His hands when it comes to helping us. Not that He doesn’t; but perhaps doing more than He might be already doing would defeat the purpose of life as it was created. And perhaps we are just not in tune with the help He is sending us.
Another avenue worth exploring is that of the existence of evil. Does evil really exist? An apt metaphor would be that of light and darkness. Darkness doesn’t exist; rather it’s the absence of light. You don’t ‘switch on’ darkness; you switch off the light. It’s the same with evil; it’s the absence of good, not something tangible in itself. When humans don’t take ownership of their spiritual side and develop various virtues, sustained though a connection with God, they become empty, ‘evil’ shells.
The only unfortunate consequence of this is that that Satan is the absence of God, and not an entity in itself. Too bad, because something tells me that he would have a wicked sense of humour – quite literally. Then again, it’s comforting to know that Satan is only the absence of God. It makes ‘evil’ seem easier to overcome.