Irenaeus' Theodicy

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  • Irenaeus' theodicy
    • answer to why there is evil in the world
    • Moral evil
      • Man was created imperfect
      • The purpose of life is to move from imperfection to perfection
        • This is called soul-making
      • Humans were created 'in the image of God' but not in his likeness - we have to move to his likeness by decreasing the epistemic distance between us
      • We are given free will because without it we would not be able to soul-make
      • By giving us free will God had to allow the possibility of evil and suffering
        • Humans abused their freedom and caused suffering
      • Any suffering on earth will be compensated when we reach heaven
        • This is ESCHATOLOGICAL JUSTIFICATION = John Hick
        • E.g - those in the concentration camps will have been compensated in heaven
    • Natural evil
      • Closely linked to moral evil
      • A human paradise would mean humans were not able to develop into the likeness of God
      • John Hick - a world without suffering would make it impossible for moral growth and development
      • Natural evil is in place to help characteristics in use which will reduce our epistemic distance
      • Hick - the world is the 'vale of soul-making' where things happen for our own good
    • Irenaeus interprets the fall literally, God had to save humanity, although Adam and Eve were not blameless,they had not yet developed sufficient wisdom to do what is right
    • E.g an army captures people for slaves and some of them have the captives children
      • Irenaeus suggests that it would be unjust if the rescuers only saved the children and not the parents. In the same way God saves Adam and Eve and their descendents
  • E.g an army captures people for slaves and some of them have the captives children
    • Irenaeus suggests that it would be unjust if the rescuers only saved the children and not the parents. In the same way God saves Adam and Eve and their descendents

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