These two episodes (of four, the other two to be released next week) feature LDF host Dan Wotherspoon in conversation with the wonderful and ridiculously insightful Kathryn Sonntag and Danny Kofoed to talk about several topic areas regarding “evil.”
Part 1: The focus in this opening section is the nature of evil itself. Is it something that exists eternally, outside of creation and independent of it, or is it a relational concept, relying on the existence of things in relation to each other to even have meaning? The panel also focuses on “the problem of evil” which comes into play (and has side-railed many a theist’s faith) when we ask, “If God is perfectly good, and also all-powerful, why is there evil in the world?” It’s a rich discussion area in philosophy of religion but also in our own lives, especially when tragedy strikes. Does Mormonism have an different take on the question than most Christian faiths? Is this even a problem that is “solvable”?
Part 2: In this section, the discussion turns to the question of Satan/the Devil/Lucifer. Is this being and his minions responsible for temptations that lead us away from the true path? Or is there something else going on within us that gives us the impression of external forces at play when we find ourselves thinking and doing things we know are not spiritually healthy? Are both things possibly at play? Why is it important to at least consider evil as something fully personified in a being with will and destructive motives? Regardless of the factuality of the idea of a Satan character, is it helpful or harmful psychologically to believe in one? What do we gain or lose should we decide to pick just one or the other position?
These two episodes are terrific, but possibly a bit nerdy in places! Most ideas at play open up fairly clearly and quickly to application and relevance to our own lives. “Evil” is a big concept. Here in these two and the next two parts that will be released the following Tuesday, the panelists give it the chance to breathe and have various approaches interact and emerge sharper because of their being compared and discussed. Listen in!