JAM, sorry the reply button got pressed accidentally. Now your first question Why did god create evil? I will try to do it in the context of Hinduism as talking about other religions may become controversial. In our Gita and Bhagvatham there is no such thing as pure evil. Good and evil are relative terms and cannot exist without each other.What we perceive as good exists only because of existence of evil.
2.Evil or good cannot stand on their own.The difference between them according to the Vedanta is only the degree. You know good because there is evil.You have evil to compare with so you understand good.
3.Same thing can appear good and evil from different angles. Electricity can kill people ,it can also give light, fire can burn people it can help us to cook, river gives us water for irrigation but it can also cause floods.
4.There is no good or evil.It exists only in the mind.What gives us happiness is good what gives us misery is bad.
5.There is no absolute good or bad ,it is relative.
6.Some events may be good for one and bad for another .Like if there is a famine in India ,it is bad for us but if we buy crops from US farmers than it is good for them.
7.We condemn a murderer and put him in prison while a soldier gets a medal in the battlefield.
8.Sharp demarcation between good and evil cannot be drawn.
9.God is like a sun who shines on all be it a good soul or a sinner.He does not discriminate.
10.The nature of the effect will be the same as the cause.Whatever you do using your mind which will have the power to discriminate to you what is good and bad, you will face the consequences in this birth or the next. The universe as such is not good or evil.It is a divine energy.However law of action reaction exists. JAM it is too wide a subject to be discussed in the forum. If I ever get to meet you I can explain it better.It requires a very detailed description.
Edited by UMDU - 15 November 2012 at 2:42pm