RE -- Good and Evil (Philosophical perspective on the origin of evil)

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  • RE -- Good and Evil (philosophical perspectives on the origin of evil -- theodicies)
    • Original Sin
      • The belief that everyone is born a sinner
      • Catholics believe that evil comes from human beings
      • Adam and Eve introduced sin into the world when they took fruit from the tree of knowledge
        • This act brought sin into humanity, since then people have been born with the ability to commit evil acts
      • In the Catholic tradition every baby is born with original sin
      • Impact= We should ask for forgiveness and try to alleviate suffering around us
    • Soul-making
      • God allows evil and suffering because they are necessary for people to develop their moral souls
      • they believe that we need to learn what morality is and develop the proper virtues (not born with it)
      • Without the opportunities provided by this evil we should have no chance to develop or demonstrate moral virtues
      • Impact= Often Christians pray/meditate to try and understand why God does something, they also try and accept it
    • St Ireneus
      • Step process to becoming like God
      • required to grow to become spiritually perfect and moral
      • He believes God does not intervene with evil, because that would be intervening with our free will
      • Impact= Christians pray, ask forgiveness
    • John Hick
      • Agrees with Ireneus, believes that the process of soul-making is a response to the evil in the world
      • He also believes that the process of soul-making also involves the struggle to find religious faith
    • Life as a test
      • Whether or not people will tolerate suffering and stay true to their faith
      • The way people react to evil and suffering determines whether they will go to heaven or hell
      • Eg/ Job, suffers greatly and is taken from great success to tragedy
        • He maintains faith in God, rewarded when his suffering is brought to an end
      • Impact= We should do good and deal with suffering
    • Beyond human understanding
      • Story of Job, we can never truly understand why some of those things happen
      • "God works in mysterious ways" what many say
      • We should be reassured with the knowledge that God is compassionate and understanding
      • Impact= meditation and acceptance
    • Suffering can help humans understand Jesus
      • Jesus chose to endure suffering and pain to achieve a great good
      • He experienced human life, Lazarus died,  his friends fell asleep, beaten then mocked and killed
      • Suffering is a way to be brought closer to an understanding of Jesus and his suffering, and to bring about a greater good
      • impact= prayer and meditation
      • “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has poured into our hearts”
    • St Augustine
      • No such thing as evil, humans brought evil into God's perfect world
      • “we have brought it into God’s perfect world with our disobedience and our pathetic weakness”
      • Evil only occurs when we fail to stop it


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