Evil and Suffering GCSE RS

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  • Created by: R Butler
  • Created on: 05-04-13 15:16
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  • Evil and Suffering
    • This was a theory originally developed by Epicurus in the 3rd century , stating that God either cannot, or will not prevent evil.
      • This is very difficult for a Christian to reconcile with the Omnibenevolant and Omnipotent God in the Old Testement.
    • Evil can be categorised
      • Non-Moral Evil
        • Otherwise known as natural evil, it is the pain caused by the activities of nature.
        • eg. Earthquakes, tsunamis
      • Moral Evil
        • The pain caused by the actions and words of humans.
          • The Augustinian Theodicy suggests that it was Adams Fall that originally caused Evil to exist as he ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge. God did not originally create sin.
            • However this does pose problems. it highlights the Justice of God, how can a supposingly loving God punish the whole of humanity for eternity for the mistakes of 2 people.
          • The Fall of Lucifer (who became Satan) is another theory that supposedly originally caused evil
            • This makes us wonder why, if God is the most powerful being, Satan was not destroyed altogether so there would be no evil.
        • eg. The Holocaust, murder
      • The Iranaen Theodicy  says that suffering is good and helps us become more spiritual.
        • Its  main modern day exponant is John Hicks, who says that we are made in the image of God, but to obtain his likeness we must enter a 'vale of soul-making'
          • "Suffering tenderises us" - J.Hicks
          • This explains the randomness of suffering.
            • "Cowards get cancer too" - John Diamonds
        • If God stopped suffering an irregular world would be formed
    • Many believe that suffering is good because it allows us to appreciate the goodness in the world, and it is part of a balance to be accepted as part of 'the rich tapestry of life'.
    • Norman Whitehead suggests that God in fact isn't all powerful and is just a co-worker with us against evil.
    • Jurgen Moltmann wrote "The Crucified God" and said that  by suffering as a man (through Jesus), God experiences suffering with us and meets us in Heaven


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