This is obviously a very complex issue, but I’m going to make it incredibly simple:
There are several components to this question and the answer. If you are an absolute atheist, with no belief whatsoever in any kind of existance different from this plane of existence, then the answer has to be “yes” (although…I may make the case that even under this circumstance, it’s possible that the answer is no, for pretty much the same reason I am about to lay out)
If you are a Christian or some other rigid faith, your answer will be consistent with that faith, again, a yes.
But think about this possibility:
We do have an existence outside this one. When we are “dead”, we exist in a state of perfection. Perfect balance of light and dark.
You want God? Okay. God exists, let’s say, but she has no investment in how we behave. She created “life” to amuse herself. She is a * true * God, one that has no ego investment in having us worship her or conform to some complex set of rules to prove that we love her, she is not angry, or anything else manifestly human, weak and decidedly un-godlike. She just likes to watch. We are like her giant ant farm.
Or there is no God.
It makes no difference.
Because here’s what I propose is true: in either scenario, with or without God, but with an existance beyond this one, evil is a construct that exists for the same reason it exists in movies, books, and plays: to make the story more interesting. If everything was groovy all the time for everyone, life would be thunderingly dull. We wouldn’t even know how groovy it was… we require opposites for the purposes of comparing and contrasting.
But wait! Children boiled in oil! Grandmas kicked downstairs! Hitler! Dahmer! Pol Pot!
All “evils” depend on the body for expression. If I am not in a body, you cannot harm me or do evil to me. So if I am a child you boil in oil, the evil you do only exists here on earth, it is meaningless outside of it. And therefore has no power beyond this place.
Well, I gotta go, gang, I’m headed up to Santa Barbara for the day.