Augustinian and Irenean Theodicies

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  • Augstinian and Irenean Theodicies
    • Irenean Theodicy
      • Soul-making, man made imperfectly but with autonomy, evil and suffering can lead to growth
        • Positives of the Irenean Theodicy
          • Free Will Defence, Platinga - human beings have been made free agents; free to choose God but also free to choose evil. Supported by JOHN HICK who said that suffering can lead to moral and spiritual growth. 'moral and spiritual growth comes through responses to challenges.'
          • Unlike Augustine's Theodicy, it doesn't present a logical contradiction (perfect world can't go wrong, Schleiermacher). Ireneaus says that the world is imperfect, so there would be evil and suffering.
          • Swinburne - supporter of FWD. Everything has a greater good, if God intervened it would jeopardise our free will.
          • Process Theology - frees God from respons. for evil whilst still allowing him to be involved in the world as he is a 'fellow sufferer who understands' (Whitehead). Supported by Moltmann who said that God suffered on the Cross, so our suffering is justified.
        • Negatives of the Irenean Theodicy
          • Is Universal Salvation fair? What then would be the motivation to be moral? Contrasts benevolent God.
          • Some people do not benefit from suffering, but degrade.
          • Suffering can't be the only way for moral growth. What about preparing for an exam or playing in a team? God can't be benevolent if there are other ways for growth and he is making us suffer.
          • View of creation presented by Ireneaus is incongruous to biblical account, not orthodox or compatible with literalist views.
          • DZ Philips 'The Concept of Prayer' - preservation of evil and suffering is inconsistent with an all-loving God.
    • Augustinian Theodicy
      • God is perfect and the world reflects that perfection, sin and death derived from Adam and Eve, this brought disharmony, the whole of humanity has this because we were all 'seminally' present in the loins of Adam.
        • Negatives of the Augustinian Theodicy
          • Not biologically possible for all of us to have been seminally present in the loins of Adam
          • God knows what people are going to do before they do it and punishes them anyway, he can't be benevolent
          • Evil is not a privation of good, it is very real. This is a very dismissive attitude toward evil.
          • Schleiermacher - could a perfect world go wrong? The AT produces a logical contradiction.
        • Positives of the Augustinian Theodicy
          • God gave us free will and, after the Fall, some people choose to disobey His teachings and instead sin and do evil. God is not to blame for evil but instead evil is the result of our free will and inherently sinful nature. Adam and Eve then created an ‘absence of good within themselves.’
          • Compatible with literalist Christianity and Genesis, as Augustine expands on the Fall.
          • Brian Davies - evil cannot properly be called a substance and agrees "it is the gap between what there is and what there ought to be".


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